Hong Kong protest: Schools close as disruptions continue

After initially refusing to close schools, the Education Bureau has suspended all classes on Thursday

Joanne Ma |

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Students block their school’s entrance.

The Education Bureau has announced that all schools will be closed on Thursday after three days of citywide strikes led by anti-government protesters.

Schools remained open on Wednesday, despite major traffic disruptions, prompting some students to protest outside their schools.

Around 40 students gathered at Lui Cheung Kwong Lutheran College early Wednesday morning, where they used rubbish and barriers to block the school entrance. They did so to urge the school to suspend classes.

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“I was sitting on the ground at the back gate, trying to block the cars from entering our school,” Leo Lee, a 15-year-old student at the school, told Young Post.

“I just wanted the school to close down, especially after what had happened at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) on Tuesday,” he said.

He was referring to the intense, hours-long clashes at CUHK on Tuesday, where riot police stormed the campus, and fired tear gas and projectiles at student protesters. Protesters also put up roadblocks, and threw bricks and Molotov cocktails at the police. Lee said other students at his school had to squeeze through the blockades to enter the school, until staff eventually removed the barricades.

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He added that the students had wanted to speak to the principal, Christina Fong, but she did not come to meet them. Around 9am, the school called parents to take their children home.

On Wednesday morning, the Education Bureau said that school campuses would remain open, but parents could decide to keep their children home for safety reasons.

The Bureau added that schools should ensure there were enough staff to oversee any students who turned up. Several concern groups have been urging schools to shut since Tuesday.