A Tainan substitute teacher surnamed Cheng is facing criticism and investigation by the city’s Bureau of Education for her involvement in the Kaohsiung gay pride parade last month, Apple Daily reported. The 24-year-old’s marching in the parade was not what set off the investigation, however. Rather it was that she was photographed topless with only stickers covering her breasts as a show of support for the Free the Nipple campaign.
The teacher claimed in a Facebook post that KMT Tainan City Councilor Wang Chia-chen (王家貞) pushed for an investigation. The teacher said that she believes such investigations will inhibit educators’ ability to participate in social movements in Taiwan. She asked in her post, “Will the school be willing to appoint teachers who are actively involved in public affairs?” She added, “I am also a citizen, and in my off-hours I can participate in social movements….and sometimes I teach students to understand the pulse of society.”
During the Kaohsiung gay pride parade, the teacher said that most of the people watching were supportive of her actions, though others scolded her for going topless.
The Bureau of Education is unlikely to take any action against the teacher.
The Free the Nipple movement came to prominence last year when National Yang-Ming University in Taipei students drew attention to the campaign through a Facebook group. The goal of the movement is to eliminate the objectification of women’s bodies and the social taboo of showing women’s breasts in public. The movement began in the US in 2014.