The chairman of the Association of the Heads of Secondary Schools, Teddy Tang, said on Friday that there's no need for schools to call the police on students who violate the national anthem law.
Tang made the comments after Education Secretary Kevin Yeung said school heads should be prepared to call police if pupils show serious disrespect for the national anthem, but only if there is no other way to solve the problem.
“Through education and two-way communication and dialogue, I think most students in Hong Kong schools, they are cooperative and willing to follow school instructions," Tang said.
“In the past 12 months, the teaching profession has had lots of experience and mastered the necessary skills in handling various types of crisis, and dealing with students with different special needs. So I’m confident principals and teachers are able to handle all sorts of challenges, and I don’t think calling police is an option.”
He also told RTHK's Frances Sit that Education Bureau guidelines saying the March of the Volunteers must be played during celebration activities ahead of special occasions, such as the July first handover and National Day won't make much difference to schools.
Tang said most schools already play the national anthem on special occasions, including at celebration assemblies held before National Day, and that schools will explain the law and teach students about the anthem in the curriculum.
Earlier this month, lawmakers passed legislation to make disrespecting or misusing the national anthem a criminal offence, with offenders liable to fines of up to HK$50,000 or three years in prison.