Father served attorney’s letter alleging false information about bullying incident, says St Joseph’s College

Wong Yuen-fan, Rector of St. Joseph’s College. Archive photo. Archive photo. previous next

A protesting parent spread false information about how St. Joseph’s College dealt with a fight in which his son was injured, principal Wong Yuen-fan said, adding the school had sent a lawyer’s letter to the father.

The father, named Lam, arrived at central government offices on Thursday and asked for a “direct dialogue” with Education Minister Christine Choi Yuk-lin after another person protested outside the school last month.

Lam accused the school of failing to properly handle the issue, as one teacher stood by without intervening at the time. He also criticized the school for not taking his son to a medical room for treatment or evaluation, in violation of guidelines issued by the Bureau of Education.

He was wearing a white T-shirt with the words “Zero Tolerance for School Violence” written in red.

The brawl first broke out last November when Lam’s son, a junior high school student, tried to reclaim lunch money from a senior high school student but was attacked instead. Lam’s son suffered a dislocated tooth – meaning one of his teeth became loose, moved out of its normal position and showed signs of post-traumatic stress disorder after the fight.

With controversy brewing for months, the school finally responded to the matter yesterday (Fri). Principal Wong said Lam’s statements to the media were untrue and the school sent Lam a lawyer’s letter to stop him from making false claims.

“We want this matter to be resolved peacefully and rationally,” Wong said.

Referring to surveillance camera video circulating online, Wong said the rugby team’s teacher did not separate the two students in time as he was still recovering from an operation completed months ago.

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The teacher immediately instructed two other students to intervene and immediately gave first aid to the injured student.

“I texted the students and parents involved that evening and contacted various stakeholders including legal experts and the bureau the next morning,” Wong added.

Noting that the 14-year-old student bully was well behaved at school, Wong proactively suggested apologizing to Lam’s son, believing he did not commit the bullying on purpose.

She also said the punishment was in line with Bureau policy and had a deterrent effect. She emphasized that the students should be given a chance for rehabilitation.

The student was arrested for assault and warned by a police commissioner. He was also suspended from school for three days and five disciplinary points were deducted.