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Volume 24Number 1 publication date:Jun. 2011
Disciplinary Measures of Compulsory Expression in Schools:Perspectives of Student Human Rights
    Author:Dah-Chian Tseng
Research Article

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Students’ rights to body autonomy and personality development are protected in the Educational Fundamental Act in Taiwan. In contrast to corporal punishment which is prohibited by law, disciplinary measures of compulsory expression such as asking studentsto apologize or confess in writing are commonly practiced in elementary and middleschools. Although such disciplinary measures are likely to negatively impact one’s personality development, they have been widely accepted in most education related laws.However, these particular disciplinary measures might not only conflict with freedom of speech and human dignity protected by the Constitution but also differ from the trend of international human rights development. As a result, this paper attempts to analyze the problems that disciplinary measures of compulsory expression may have caused based on regulations in law, views in judicial practice, basic human rights theories and international human rights documents. This study finds that it is practically difficult for disciplinary measures of compulsory expression to have a legal basis as students’ inner thoughts cannot be manipulated. Therefore, when schools need to carry out disciplinary measures of compulsory expression, it is essential to do it in a noncompulsory way and focus more on the intention of such measures in counseling. To act in students’ best interests, school counselors may  incorporate some positive values and encourage cooperation—in anoncompulsory manner.



Keywords: freedom of expression, human rights in school, student discipline


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