It all started when a Secondary 2 boy used his iPhone in school during school hours. That is against the school rules, which state that the school will confiscate the phone if students are found to have used their phones in school during school hours. According to the school rules, the school will hold the phone for three months.
But the parent of this student wasn’t happy about what the school did. That very night, the parents of that boy sent the school an email with four reasons why the school ought to return the handphone to the boy. When that email didn’t yield the desired results, the boy’s parents got a lawyer to send the school a letter of demand. When the school still didn’t budge, the parents took the school to court.
Thankfully, the school wasn’t cowed
The principal stood by his principles and still refused to return the phone to the boy. And the principal was rewarded for doing so when the boy’s parents decided to drop the case. Even better, the court has ordered the parents to pay legal costs.
Hopefully, other parents will see this case as an example of what NOT to do. By and large, our schools have rules that are fairly reasonable. These rules are in place generally for the welfare and wellbeing of students. Also, they are there to help the students learn discipline.
So when students break rules, they need to face consequences. But if their parents come and bail them out every time they get into trouble, then they will never learn that lesson. And what will happen when they grow up? They will think that they can break rules, break laws and get away with it because daddy and mummy will be there to raise hell just so that they can get away scot free.
But daddy and mummy won’t always be there
And there will be some situations so serious that daddy and mummy can’t help with. Then how?
If the parents were just ruining the life of their own children, perhaps that’s fine. What’s worse is that such parents are also adversely affecting other children. If a student sees his classmate getting away with breaking the rules just because their parents scream a bit louder, what will they think? They’ll think that they can disregard the rules too. Do we really want to live in a society without rules?
So hopefully with the parents dropping this case and being ordered to pay costs, other parents will learn that they should work WITH teachers, not against them. And hopefully, the boy, who has since changed schools, will learn his lesson. More importantly, hopefully other students will learn the right lessons – that if they break the rules, they have to face the consequences, and can’t depend on their parents to help them get away scot free.
Let’s hope there won’t be another case as ludicrous as this in Singapore.