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June 29, 2017

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Parents support Yunlin principal over apparent double suicide of teenagers

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Over 100 hundred parents of Yunlin County (雲林) Shuilin Junior High School (水林國中) have signed petitions, urging the Yunlin County Government to withdraw its order to punish the principal of the school over an apparent double teenager suicide.

Two students of the school — who were very close to each other — were reported missing after going out on May 3. The male student's body was discovered on the banks of the Beigang River (北港溪) on May 5, and the female student's body was discovered not far away from the location where the male victim was found a day later.

The pair allegedly committed suicide together because they did not get their parents' blessings for their relationship, Yunlin police said.

Yunlin Magistrate Su Chih-fen (蘇治芬) demanded the school to file a report of the incident and said Sun Ming-shan (孫明山), principal of the school, will be removed from his post as a disciplinary measure.

Over 10 members of the parents committee yesterday went to the campus, urging the government to withdraw the order. Alumni and students also established a fan page on Facebook to support Sun on Tuesday.

Parents Committee Chairman Lee Jing-yeh (李京曄) said it is not fair to demand that Sun shoulder the responsibility solely.

Su reiterated that the principal of the school should bear the responsibility over the tragedy, noting that the purpose of levying the disciplinary measure on Sun is a "warning" to all principals rather than a punishment.

Sun was quoted by the Central News Agency as saying that he appreciates the parents' support, noting that he hopes people can express their opinions over the incident in a rational manner.

Sun said as a principal he accepts his superior's orders, adding that he respects the government's decision.

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