Monday, November 14, 2016

Raymond Anthony Fernando’s letter to The New Paper: BOY ATTACKED BY PEERS - Students must be caned, counselled

My press letter on the above subject is published in The New Paper today, Mon 14 Nov 2016 on page 19. Alongside my letter is another letter from TNP reader who says” Punish teen attackers under criminal law."

Do read my footnote as well.


Raymond Anthony Fernando

What is happening in our schools these days?   Educators and parents have their hands full with cases of students misbehaving.

First, students were caught taking upskirting images of their teachers, and now there is this case of a student being bashed up.

This unfortunate incident does not put the school in good light and as a former student of this school, I am disturbed. The worrying question is:  What would have happened if this incident had not been captured on video?

The attackers must be disciplined and caned. 

In addition, all the students involved must receive in-dept counselling and be closely monitored.

Their parents should also be involved in their rehabilitation.

And experts from the Institute of Mental Health should be invited to educate everyone involved on how to manage conflict.


Footnote:  During my school days under the guidance of the late Francis Thomas, Principal of SAS and discipline master Vivian Quek and Yee Teck Peng who was in charge of the boarding school in St Andrews, we received holistic education that was bordered on Christian values.  Thomas loved his students and would not hesitate to cane any of them if they stepped way out of line. We all learnt about the values of sports, discipline, and the importance of doing social and community work. Although all these 3 educators enforced strict discipline, they always had the welfare of their students and the community within the school in mind when carrying out their tasks.   This was how I got involved in doing community work. We reached out to the poor in Potong Pasir and I have fond memories of the school.

The pastors of this school should reinforce living values to the students during chapel sessions, giving a big no, no, to violence.

Yee who is now retired and still very much active in the school activities is responsible for an E-newsletter that reaches out to old boys and current students of SAS. He should be invited to give  pep talks to the students periodically so that they channel their energy through meaningful purposes such as sports and reaching out to the elderly by sprucing up their homes. This is where the District Mayors and MPs can have collaborative efforts to ensure that our seniors are not neglected, but cared for in their twilight years. 
I would like to see the day arrive when media reports of social problems are published and civil servants and policy makers make the effort to give a helping hand before being asked to do so.

Now that is what I call a proactive, inclusive and gracious society.  

Will that day arrive?

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