• Mon
  • Dec 22, 2014
  • Updated: 2:21am

Appalled by school pupils' behaviour

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 01 October, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 30 September, 2013, 11:26pm

Last Friday, my friends and I attended the Globe Theatre's production of The Taming of the Shrew. We thought we had ideal seats - the middle of Row E of the dress circle - but no. We were virtually surrounded - in front, behind, and to the right - by students apparently from Sha Tin College.

Throughout the first half, these rude teenagers talked non-stop, which included those in front talking to those behind; moved forwards, backwards and sideways; played with mobile phones; passed pens to each other to fill in their rustling worksheets; and crunched crisps non-stop. Our glares and occasional whispered request for better behaviour were futile.

The first half of our evening was a waste of HK$600 each.

At the interval, we looked for their teacher. However, such a person was conspicuous by their absence, either because they genuinely weren't there, or because they were embarrassed by their students' unacceptable behaviour and their own inability to control it.

At this time, one of my friends asked for the name of the school from a boy in front.

If he deliberately gave us the wrong name, I apologise to the Sha Tin College community.

Fortunately, for our equanimity and enjoyment of an excellent and thought-provoking production, we were able to move to other seats for the second half. However, this should not have been necessary. Attending any professional theatre is a privilege and comes with certain responsibilities. These students did not display any sense of this privilege or any understanding of their responsibilities as members of the audience.

We are not old fuddy-duddies. My friends and I are all experienced secondary teachers. We work with teenagers daily.

Between us, we have taken students to numerous theatrical performances in many countries. Our students are told what is acceptable and unacceptable behaviour. They are not given worksheets to fill in during the performance, even if the performance is specifically for schools.

Teenagers are able to sit through a Shakespearean play without behaving as if they were at home. Unfortunately these students could not.

Until and unless they are able to do so, I suggest that the school does not inflict its students' poor behaviour on Hong Kong's theatre-loving public.

I also suggest that theatres do not sell block bookings of tickets to schools when seats within those blocks have already been sold to the public.

Julie Moffat, Ma On Shan


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This article is now closed to comments

All patrons have the right to enjoy the performance. If others disturb their right, they ought to be rejected, let alone sit apart.
Should not the teachers have brought some order? It is their failing if they did not, since we are asked to forgive teenage behavior.
SCMP- I have a problem with your commentary section.
1. Sometimes the section is blank, and after one writes, you find a number of articles which are already there, and you would have written differently if you had read them first.
2. Sometimes no boxes for Like, Dislike, Reply appear, so you have to write a new commentary because you are unable to respond to existing comments.
3. After you have written, and you get a reply that your comment has been 'posted', it is baffling when you can't find it, even after several tries over a length of time.
4. And if you open the article again from the source, none of your recent posts appear, although some might if you clicked on 'all comments'.
5. Please will you adjust all this? And when a comment is 'posted', please make it stick, however and wherever you open the article from.
Thank you.
Good. Bad behavior on the part of students started it, and lack of intervention by teachers if they were there.
Very commendable, robin86259.
If teachers were present and didn't control them, and teenagers according to some correspondents are justifiably excitable and 'young', who else is responsible and therefore worthy of blame? Shouldn't they be doing their job, or isn't proper behavior important in the school? Naming it is not a fault, misbehavior is, and, don't worry, all readers know that it is not the entire school.
Shrews played off stage in interactive education
by copycat “international” scholarisms
democrazy coming home to roost
thru practical experiments in “liberal” education
Good. The students did that to themselves.



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