US English teacher fired for ‘inappropriate’ message to former Cambodian student


An online personality and English teacher at a reputable international school in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, has been fired from his position after a screenshot of an “inappropriate” message he sent to a former student was shared on social media. .

American citizen Michael Strahan, known on social media as “Teacher Michael”, allegedly sent flirtatious messages to a former student at the Australian Education Center (ACE) over the course of three years.

In the screenshot taken by Khmer TimesThe Louisiana native appeared to joke with a student about dating him in exchange for a scholarship, telling minors, “Tell me when you turn 18.”

Strahan was fired by school administrators after a teacher’s message appeared on social media on September 27.

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“We have become aware of allegations of serious misconduct made against our staff on social media,” the country director of IDP Education Sreng Mao said in a Sept. 30 school-wide email.

“While the social media allegations have not been substantiated, a review by the Risk Committee determined that the staff’s communication with students was completely inappropriate and we have terminated the employment of the staff.”This is me. In line with our internal policy and in the best interests of our students, we have a zero tolerance policy for child abuse, exploitation and violence against children. We are taking the allegations seriously and the matter is currently being shared with local authorities. Please direct any questions or concerns to me.”

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In a now-deleted TikTok video, Strahan claims his message was taken out of context and “targeted.” VODEnglish We reached out to the teacher on Facebook on Tuesday, but his social media accounts, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn, have been deleted.

“I think you saw a screenshot of a conversation I had with a former student years ago,” Strahan said in a video response, saved by a social media user. I wrote the words, but apart from that, I was also a victim (target) of a hate campaign, so these two things are happening at the same time. .”

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Two students said the allegation sparked a Facebook debate after Strahan complained that motorcyclists were hogging sidewalks in Phnom Penh. Other of her Facebook users responded by commenting on the meme, and an anonymous user shared a screenshot of his message to Strahan’s students.

“People started posting screenshots themselves instead of memes,” said one ACE student, whose name was withheld. “Fast forward and from there it started going viral. It was like a snowball effect.”

Commentators accused Strahan, who claimed to have experienced sexual abuse, of “grooming” the former student to exploit him later.

The age of consent in Cambodia is 15, but teenagers are considered minors until they turn 18.

According to a report published by UNICEF“11% of children aged 12 to 17 who use the Internet had experienced an apparent instance of online sexual exploitation or abuse in the year preceding the survey.”

Meanwhile, 6% of children aged 15-17 who use the Internet report receiving money or gifts in exchange for sexual images or videos of themselves. Continuation of the report.

According to the report, Cambodian law does not explicitly criminalize online child grooming, but the penal code does not allow “meetings involving obscene exposure or sexual relations in which minors attend or participate.” Arrangement by an adult is a crime.

According to the Khmer Times, Strahan reportedly fled to Malaysia.

Featured image via Facebook