Only a month in office, Legislative Council president Andrew Leung Kwan-yuen must be close to being fed up with his role of meeting the clashing demands of the pro-Beijing and pro-democracy camps in the chamber.
Fret not. Apart from calling time-out and changing venues to handle the disruptive behavior of cantankerous legislators, Leung could take the cue from one school in Yuen Long which has adopted a rather unusual policy on students who want to answer the call of nature while classes are going on.
Parents who have children enrolled at Bethel High School are not exactly thrilled to learn that their kids are now required to fill in a form before being allowed to go to the toilet during class.
The form is called “Notice to go to toilet during class”, and schoolkids, before rushing to the washroom, need to fill in their name, class, classroom, and time of entry in the form, which must be accomplished in two copies.
One copy should be given to the duty officer and the other left for the record of their class teacher.
The new regulation further restricts students from going to the washroom 10 minutes before and after class, which the school officials concerned probably think is the length of time that kids can still hold it without creating a stinky mess inside the classroom.
Fortunately for the kids, there is no such restriction during recess.
Weird as it may sound, the move was thought up by decent and caring educators who simply want to restore order in class, which is constantly disrupted by students going into and out of the room.
But even legislator Ip Kin-yuen, who represents the education sector, finds it hard to side with the school on this matter, pointing out that such a regulation could pose a risk to the health, not to mention hygiene, of students while increasing the administrative burden of teachers.
But if this regulation is adopted at Legco, one could immediately see the tremendous benefits that it would bring.
Imagine, no more problems about insufficient quorum when important matters are being voted on or discussed on the floor.
Considering that a growing number of legislators are behaving like primary school students anyway, perhaps someone from the pro-establishment camp (or even from the pan-democrats) should file an urgent motion calling for the institution of such a washroom policy at Legco.
Instead of letting taxi drivers seek a judicial review to disqualify a handful of pan-democrats, the Legco leadership should take it upon itself to implement this policy to bring back order to our legislature.
You probably must have notice it, too. An increasing number of local schools are imposing increasingly weird rules on students that have forced parents to take to social media to air their grievances.
One parent, for example, posted on Facebook a letter of complaint after the school headmaster asked a student to stand up throughout the session as punishment for wearing a winter uniform on Tuesday.
Apparently, the school has not decided to start its winter schedule yet, although the Hong Kong Observatory warned that the weather has turned cold early despite the so-called global warming.
In another case, six weeks ago, Belilios Public School in North Point imposed a ban on girls wearing colorful bras and conducted spot checks to see if all the girls were complying with the order.
The regulation raised not a few eyebrows as well as accusations of human rights infringement. Yes, even little girls have human rights, too, in case the school’s officials didn’t know.
The list goes on. Some schools probably have something against the world’s largest fast-food operator and banned students from going to McDonald’s for breakfast and after-school meals.
Now if they’re really concerned about the students’ health and cholesterol intake, they might as well extend the ban to cover almost all fast-food joints and snacks and bottled drinks sold in Hong Kong.
This year of the monkey is really a weird year – from odd rules emerging from the Legco oath-taking saga to the odd man being elected president somewhere.
Please, let’s try not to add to the weirdness in the world.
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