20 February 2019
Students have joined pro-democracy activists in the fight for genuine universal suffrage in Hong Kong. Photo: AFP
Students have joined pro-democracy activists in the fight for genuine universal suffrage in Hong Kong. Photo: AFP

Secondary school students to join class boycott Friday

Students from over 100 secondary schools have signed up for a one-day class boycott in Hong Kong, joining university students who had already launched a one-week action to press for democratic reforms in the city, Apple Daily reported.

The class boycott Friday will mark the first-ever such action by secondary school students in the city’s history, the report noted.

Students will gather at Admiralty Centre at 9:20 am tomorrow before proceeding to the government headquarters. Lai Lok-man, a spokesperson for student activist group Scholarism, said they expect up to 2,000 students to show up at the gathering.

The group is encouraging the youth to join the protest. As for those who do not want to skip classes, they can join the assembly at government headquarters after school, it said.

Meanwhile, the police were urged to protect participating students as some pro-Beijing groups could be celebrating the handover of Hong Kong to mainland China around the same time.

In other developments, students at Buddhist Sin Tak College are said to have launched a referendum within the school, asking the pupils to vote whether they should join the classroom boycott.

Of the 900 students across the school’s secondary one to six, 182 votes were received, with 141 students supporting the boycott and 21 voting against the proposal. The rest apparently had a neutral stance.

Principal Ho Man-tim refused to comment on the voting results, saying the so-called referendum is only a channel to collect student opinions. Around ten parents have written to him confirming that their children would participate in the classroom boycott.

A secondary six student, who gave his surname as Leung, said the low voting rate is not surprising, as junior form students may not have grasped the issue as much as their senior school mates. The voting rate would climb to 40 percent if only secondary five and six students’ votes are calculated, he said.

Elsewhere, 17-year-old Alvin Wong, the secondary student who had earlier shaved his head along with Occupy Central leaders, said his actions have aroused interest among his schoolmates on the political reform issue in Hong Kong.

“Today we lost our hair, tomorrow it could be our dignity that will be at risk, and finally our freedom,” Wong said. He revealed that he secured the consent of his school principal before the head-shaving activity, and that the principal respected his freedom.

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