Memorandum in the TT

(and speaking of FUNNy FINNY, I heard there was a weird advert in the Tt today about two teachies who did something BAD, one was Canadian the other was Finnish guy, huge half page advert I heard from the GF, they ran away with money or something. anybody know anyting about tis?[/quote]

I saw a small 3"x3" ad in the top corner of the front page of the China Post and a larger 8"x8" color ad in the Taipei Times. It didn’t have any useful information, just that they had been fired, the school wasn’t responsible for anything, and that others should not be “deceived” by these two. Without any details, it sure smells like a smear. They included passport numbers and photos of the two, but the Finnish guy’s photo looked like a photocopied fax copy and was pretty much just a head shaped smudge.

This is so Taiwanese. Spurned psycho xiaojie mentality.
Teachers might want to consider forming a watchdog orgainzation. They could use local tactics and smear bad schools by taking out ads in the Chinese newspapers with photos of the boss and school facade, saying how the schools failed to pay their teachers on time, & such.

The picture of the Finnish dude and Canadian dude is on page 4 of todays TT. What did these dudes do. From my count, that is 3 pics of them in the papers now including a headline with the Taiwan News. Did these dudes gangbang the owners daughter of Spontaneous Language School? Thats a lot of money on just two English teachers.


am not associated with the teaching or education field at all.However, five minutes of research and I found this

Spontaneous English (owner Jeffrey) should be aovided at all costs.
He simply refuses to pay when you leave. Ripped me off for a month’s wages, and I have met three others: One subbed for two weeks, and two others both lost a month.
The man is an alcoholic snake. Be warned.
Taichung, Taiwan
July 28, 2003
Posted: July 28, 2003

Maybe some young enterprising journalist could research both sides of a story before posting mug shots in the papers.

I worked for Spontaneous in Taichung many years ago. I was a studying at the time and so didn’t have a work permit through them. They were indeed crooks but mercifully never bothered with me.

As I recall another school opened claiming to be Spontaneous and the usual madness errupted. Cops popping in every day with me being hauled out of the class by management to “go and sit in my office and pretend your a friend who’s just popped in for a visit.”


I heard about that ad too… but was not lucky enough to see it. But since Chewy says it’s in Today’s paper, I will get to see it after all.

My question is… WTF?! It seems to me that this type of publc smearing through an advertisement is… I dunno… fucked. I mean, would this be legal where you come from? Is it legal in Taiwan? Should these papers be taking money for these ads even if it is legal? Spontaneous, huh? I think they’ve succesfully built themselves quite a reputation with that move. :unamused:

Has anyone seen the memorandum in today’s Taipei Times? Is this legal?

It has the pictures of 2 foreigner teachers, their passport numbers, and their names.

It says that they have been terminated by Spontaneous School. It warns that other language schools should be “cautious” of these 2 teachers.

The crime they are accused of is not mentioned.

They musn’t have written their “Teacher’s Comments” on time…

“Is it legal?”…That’s one of the first questions I asked myself also. It doesn’t, technically, slander them but it doesn’t put them in a good light either.

I would really like to know the story.

Or perhaps they were poor singers :laughing:

Actually, I hate to be so pedantic, DB, but the reason it doesn’t slander them is because it is in writing, which would be libel. Slander is spoken. But is it legal? In the US I’d bet the guys could win a suit against the school, but here I doubt it. Still, it’s definitely a crappy thing for the school to do.

No worries at all…I learned something new today, thanks!

Hmmmm…in what cases would a company be justified for doing something like that? Those guys have certainly pissed somebody off.

TT obviously doesn’t get the business the China Post gets. It was there on Wednesday :wink: . This isn’t the first time this has happened. Remember the South African guy this year.

Very curious, too.

Is this legal?

Would it be legal in your country to do such a thing (general question, I doubt it would be in mine).

Regardless of whether it’s legal or not, I think it reflects pretty badly on the newspapers that carry this crap. Anything for a buck, huh?

I’ve heard that they place similar ads for “runaway” maids and caregivers, as well. Can’t remember seeing one right now, but it rings a bell. What of this?

This school just shot itself in the foot, as far as I can tell. Heard of someone doing an interview with them the other day.

Potential employee: So how much does the position pay?
Spontaneous: Well… uh, would you like something to drink?

And what where they doing hiring Finnish nationals anyway? :shock:

Yeah, now everyone who can read an English newspaper knows.
They are not really hitting the right target audience are they?

They should take out an ad stating that they wish it to be known that they no longer work for [name of boss in bold] who runs Spontaneous School and that foreign teachers should only apply for a position at that school after careful consideration.

They should run it in the Chinese-language papers as well.

I would be willing to share the cost on the add mentioned above! I’ll bet the TT wouldn’t print it!

That school better have a very good reason to do this. This is a major attempt at some serious rat-fucking.

In the US libel and slander are the two types of defamation, libel is written, slander spoken. The elements of either are an intentional false statement of material facts that results in damages. It must be a false statement of fact, not opinion. Thus, to state “we think these two guys are evil, drug-using Canadians” would not be defamation because it is couched as an opinion. Material means it is important fact. Thus, to mistate his hair color would not be defamation (to call them Canadians when they are not might be :wink: ). In this case the only facts stated in the ad are that the school terminated their employment and descriptions of their passport numbers. If that much is true its not defamation.

But it then says “Spontaneous [language school] is not responsible for anything they might have done outside the school.” That’s not a statement of fact about the two guys, but it certainly suggests, especially in conjunction with the termination, that they did something bad. But I believe defamation requires an express, not implied, statement of fact.

In the US I am sure there are other possible actions besides defamation that might apply, including intentional (or negligent) infliction of emotion distress and other theories that I can’t think of right now. Maybe Tigerman or some otehr lawyer can help out.

The above is based on US law, but Taiwan law of defamation is probably very similar, although its how its applied by judges that differs. Taiwan’s judges in my opinion are even more erratic, unpredictable and mistaken about the law than most judges, in part because many of them are young kids (in the US one usually has to be a lawyer for a number of years before becoming a judge; in Taiwan most judges have never been a practicing attorney).

Finally, the above description of the law all concerns liability. Even if one establishes liability, one still must prove damages in order to recover anything in a lawsuit. Damages such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, not to mention punitive damages, are extremely difficult to recover unless you can also prove some actual damages, ie. employers refused to hire me because of the ad.

In light of the above, I doubt there will be a lawsuit, much less a judgment against the school, but for the victims some other retaliation might be appropriate. He he he. :smiling_imp:

I sent this letter to the TT:

I am thoroughly disgusted at the mug-shot of the foreigners on page 4 today. How can a paper that advocates democratization, human rights and civil society mechanisms print such libel and slander. I know that advertising is vital in the newspaper business but values should take priority. Shame! Shame!

Granted, sometimes English teachers make an easy target. However, as a newpaper organization you should know that there are two sides to every story. What did these English teachers do? Why aren’t their alleged crimes included in the ad. Do you know that the school making these charges has had some bad reports written about it on the Internet.

Heresay has no place in a quality publication. These smear tactics were used during the “McCarthy"era in the US, and during the"White Terror” era in Taiwan. I thought this paper was against those values.