Shanghai Teacher Fired After Serving 1.5 Years for Upholding Her Faith
(Minghui.org) An elementary school teacher in Shanghai was fired from her job after she served one and a half years for refusing to renounce her faith in Falun Gong, a mind-body discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.
Ms. Zhou Meijuan, 49, was arrested in July 2017 and detained for six weeks. After she was released, her employer, the Anting Elementary School, withheld 7,000 yuan of bonus which she had earned during the first half of that year, with the excuse that she'd missed work due to the detention. The school leadership also ordered Ms. Zhou to write statements to reflect on her “mistake” and renounce Falun Gong, but she refused to do so.
To seek justice for herself, Ms. Zhou wrote letters to several government agencies, including the district education bureau, the local teachers' union and women's federation, detailing her ordeal and demanding that the school return her bonus. Receiving no response from the above agencies, she proceeded to file a complaint with the local labor dispute arbitration committee, but still to no avail.
In the year-end work performance evaluation in 2017, the school principal asked Ms. Zhou again to write a renouncing statement, or she would fail the evaluation. Ms. Zhou stated that she hadn't done anything wrong in upholding her faith, but was unjustly persecuted by the government.
The principal reported her to the police, who arrested her at her school on December 26, 2017. After over one year of detention at the Jiading District Detention Center, Ms. Zhou was sentenced to 1.5 years by the Jing’an District Court on February 1, 2019.
Soon after Ms. Zhou finished serving time, she was fired by the school. She also noticed that she was being monitored and followed when she went out.
Prior to her latest prison term, Ms. Zhou was detained and held at a brainwashing center several times. The Anting Elementary School forbade her from teaching but arranged her to do logistics work before eventually firing her.