Don't encourage bad behaviour from youth

I am trying to understand what happened at Hong Lim Park on Sunday ("'Free Amos Yee' event at Hong Lim Park"; Monday).

A group of people of a religion have been targeted and subjected to verbal abuse.

Those who took offence are seen to be not behaving in a mature manner.

This suggests that those who had taken offence are in the wrong, for they should not have been offended at all.

What happens, then, when other youth target the poor, a group of people of another race, or the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) group with expletive-laden videos ?

Should they, therefore, not take offence, too, because according to one of the speakers at the event, Community Action Network member Jolovan Wham, "expressing a point of view is not wrong, unless you're doing it to incite violence"?

What do these supporters of "Free Amos Yee" suggest is the best course of action for the youth?

A pat on his back? An apology from the authorities?

Many youth in Singapore work hard to exercise self-control and to behave well.

What kind of Singapore do we want our children and grandchildren to inherit in the decades to come?

A country of respectful individuals who value decency, honour and integrity, or a country that is disorderly, malfunctioning and prone to riots?

The young are watching us.

Grace Chua Siew Hwee (Madam)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 08, 2015, with the headline 'Don't encourage bad behaviour from youth'. Print Edition | Subscribe