The suspension of kids at St Francis Xavier College for ‘disrespecting’ a flag-raising ceremony gets the school’s vice principal into trouble. She…
…broke down in tears at the meeting [with teachers] and she did not turn up in school yesterday morning, though she was spotted by students in the library in the afternoon.
What were the school administrators thinking? We can assume that they were petrified of repercussions – possibly prompted by informants’ leaks – for not disciplining the students, so they over-reacted to be safe.
On the subject of over-reaction, the thin-skinned cops complain at great length about a Zunzi cartoon in Ming Pao…
Assistant Commissioner of Police (Public Relations) Joe Chan wrote that he feared the cartoon’s content could lead to misunderstanding among readers that the police would actually deploy staff to handle such matters
…it was possible that the illustration might mislead readers into thinking the school had reported the students accused of “disrespecting” the flag-raising ceremony to the police.
The cartoon was likely to place pressure or stress on the school’s headmaster, teachers and students, Chan said.
“The false descriptions in [the illustration] might make the public misunderstand police work. They not only damage the Force’s image, but also harm the cooperation between the police and the public, as well as our effectiveness on cracking down crimes,” Chan said.
The police force that arrests people for publishing cartoons of sheep or playing the harmonica is beyond criticism, let alone satire. Perhaps the funniest (or saddest) thing is the police PR boss’s insistence that editorial cartoons be ‘factual’. CY Leung joins in about the cartoon ‘smearing’ the police, of course. No wonder if, faced with the threat of denunciation, institutions like schools (or PayPal) fall over themselves in their attempts to appear obedient or loyal to the system?
Education bureaucrats – themselves nervous about displaying insufficient patriotism – must now draw up detailed guidelines on how schools should handle students who ‘disrespect’ the flag. You must take such transgressions seriously, but not too seriously, but then again quite seriously.