Students at govt schools warned against protesting - RTHK
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Students at govt schools warned against protesting

2019-11-21 HKT 21:14
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  • Students at govt schools warned against protesting
The Education Bureau has warned students of all government-run secondary schools not to take part in any ‘political activities’ while in school, or even while wearing school uniforms, or risk being disciplined.

Education Secretary Kevin Yeung on Thursday said letters have been sent to students and parents, and the bureau will also be issuing letters setting out the regulations governing government-run institutions to other local schools ‘for their reference.’

Yeung said “in schools, students should not stage, or participate in political activities, including class boycotts, singing songs, chanting slogans, forming human chains or other related activities like distributing flyers promoting political messages.”

The education chief also said only ‘sanctioned activities’ should take place on campus, adding that it is ‘inappropriate’ for students wearing their school uniforms to take part in any ‘political activities’ outside school.

“Schools will follow their established disciplinary mechanism to handle violations of regulations”, he said.

Yeung also backed a Yuen Long school for taking disciplinary action against five students accused of taking part in efforts to disrupt train services

“These are actually improper acts. It may cause danger to the students and also would cause inconvenience to other citizens in the society”, he said.

“I think what the school has done is very proper in teaching the students [not to do] these improper acts in future. The Education Bureau supports the schools in taking these actions.”

However, the principal of the Sheng Kung Hui Tang Shiu Kin Secondary School, Tai Tak-ching, warned that a complete ban on all protest-related activities in school could spark a major backlash.

He told RTHK that every school has their own way of handling such issues. He said for his part, he would try to find out why the students are doing what they’re doing, and “if they want to sing a bit, let them.”

Education sector lawmaker Ip Kin-yuen agreed that schools should be given the autonomy to deal with protesting students as they see fit, starting with individual teachers.

“After understanding the whole situation, the teacher can decide on what to do, and there are different options: counselling is one option; disciplinary action is another option”, he said.

He said it’s “inappropriate” for the government or school sponsoring bodies to impose their approach on teachers.