Punggol Secondary clears air about video showing student being punished in school

A screengrab from a video on Facebook that showed a person punishing a student at Punggol Secondary School.
A screengrab from a video on Facebook that showed a person punishing a student at Punggol Secondary School. PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM FACEBOOK

SINGAPORE - Punggol Secondary School has confirmed that a video depicting a student being punished was filmed on its campus. But it clarified that the person shouting in the video was neither a teacher nor an instructor, but a former student who was helping out at a scouts camp.

On Sunday (March 13), a netizen had posted the video on Facebook, which showed a man or teenager yelling at a student. The video, which has since been shared more than 4,000 times, also showed the student running around a carpark in the school.

The Facebook user claimed the footage was that of an National Police Cadet Corps or National Cadet Corps "instructor" punishing and hurling vulgarities at a student. He also said the "instructor" made the student run in the rain.

Responding to queries from The Straits Times, Punggol Secondary School vice-principal, Madam Ching Lee Hoe, said that the incident took place on Sunday evening, during a scouts job week camp in school.

She was unable to provide specific ages for the parties involved.

But Madam Ching said that the person shouting in the video was an alumnus who graduated in 2011 and was assisting in the camp.

He was reprimanding the student - a Secondary 5 boy - after discovering that the latter had been smoking, she said.

"This happened while the teachers-in-charge were in the classroom counting the collections from the job week," Madam Ching wrote in an e-mail reply.

"The principal has since spoken to the alumnus to counsel him on his incorrect methods of guiding his juniors, despite his good intentions."

She also said the school will brief all alumni supporting school programmes on the "proper code of conducting" when assisting in co-curricular activities.

She added that the school is providing counselling support to the student involved to help him quit smoking.