Hong Kong island school dismisses coach amidst scandal involving indecent photos with student

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22nd February 2024 – (Hong Kong) A male basketball coach at a local secondary school has been summarily dismissed following the circulation of inappropriate photographs with a female student. The Education Bureau has expressed its grave concern over the incident and has promptly contacted the school to seek a comprehensive understanding of the matter.

Upon learning of the situation, the school swiftly activated a crisis management team to address the issue, which included the immediate termination of the coach’s employment. The school is also providing counselling and support to the students and parents affected by the incident. The authorities have insisted on a severe follow-up on the case and have requested a detailed report from the school. They have vowed to maintain communication with the institution, ensuring that appropriate assistance is offered throughout the investigation.

Additionally, the sports association to which the implicated coach was affiliated has also taken to social media to announce the suspension of his duties, clarifying that his actions are not reflective of the association’s values. They have also denied any organisational involvement with the school in question.

This incident has brought to light the pertinent legal frameworks in place for such transgressions. According to the Obscene and Indecent Articles Ordinance (Cap 390), Section 21, the distribution of obscene materials is a criminal offence in Hong Kong, regardless of whether the distributor is aware of the obscene nature of the content. Convictions can lead to fines of up to HK$1 million and imprisonment for three years. Additionally, if the servers of the social media or instant messaging groups through which the materials were distributed are located in Hong Kong, they fall under the jurisdiction of this regulation.

Furthermore, under the Prevention of Child Pornography Ordinance (Cap 579), Section 3, the distribution of child pornography is a criminal offence that carries the risk of a fine of HK$2 million and imprisonment for up to eight years upon conviction.