Scholars and parents in Taiwan on Friday called on certain political parties and groups to stop taking advantage of student protesters who campaigned against an adjustment to high school curriculum guidelines.
Following a break-in on July 22, student activists continued to gather in front of the island's education authority on Thursday and Friday, after one of them committed suicide on Thursday. Though his parents denied any pressure from both the school and the authority, saying their son had suffered depression for a long time, certain political parties made an issue of it and misled students into engaging in illegal protests.
The island's education authority made a decision last January to adjust the curriculum guidelines of some textbooks to be implemented in August. The adjustment, which aimed to right some misreadings of the island's history, prompted an outcry among the Democratic Progress Party (DPP), some organizations and high school students.
However, the majority of students' parents and public opinions expressed their disagreement with the protest.
In the early hours of Friday, a pair of parents wanted to take their son back home, but the young man yelled and pushed his father onto the ground while showing indifference to his kneeling mother. The mother said the students, including her son, were influenced by politicians who used them as a tool for their political agenda.
Wang Xiaobo, professor at Shih Hsin University, called on DPP chairperson Tsai Ing-wen to "give innocent students a break, give Taiwan a break" and stop inciting young people to sacrifice themselves for her own election and political interests.