Date
18 August 2017
The Chinese national flag rises alongside the Hong Kong flag during an official ceremony. Some Middle school students voted to cancel a national flag-raising ceremony on Tuesday. Photo: HKEJ
The Chinese national flag rises alongside the Hong Kong flag during an official ceremony. Some Middle school students voted to cancel a national flag-raising ceremony on Tuesday. Photo: HKEJ

HK middle school cancels national flag-raising ceremony

Lee Kau Yan Memorial School canceled a national flag-raising ceremony on Tuesday after students voted against it, according to Ming Pao Daily.

The students were given one hour to debate and vote after they questioned the ceremony in the wake of an abortive clear-out of protesters by the police last week in which tear gas and pepper spray were used, the report said, citing Lai Ping-wah, the school principal.

Those who voted against the ceremony spoke out against Beijing’s curbs on Hong Kong’s democratic aspirations.

Others said the ceremony is an important part of the national culture and should not be canceled, the report said.

“It’s a good education opportunity. Democracy means respect for people’s decisions but it needs rational discussion,” Lai said.

In other schools, students wore masks, skipped the flag-raising ceremony or refused to sing the national anthem as a show of support for their peers who have been demonstrating for democracy for more than a week.

The Hong Kong government requires all schools to hold national flag-raising ceremonies six times each year to mark important events such as the Chinese National Day and New Year’s Day, the report said.

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