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May 3, 2012

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Fired teacher's plea rejected

A FOREIGN English teacher, who was fired for discrimination against Chinese, has had his appeal demanding compensation for breach of contract rejected by a Shanghai court.

The Englishman, named Jack, aged about 60, was hired by a Shanghai-based language training school last year. He was sent to give lessons to students who were themselves Chinese English teachers as part of a training project, the Hongkou District People's Court heard.

Jack said he received a pink slip via e-mail in February. The expat then filed a lawsuit against his employer, demanding his unpaid salary and a 100,000 yuan (US$15,874) penalty for breach of contract.

The school said it fired Jack because students complained that the Briton not only had a bad temper but also discriminated against the Chinese.

The court heard Jack was rude to students when their cellphones suddenly rang during class. He also talked about topics that had nothing to do with the syllabus but with strong bias against Chinese. For example, he said Chinese were jaywalkers, which led to students disliking him, the training school stated.

"The students asked us to fire Jack," the school said. "His behavior has greatly damaged our reputation."

Jack admitted these charges but insisted the school should not have fired him because he had not violated a teacher's duty.

The court ordered the training school to pay more than 4,000 yuan as Jack's remaining salary. But it rejected his appeal for compensation.


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