Police arrest father after scuffle at primary school
A man who has allegedly refused to send his Primary One son to school for nearly a month was arrested yesterday after he scuffled with school staff while demanding to see the principal.
The incident happened after the 43-year-old man met the principal at Precious Blood Primary School in Wah Fu Estate to demand a refund of meal payments since his youngest son had been absent. He was unhappy that he was given food coupons instead of cash.
The scuffle broke out when the man tried to return to the principal's room and was stopped by three caretakers.
Police said an eight-year-old girl who came out of a classroom during the scuffle was hurt. She, the man and two caretakers were treated for minor injuries. Police arrested the father and later released him on $500 bail.
The boy is the youngest child in the Aberdeen family, whose eldest boy is in Primary Six and daughter Primary Three in the same school.
Education and Manpower Bureau officials said they were considering issuing a warning or a school attendance order. A spokeswoman said a new school might be found for the boy if his parents were unhappy with the present one.
'My son [has] refused to go to school until the incident is settled,' the father said from his home at Wah Kwai Estate last night.
The boy has been kept out of school since April 27, two days after he wet his trousers in class and his substitute teacher failed to help him change his clothes.
He was among seven classmates who wanted to go to the toilet during the last lesson on April 25. He was to go in the second batch but wet himself before his turn, principal Tsang Sau-king said.
'His father accused the school of child abuse in the incident and filed a complaint,' Ms Tsang said. 'He claimed his son had a nightmare and was unable to sleep well after the incident. He then refused to send his son to school.'
She said the substitute teacher had repeatedly apologised over the incident but the father had ignored the apologies.
'We're very concerned about the well-being of the schoolboy. We have tried our best to help them through different channels,' the principal said. 'We have also offered private tutorial classes to the boy at his home but his father did not accept our help.'
Ms Tsang said the boy was in good health and he apparently received good care at home.
The school's social workers were maintaining contact with the boy and his father every day and teachers had asked his elder brother to take homework to him, but no homework was returned.
The Social Welfare Department said it did not know the family but would check what kind of service it might offer.