SINGAPORE - The reaction by a teacher disciplining his student was 'inappropriate', the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) College West principal Dr Goh Mong Song said in a statement to the media on Wednesday.
A video of the incident, which happened one year ago, has been circulating on Facebook with over 230,000 views and 4,700 shares after it was uploaded on Tuesday (Feb 21).
The video, which was supposedly filmed by a student, shows the teacher peering over a student's shoulder as the latter stares at his laptop. The teacher then unplugged the laptop's power adapter, not before uttering "you are too much" to the student.
As the student tries to plug the adapter back in the power socket, the teacher grabs the student by the collar, and a scuffle ensues.
"The student captured in the video had just joined the college then, had disruptive behavioural issues, and refused to put aside his personal laptop to do a project during practical lessons," Dr Goh said in the statement.
Describing the incident as 'isolated', Dr Goh added that the teacher regretted his action and has since been counselled.
Dr Goh also noted that current and past students have commended the teacher for his commitment and patience, while the student's classmates were also encouraged to understand and support the student.
While many netizens were quick to slam the teacher, some urged viewers to exercise restraint before judging the situation.
"Why blame the teacher instead of asking what is really going on? Do you guys know what happened?" a Troy Lee asked.
Facebook user Christopher Ng wrote: "This is my ITE teacher and he is a very kind and friendly teacher. I've been in his class for two years he wants the students to be well-disciplined during his class."
Dr Goh noted that the student and his classmates have adjusted better and learnt to be more understanding and accepting of the student's behavioural issues.
He said: "The student's parents are aware of the son's behaviour and are appreciative that the college and counsellors are helping him to cope better."