The exception - the community library in White Sands Shopping Mall. However the student is required to go through the process of seeking approval from HOD/Student Management, Operations Manager, Vice-Principal or Principal.
When asked by the press to comment on the rule, principal Veronica Ng responded: 'Coral Secondary places much emphasis on inculcating in our students good habits like using time prudently. As such, it is in their interest not to loiter in the malls after school.'
Where there are rules, there are always enforcers. To prove that they are really serious about it, the school assigns teachers to patrol the shopping mall and neighbouring areas after school. Any offenders caught will be sent for a two-hour detention.
Some may condemn the school for human rights violations. But alas, this is Singapore! Without a doubt, this is a definite law case in U.S., but here in Singapore, the principal is only learning from the government. The government seems to believe that the most efficient way to govern a country is by creating laws. Just tell the people how they will be punished if they attempt to do/not do some actions. It is not necessary to educate them on the why...
- Thou shalt flush the toilet after using it. Random checks are regularly conducted by the authority. Here is why for the saying "Look behind your back while you pee" in Singapore.
- Thou shalt not perform oral sex unless it is part of foreplay leading to full sex. How will the authority gets to know about this, is something I could never figure out.
- Thou shalt not possess all kinds of pornographic materials, not even for personal usage. The government appears to believe that sex should only be performed in order to produce babies, and that if you love your partner, there is no necessity for such materials. Unquestionably then, possession of pornographic materials for the purpose of masturbation is a no-no. No matter, our protective government has decided that pornographic materials are bad for decent Singaporeans, and thus should not be found on the island.
- Thou shalt not participate in any illegal gathering when the clock strikes ten. At any time after 10pm, police officers is authorised to patrol the streets to check on any group with more than two people. Regardless whether you are 18, 28, 38 or 48 years old, you must be up to no good gathering after 10pm.
Back to the school. Is that really a perfect ban? Will this ban truly ensure that the students are using their time prudently? Could the students not log into their computers and play online games with their friends in the comfort of their homes?
On top of that, where there are rules, there are always loopholes. And where there are loopholes, there are always more rules to be broken...
- Student A brings along a light set of civilian clothing in his/her school bag. If a teacher spots him/her entering a toilet in uniform but exiting in civilian clothing, can he/her be penalised? Notice that the student is no longer in school uniform. Will the rule still stand?
- Student B gets an approval to visit the community library but he/she then gives, or worse, sells the approval to Student C. Student C gets into the community library and quickly borrows a couple of books before proceeding to the fastfood restaurant. Can the teacher then penalise Student C for grabbing a bite after going to the library?
- Student D is caught in the mall by a patroling teacher, but after the two-hour detention penalise has been given to him/her, if he/she decided to stay in the mall, will double jeopardy then forbids the teacher from further penalising him/her?
For the school to set such a ban is a double-edged sword. While some students may stay "good" because the opportunity to stray has been removed from them, the ban may also be a good training ground for some students to learn how to think outside the box to outsmart the law.
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