On 23 June, my posting: A TALIBAN SCHOOL PRINCIPAL IN OUR MIDST? invited 1943 readers and twenty comments. Two commentators said that I was too harsh on Madame Principal. They have a right to express their opinions and as such I published their comments. However that does not mean that I agree with them. On the other hand, I rejected two commentators who came in as Felix Donohue and Leonardo da Vinci. When the former addressed me as Uncle Zorro I did not read any further and deleted his comments. WHY? Bro Felix Donohue, a revered teacher who taught me Literature in SXI and who later was Karen’s principal would never address me as Uncle Zorro. In the latter, the commentator failed in the first rudiments of writing. Your first sentence either tells the reader to continue or discontinue reading. I did the latter. Good try both of you. Learn some subtlety when you come in here to engage with adults. Whilst we give as much as we take, the only tool that we have is to moderate comments and I try as much as possible to allow for free flow of dissent except racism.
In KUALA LUMPUR, Deputy Education Minister Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong said schools should not be overzealous and punish students if they attend social gatherings or events held outside the school compound.
While students should adhere to regulations if they are within the school compound, they should not be penalised if they attend social gatherings or events held outside.
He has instructed the Malacca Education Department to submit a report on the matter.
“I want to know the school’s basis and justification for imposing the punishment,” he said after chairing the MCA Youth central committee meeting at Wisma MCA.
Stephanie’s father Tan Eng Hock said the suspension was unwarranted and that the allegation was an embarrassment to his family.
I read this Malay Mail letter over brunch and thought that I it would be good closure to this topic and wish Stephanie will continue to be what she wants to be:
Nothing indecent about Stephanie’s short skirt
THURSDAY, JUNE 28, 2012
THE plight of Stephanie Tan Joo Sing who was suspended for wearing a short skirt at a school social function, outside her school premises in Malacca is worrying.
Just because one person views a certain form of dressing as inappropriate does not make it so. We can understand the school’s action if she had dressed indecently, but this doesn’t appear to be the case.
Her parents were not against her dressing and as her father said, he would not allow her to wear anything indecent.
A short skirt is worn by so many teenagers and adults in everyday life, even to work and those wearing one should not be penalised according to someone’s whims.
I find the action of the school rather harsh and not in line with the UNCRC (Convention for the Rights of Children).
The spirit of the convention, now more than 20 years old, supports the right of children to have freedom of expression and their views listened to.
The UNCRC recognises that children can make better decisions for their own lives as they mature, and that families and society must protect them even as we offer them the freedom to grow and be who they desire to be.
Stephanie Tan's school, in implementing its archaic rule, has chosen to overlook the personhood of this keen and socially motivated young lady.
Not many teenagers get involved in serving their community as Stephanie Tan has. Instead of applauding her involvement, they have chosen to traumatise her and impose their narrow views.
If these are our educators then there is little hope for our children.
I hope Stephanie knows that many of us grieve with her, at this time, for this injustice.
We hope she does not lose the desire to be who she wants to be and follows her dreams to fulfilment.
DATUK DR AMAR SINGH
SENIOR CONSULTANT COMMUNITY