PUBLISHED : Sunday, 01 December, 2002, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 01 December, 2002, 12:00am


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I have a friend who is attending International Christian School and performed in Bugsy Malone at the Hong Kong Youth Arts Festival. He told me that his school did not excuse him from school for several of the performances which conflicted with school days - even though they were having their high school camp on those days. Camp isn't even academic. This sounded very unfair and I was wondering whether I should advise him to make a formal complaint about this to somebody, as it seems like the school is not encouraging community involvement nor the dramatic arts.

Write@ttitude says: You are right, that does sound unfair. But before jumping to conclusions and pointing the finger, it is always important to make sure that you have got the facts right.

Charging into a situation and making a formal complaint might help you let off steam, but it rarely achieves an amicable result.

Perhaps the school did not realise the value of the Youth Arts Festival, in which case your friend could explain what it involves. Or maybe he could persuade someone from the festival to talk to his teacher.

If this kind of thing happens again, try and get the various people involved to talk to each other. When people are able to appreciate what others are doing, they are often more willing to accommodate and compromise.