Monday, 28 September 2009

Young and Brash

Talking about making mistakes when you are young, saturday's TNP reported an act of mischief committed by some school kids.

11 teenagers in school uniform boarded bus 62 along sengkang east drive (what school what school??) at about 1:30pm and they went to the upper deck. they were so rowdy that the bus driver could hear them from his seat. then suddenly, his emergency exit window light came on so he stopped the bus and went up to check. the 11 SGNs were seated on the back row. when he realised that the bus number plate on the window was missing, he asked them about it but they kept quiet. so he went down the bus and check the road behind the bus. to his horror, he saw a bus seat lying on the road!! it's 50cm by 40cm and weighed about 1 kg. the SGNs had flung a 1 kg bus seat (i don't know how the seat cushion came lose...) out of the rear bus window from the upper deck!!! can you imagine if a motor-cyclist is behind??? they could have potentially hurt someone!!! as a result, all the passengers had to be transferred to another bus. of cos everyone was upset because some would be late for afternoon shift.

so what happened to the SGN who did it? he cried and said he was remorseful (ya right), got a scolding from his discipline master, was made to reflect about his actions and write an apology letter to SBS. father will bring him to personally apologise to the bus captain.

that's it? he was let off just like that? -.- chris and i couldn't believe it. no caning? no corrective work order?

the chinese have a saying "子不教,父之過。教不嚴,師之惰" which means, "if someone is not educated (not academically per se, it includes manners, piety, social graciousness etc), it's his father's fault. if the teaching is not strict, the teacher is lazy."

chris said if he was the principal, he would have given the parents two choices: 1. public caning in school plus record 2. clean bus seats every weekend for 3 months under parental supervision (i.e. parents also have to do). sounds reasonable to me. the first one will be really painful for the kid but it's one-off and parents won't malu. the second one is not so painful but it's hardwork and parents malu together. so if the parent can't bear to let the kid kena whacked and bring that record to JC or poly, they will have to malu together with their kid lor.

this reminds me of another incident in the papers about some youth who went to other people's graves and took photos of themselves in offensive poses. the families of the bereaved whose tombs have been "defiled" were obviously upset. and the youth were let off with just some warning. again, they were "remorseful"...

what kind of signal are we sending to the youth? that they can get away with serious mischief because they "cried and felt remorseful"? that's just not right. every action has consequences and they too, should bear the consequences of their actions.