Hundreds of secondary school students protested against Hong Kong’s anti-mask law on Tuesday in a show of solidarity with schoolmates arrested during the ongoing citywide protests. Forming human chains and staging sit-ins, students across the city voiced support for peers arrested under the law since its introduction on Saturday. Stoking students’ anger and prompting calls for a boycott of classes, the city’s Education Bureau demanded schools to provide a “rough impression” of the number of students wearing masks to school. The bureau on Tuesday night said most of the 440 schools they contacted said a minority of students wore masks today. Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor introduced the law in a bid to quell violent protests , which were triggered by the now-withrdrawn extradition bill and have gripped the city for almost four months. Breaking the new law would carry a prison sentence of up to one year and a fine of HK$25,000 (US$3,187). One of the youngsters arrested was a 12-year-old from CCC Kei Long College in Yuen Long, who was detained in Causeway Bay on Sunday night. The girl was seen shivering in video clips widely circulated online when she was arrested along with at least 20 other protesters. “How can the police apply such tremendous force on a 12-year-old pupil?” said a student who helped organise Tuesday’s sit-in at the college, where 106 students and 12 alumni took part. “Even though she was shivering, she never said she was afraid,” the student said, declining to be named. About 150 students formed a human chain outside Christ College in Sha Tin at 7:45 am. Video: SCMP/Kelly Ho pic.twitter.com/wLoCiHOsPu — SCMP Hong Kong (@SCMPHongKong) October 8, 2019 Another student, who wished to remain anonymous, said despite the girl’s parents and school requesting her immediate release, she “will likely remain” in police custody until 48 hours after her arrest – the maximum time police can keep a person without laying charges. CCC Kei Long College principal Lo Shiu-ming said the school knew about the sit-in beforehand, and that appropriate arrangements would be made in response to students’ actions. “We all hope [the student] will be fine,” Lo said. At Christ College in Sha Tin, where 10 students were arrested in recent protests, about 150 students and 10 alumni formed a human chain outside the nearby Pok Hong Estate. Students planned to make paper cranes, a symbol of hope, in support of their arrested schoolmates. Christ College students opted not to wear masks because they feared repercussions of violating the new law, said Tam Siu-ching, 16. Hong Kong protests: economy lost an estimated HK$2.8 billion over ‘golden week’, experts say “We are here to support our schoolmates but because there are many of us, I think it is better to not wear a mask,” he said. A Form Five student surnamed Kwong, 16, who did wear a mask to the human chain, said he was arrested on Sunday night near Sha Tin City Hall for vandalism, theft and unlawful assembly. Kwong denied taking part in any illegal activity, saying he was playing video games with a friend and started running when he saw about 100 riot police officers approaching. Kwong said his hands were tied behind his back for more than 20 minutes and police officers searched his bag. He said he heard police referring to arrested protesters as “cockroaches” and yelling foul language. “The officers said a lot of insulting things to us,” Kwong said. Vans sneakers pulled from sale in Hong Kong after protest-themed shoe contest designs removed by company, sparking backlash Meanwhile on Tuesday, about 80 masked students gathered at Shau Kei Wan Government Secondary School for a silent sit-in. A concern group from Lok Sin Tong Ku Chiu Man Secondary School, in Kwai Chung, said about 40 students had planned to boycott classes. At St Antonius Girls’ College in Yau Tong, about 300 students wore masks to show their support. The Education Bureau had asked principals to estimate the number of students who wore masks or boycotted classes on Tuesday, but a secondary school source said not all schools complied, with some just giving a rough description. At Fanling Kau Yan College, Principal Veronica Yau Kit-ying said instead of handing over an approximate number of students who wore masks, her school only told the bureau there were “no abnormalities” on Tuesday. She said she considered counting the number of masked students was “rather meaningless”. Hong Kong protest crisis extends to schools with student actions across city “If [the bureau] really wanted to better understand students’ reactions, they could have easily gotten a grasp from the scenes [of protests] on TV over the past three days,” she said. The bureau on Tuesday said it had contacted and received a response from about 440 secondary schools about their “overall situation”. “Most of the schools reported that a minority of their students wore masks,” the bureau’s statement said, adding that the operation of all the schools was mostly smooth despite some students boycotting classes. Several tertiary institutions, meanwhile, cancelled classes on Tuesday evening, including Chinese University in Sha Tin, Baptist University in Kowloon Tong and Education University in Tai Po. Some of the schools cited “disruption of transport services” or “take care of students’ safety” as the reason for the cancellations.