St Paul’s Co-educational College (SPCC) students have been officially warned that organising or participating in illegal public demonstrations is a breach of school rules.
The elite school’s management committee sent a letter to parents yesterday via the school’s intranet, of which they were asked to acknowledge receipt. The letter read: “The Council of SPCC urges the school to remind all students [that they] are not allowed to hold or participate in unlawful public rallies or assemblies both on and off campus. This is to ensure students are able to concentrate on their studies in a safe and undisturbed environment.
“No one is allowed to use the school as a platform to declare their own political stances or ideologies, or hold relevant activities without the school’s written consent,” it added. “Anyone acting against these rules would be considered as violating the school rules, and subject to disciplinary actions.”
In response, SPCC’s anti-government student concern group on their Instagram account late last night urged their fellow schoolmates to not get their parents to sign the letter. As of 12.30pm today, the concern group had not responded to Young Post’s enquiry.
The letter also stated that the school was “extremely concerned” about the silent sit-in which was held last Monday at its entrance, and which was attended by more than 50 masked protesters, including current students in uniform. “Even though it was a peaceful [demonstration], it was already considered illegal according to Hong Kong’s present [emergency law]. It was fortunate that no students were arrested,” it says.
The Council claimed they’d already been in contact with some students to discuss school activities that can be organised to help them understand the causes and effects of the city’s social unrest, and carry out rational discussions about it in a respectable environment.
The Council also said they hoped none of the school’s stakeholders - alumni, parents, financial supporters and so on - would cut ties with, or leave the school because of their disagreement with the school’s policy and education philosophy.
According to local media Sing Tao Daily, sources revealed that Paul Kwong the Archbishop of the Anglican Church in Hong Kong, the Sheng Kung Hui, would be meeting the heads of the church’s primary and secondary schools, which includes SPCC, early next month. The meeting is expected to cover how its schools should deal with recent social disputes.