Madness of Mong Kok may move to school gates

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 07 August, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 07 August, 2013, 8:49am

The head of the Fanling primary school where controversial teacher Alpais Lam Wai-sze works fears a repeat of Sunday's chaotic scenes in Mong Kok - only this time much closer to home.

People have already been hanging banners for and against Lam outside the school and inundating its office with e-mails and phone calls to vent their opinions, said Wendy Fung Man-yi, principal of Pui Ling School of the Precious Blood.

Sunday's mayhem from two conflicting rallies was sparked by a video online that shows Lam shouting abuse at police officers over their handling of an earlier dispute between the Falun Gong and the Youth Care Association.

There was fighting and verbal abuse as supporters and opponents of Lam took to the streets.

Fung said she worried about pupils' safety if the conflict moved to the school gates at the start of the new term in September.

She said the school was already seeking help from the Education Bureau and psychologists for advice on possible solutions.

"Our parents have been very reasonable and understanding," said Fung.

"But we have no idea what people outside are capable of. They haven't left any space for the school or given any concern about our children."

Lam has apologised to her school, the pupils and their parents twice since the video gained public attention.

Fung said the school had accepted Lam's apology and called on the rest of society to give the school and Lam space to recover.

"The attention has had a huge impact on us and Ms Lam," she said. "We hope we can help her through this."

She said the school council would be discussing the issue further, and a meeting would be held with parents.

Educational psychologist Lam Shui-fong said the crisis could be turned into an opportunity to teach children how to respect, apologise, forgive and move on - if the school manages it properly. "Other people should leave them alone so they can turn the crisis into something good," she said.