St. Paul’s Secondary School has apologised for an incident last month whereby they called the police over a group of Form 6 students taking photos on their last day of school.

Students at the Happy Valley school were taking photos on February 28 outside the school premises. However, several teachers asked them to stop, and then called the police to demand that the group leave.

The school claimed the group was noisy and, according to a complaint letter written by the parents of one of the students, a teacher had accused them of blocking the road. When police officers arrived on the scene, they reassured the students and left.

St. Paul's Secondary School
St. Paul’s Secondary School. Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Exploringlife.

Traditionally, Form 6 students stay late at the school and take photos on their final day. The incident last month sparked an outcry as a group of students launched a petition urging the school to host a public forum and explain.

The school issued a statement on Monday on its website: “The School would like to extend our apology to all stakeholders who might be troubled and disturbed by the captioned incident,” it said. “We will also thoroughly evaluate arrangements for various student activities to ensure that they can be conducted smoothly in the future.”

“Moreover, the teacher involved deeply apologizes for the hasty decision in calling the police.”

St. Paul's Secondary School
Photo: Screenshot.

It came after a statement was issued on March 1 in which the school said it had stressed to the teacher involved that management should be consulted before the police are contacted. But it stopped short of an apology.

The school also arranged an open day last Saturday for Form 6 students to take photos.

The school’s principal – Law Siu-wing – is the first man to head the school, which opened in 1960.

Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.