Date
24 September 2017
Queen's College removed a sensitive question from Thursday's school referendum, sparking criticism from students. Photo: wikimedia.org
Queen's College removed a sensitive question from Thursday's school referendum, sparking criticism from students. Photo: wikimedia.org

Queen’s College under fire for referendum ‘censorship’

Queen’s College is under fire for alleged censorship after it removed a sensitive question from Thursday’s school referendum.

Some students boycotted the exercise, saying they were disappointed by the decision to withdraw an item pertaining to the ongoing street protests, Apple Daily reported Friday.

The boycott resulted in a voting rate of just 53 percent.

The referendum invited students to vote on three questions, the first two directly related to a proposed election framework by the National People’s Congress for the 2017 chief executive election.

A third question, which asked them if they support street protests to achieve democracy, was scrapped, the report said.

On Wednesday, the government school said the decision was taken after parents expressed concern about the subject and a judge ruled that the street occupation by protesters is illegal. 

Vice principal Chow Kan-hung said in a written response to the media that the school administration considered opinions from parents and educators.

Earlier reports said the decision was a compromise after the Education Bureau demanded the referendum be scrapped.

A spokesperson for the bureau denied the reports.

Of the school’s 880 students, 468 voted for a turnout rate of 53 percent compared with an 80 percent participation rate in a recent student union election.

Meanwhile, King’s College, the alma mater of Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, has ordered yellow ribbons removed from classrooms and banned political materials from the campus, the report said.

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