Teacher, 76, jailed for kissing 9-year-old pupil

A 76-year-old former relief teacher was jailed for four weeks yesterday for kissing a nine-year-old pupil, who he felt resembled a former girlfriend.
A 76-year-old former relief teacher was jailed for four weeks yesterday for kissing a nine-year-old pupil, who he felt resembled a former girlfriend. PHOTO: ST FILE

A 76-year-old former relief teacher was jailed for four weeks yesterday for kissing a nine-year-old pupil, who he felt resembled a former girlfriend.

The man, who cannot be named to protect the identity of the victim, provided relief teaching for Chinese classes at a primary school from January 2013 until earlier this year.

He first met the girl in mid-2013 while teaching her Primary 3 class and took a liking to her, as he felt she resembled a former girlfriend he knew when he was 18.

The Chinese language teacher, who taught at various schools until he retired in 1975 , later kissed the youngster - who was eight at the time - outside the school hall.

In the middle of last year, while assigned as the relief teacher for her Primary 4 Chinese class, he asked the then nine-year-old to help him carry some books out of the classroom. As they passed the school library, he suddenly turned towards her and kissed her on the lips.

Despite feeling scared and uncomfortable, the victim did not tell anyone about the incident until earlier this year, after a third incident when the man was once again assigned to teach her class.

On this occasion, he passed her a piece of paper with his mobile phone number written on it, telling her that she could contact him.

She did not do so and confided in her mother, who contacted the school and lodged a police report.

The former relief teacher was convicted of one charge of outrage of modesty for kissing the girl in the middle of last year, while a second charge for the 2013 incident was taken into consideration during sentencing.

District Judge Mathew Joseph said the man had abused the trust placed in him as an educator and his position as a relief teacher.

"There is an almost seven-decade difference between your age and the victim's age," he said. "This makes the act much more reprehensible.

"What was most detestable was that the offence took place within the school's premises.

"This case perhaps illustrates the need for young children in school to be taught what are the inappropriate actions that can be made against them."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 16, 2015, with the headline 'Teacher, 76, jailed for kissing 9-year-old pupil'. Print Edition | Subscribe