Anonymous Letters

I have a friend who is in a bit of a pickle with his kindergarten. He’s being let go from his kindergarten under pretense of failing to meet expectations. In reality, it’s because bad blood has developed between him and the management due to his criticisms over excessive graduation practices, dishonesty with the parents, and numerous other unethical actions taken by the school. These things all came to a head when the school permitted a teacher to continue teaching while having enterovirus, a very contagious disease.

For the sake of argument, let’s assume all of his accusations are true.

While contemplating phase 2, he decided an open letter to the parents involved too much personal risk. He’s decided on an anonymous letter that he will mail to the parents’ home talking about “a kindergarten” and its practices. He’s retrieved all of the addresses from a school computer that he is given free access to.

I personally think this is a poor decision. It’s a noble idea to expose an evil school, but if he gets caught I fear that he could get sued and/or deported. He seems to think that they may suspect it is him, but that even if they can prove it they won’t go after him because it will entail admitting that he was working there illegally as a kindergarten teacher. It’s a giant game of chicken.

So, can anyone give me any information on the possible ramifications of getting caught? The more bad stuff the better to persuade him.

(Fortunately, sanity wins the day and the letter will not be mailed. Moreover, it means the letter can be published in full and its merits can be debated! What fun! The letter was never modified from its original form which was intended to be distributed following a major school event - an even dumber idea. Have at it.)

Dear Parents,

Perhaps you may have noticed that I am no longer teaching the Level 1 class at Sing Sing. Officially, I was let go by the school for failing to meet the school’s expectations and for a difference in working ethics, but privately I was told by Cruella that she just wouldn’t be able to stand working with me until July without losing her temper. She was afraid of losing her temper because I had begun to be more vocal about some of the problems that I have recognized at the school and taken issue with. Specifically, I’ve accused the school of being dishonest, being irresponsible, and of treating the children poorly. Below, I’ve outlined some of the specific complaints I have with the school:

  1. The school tries to conceal the seriousness of viruses at the school. In February, many children in Level 3 were infected with the flu at the same time and four of the seven children from Level 1 were infected with enterovirus at the same time. More importantly, one teacher at the school contracted enterovirus and continued coming to school despite the fact that it’s very contagious. The school was aware that she had the virus and merely asked her to wear a mask.

  2. In order to save money, the school made black-and-white copies of the math books rather than purchasing them from Miffle-Hugg. Many of the pages in these books were impossible to teach without knowing what color things were. These books were sent home to you and you can see for yourself if you just open them up and look at the directions on the bottom of some of the pages.

  3. In the past, the school has tried to save money by not having a foreign teacher. At the beginning of the first semester, I was gone in America for six weeks. Per the school’s request, I found a substitute teacher. This teacher only taught the students for the first week of the school year. After that, the school asked her not to come back. My co-teacher taught the Level 1 class by herself for five weeks. As far as I know, the parents were never informed that their children did not have a foreign teacher. If you’re curious, this is over $50000 in tuition money that was saved by depriving my students of the most important thing Sing Sing has to offer.

  4. The school has not just lied to parents, they have lied to their employees as well. It is a Taiwanese law that an employee must be paid his full salary on the last day of work, yet I know of four separate instances that they have tried to trick foreign teachers into thinking they must wait until the 10th of the next month (One of these instances is my own). Similarly, Taiwanese law says that a person who gets married is entitled to eight work days of vacation, but Sing Sing tried to tell one employee that weekend days were also included. Teachers have to check every law for themselves to make sure they’re not being tricked.

  5. The school has also deceived parents about supplies that are offered to the children. Specifically, during PTA the school asked me to show the parents a blue box containing many manipulative toys that can be used for math instruction. When we showed them to the parents, we led them to believe that each child had his own box that he could use. Later, when I tried to use these boxes for the first time I was informed that they were all empty! We only had the boxes to be used for demonstrations for parents. You’re welcome to go look in the Bear classroom for yourself if you’d like to see these “math boxes” all labeled nicely with your children’s names on them and with nothing inside.

  6. To make the props for the Christmas and Graduation Performances, all six teachers from the three classes spend an entire week upstairs drawing, painting, and cutting. During those five days, your children spend the entire morning watching TV in the TubeSpot. They only interact with their teachers right when school starts and when they return at lunchtime. That is two weeks each year that the students barely see their teachers.

  7. Lastly, I think it’s important that you realize how much your children rehearse for performances and under what conditions.

For a full rehearsal at Sing Sing, every child in the school including pre-K has to sit in the Bear classroom for approximately two hours. They only come out to do their performance and to go to the bathroom. The teachers are required to make the children sit silently in a line with their legs crossed and without playing. They have no toys or means of entertainment. Let me reiterate that this is for approximately two hours! I personally think it’s cruel to do this to a child and I have argued with Cruella about this numerous times in the past.

Perhaps the only thing worse than being in the Bear classroom is being out on stage. The children are under intense pressure and Cruella will scream at them if they misspeak their words, don’t sing loud enough, forget an action, or commit some other minor infraction. Children bawling is a common occurrence.

We definitely have more than 12 of these full rehearsals each semester including one each day for the whole week before each Christmas and Graduation performance. On days without full rehearsals, each class must practice their performance repeatedly in their own individual classroom for between thirty and ninety minutes each day.

All of the yelling, screaming, and crying may seem shocking to you, but most teachers and students are used to it at Sing Sing. It’s hard to teach children about respect and kindness when you have a principal walking around shouting, “Shut your mouth!” to children sitting quietly in a line - a phrase I’ve heard repeatedly and that I think exemplifies what Cruella expects of the children and of her teachers. Unfortunately, I’m not four years old and I shall shut my mouth no longer. (Until I realize that I can get sued and deported and made fun of on Forumosa for being naive enough to think that the scheme would actually be successful.)

Parents will generally ignore those type of letters as they will just think of it as a pissed off teacher that got fired.
Sad but true.
Kindies that operate suspiciously often get what is coming to them. It’s called FATE.
As for you, or your friend, What goes around comes around.

I would take the high road. There are plenty of teaching jobs in Taiwan, China, Korea or Japan. Your friend could find himself in trouble if he tries to lose them business by going directly to the parents. Tell him to look for a new job and to let it go.

It’s high risk, he could face a lawsuit. Leave it and work somewhere better and he can get over it that way.

Before mailing those letters out, your friend had better be mentally and financially prepared for when he finds himself accused of data theft and libel.

This is kind of a wild stab in the dark, but maybe your friend was paid to be a singing clown and his suggestions regarding the school’s educational policies weren’t asked for.

Dude’s getting the sack because he can’t hack it. Suddenly all the customers get an “anonymous” letter? I 'aint no rocket scientist, but even EYE can figure that one out. :unamused:

We really need to know what this school is doing before we can divide ourselves up and call each other names. If you want us to fight with each other you’ll need to put a bit more meat on the bone. Failing that, I’m sure we could muster up a fight amongst ourselves for no other reason that it is Friday and that it is pretty much what we do for sport round here. :slight_smile:

Can’t he just anonymously contact the health department about the enterovirus teacher? They might be interested if a couple of the kids get infected.

That sounds like a plan to me. They also hate the words “tax office”!

Ohhhhhh… you said the “T” word… :laughing:

Jesus, the guy complained about his bosses working practices and wonders why he was let go. Moral of the story don’t bite the hand that feeds you. It’s a tough lesson to learn and it takes some of us longer than others. Head down arse up is answer.

There is no point sending the letters. Everyone will know it is him, and will just think he is annoyed for being fired.

And your friend should realize that everyone who has worked at a kindergarten in Taiwan has complaints and sometimes horror stories of how they were run. What your friend has mentioned is completely normal in Taiwan - teachers are expected to come to work sick, absurdly overblown graduation ceremonies seem to be what the parents want, management ordinarily has no interest in what the foreign teachers think (even though in many cases I don’t doubt the foreign teacher could make improvements in the school - but the owners want to make money), etc. If he gets a new job at some other kindergarten, it will probably be about the same.

I deleted the letter from here and edited my first post to include it.

Yeah, your mate has a touch of the over inflated ego/sense of importance thing. Being sick in school is common, these things spread. The parents pay to see their kids perform well in graduation ceremonies, they can’t actually speak much English themselves so don’t really know how well their kids can speak, but they do love a cute show, and they also would need about 30 years to translate his communique to them, imagine getting that in Chinese, staright in the bin. They will see photocopied resources as no biggy either. Maybe his sub teacher was utter crap. If a Taiwanese person tells you they can’t control their temper around you then you have SERIOUSLY shit in the bed.

Essentially your mate needs to learn to adapt or get on a plane home. Banging your head against a wall hurts and people tend to wonder why you are bothering.

The system is broke and you can’t fight the system, break free my man!

I think what we need is to create a martyrdom system minus the C-4. Let’s say someone was going home soon anyway. Then let’s say we’ve identified an evil school whose employees have to keep their lips zipped for fear of retribution. At a time conveniently planned around when the person would like to leave Taiwan anyway, the school employee can take a vacation and have that person as a substitute. We call the Labor Bureau and inform them of illegal workers. They come to the school. The managers freak out and try to hide the substitute in a closet. Ignoring their protests, the substitute plops his ass right down on the floor in front of his kids and greets the Labor Bureau with a smile and a hand shake.

Interestingly, does anyone know the exact punishments that are dished out to schools and teachers who are in violation of the law? I know there are fines and potentially deportations, but for how much and how long? If I only got sent home (where I was going anyway) and had to pay 10000 while the employer had to pay 750000 I might just consider it. Or sponsoring somebody!

Yeah, but you might end up in the deportation ‘jail’ for a few months. Not sure if they do put foreign teachers there, but I know some Nigerians who were working without the appropriate visa who spent some time there.

The friend chose to work in an illegal job.
The friend hated the job.
The friend refused to quit.
The friend was eventually fired.
The friend wants to fight the dismissal.
The friend has a friend who asks for advice on an internet forum.

If a friend were to join the crew on a ship and found he hated the life of a sailor, should he try to sink the ship, or just get off at the next port and find a new way of life?

Wonder what kind of “work” that was.

The ones I know/knew: mostly buying goods for export, such as second-hand car parts; factory work; and one working at a buxiban (boss told the parents he was American). But I don’t know if someone from the West who was working at a kindy and got caught would be sent to the ‘immigration jail’.