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Heng Swee Keat: Parents must show graciousness and respect for rules

Posted by temasektimes on September 13, 2012

Education Minister Heng Swee Keat has lashed out at the mother who filed a police report after her Primary Six son’s hair was forcefully cut by his teacher.

Speaking at the Ministry of Education Work Plan Seminar on Wednesday, Heng said that the child was reminded repeatedly to trim his hair, and when that failed, the school sent a letter to the parent.

“The mother’s response was that her son was dyslexic and therefore forgetful. Dyslexic people are not forgetful….As one writer put it in a media commentary, by raising such a hullabaloo, ‘the mother… did herself and her son no favours’,” he added.

Heng also recalled an incident where a father went to him for help and began his comments with expletives about the teachers in his son’s school.

“If parents do not show graciousness to others and respect for rules, our young will not do so either. Soon, discipline will be eroded, the tone in our schools will deteriorate, and the tone in our society too,” Heng pointed noted.


35 Responses to “Heng Swee Keat: Parents must show graciousness and respect for rules”

  1. P Koh said

    Very simple to handle. Break the rules despite warnings given, expel student from school and see how the parents are going to react. If parents condone such behaviour, then let the parents teach their child at home.

    • compatriot said

      Heng Swee Keat you are a disgrace to society.being the Education Minister Singaporeans must aked for your resignation. In short,and in all legal framework you had encouraged “CHILD ABUSE” and espoused force and brutality with exploitation and manipulation the rights of that schoolgoing boy

      Whoever that teacher was,has committed ‘CHILD ABUSE’ and must be taken to task and since a police report were made the police must take actions

      • Duckula said

        Wat cock r u tolking!!!! Wat child abuse? Very puzzle. Simple English you cannot understand. Students who break rules will have to be disciplined and teachers who commit wrongful/criminal acts will have to be dealt with. In this case, the student should be sacked or caned despite several warnings. His consent was sought b4 cutting his hair. Go and read the newspaper and understand the situation b4 disgracing yourself here.

      • Poor Man said

        Compatriot must be the kind who would rather congratulate the child for being rebellious. Sounds very PRC to me.

      • Singaporean said


        What the Hell you’re talking about??! You’re then the disgrace to the society!! The mother complaint because the trim from the principle ruined her son’s $60 haircut.

        Any student who chooses to ignore the school rules repeatedly, SHOULD be punished.

        If everyone thinks like you, there goes the future of Singapore. No respect, no quality and full of craps.

      • compatriot said


        “Obvioulsly it seems that you are not a respectable person at all”

        Singaporeans are civic minded people.When you flagrantly demeans the democratic principles with physical force of that living person (an adolescence) which is obviously an outright demeanour and is downright questionable

        This outrage has taken place in one of a forming “LEARNING INSTITUTION’ which is disgraceful and must be ensure that there is no recurrence

        A police report were made and must be carried out and be corrected
        All for the name sake of “DEMOCRACY”

    • Duckula said


      Wat respect r u demanding here? I don’t need your respect. U r the 1st who accuse of minister’s wrong doing and asking him to step down, with your unsound logical reasoning.
      Is this how u earn yr respect….rofl

      A pot calling a kettle black!!! Roll eyes!!!

      You put up an accusation without supporting evidences & expect others to accept your statement.
      Democracy… foot!!!

      • P Koh said

        You are dead right to say that “Respect begets respect” but if the child and his parents do not respect the school’s rules and regulations then what respect are you talking about. To exaggerate a situation of a hair-cut and called it “CHILD ABUSE” is abominable and if no discipline is exercised at this level of education, I am afraid the child may turn out to be a misfit in society when he finishes school. If parents cannot teach values at home at least respect the values that are being taught in schools.

  2. James said

    school should ban the child to attend school before the exam n not exercise disciplinary at the exam

    • compatriot said

      Ban that child if you may,”BUT YOU CANNOT TAKE THE LAW INTO YOUR OWN HANDS’ No body or any institution,corporate or otherwise is above the law

      A danger has be posed to that kid and he could be psychologically victimised

  3. NaBey said

    If parent don’t complaint about teachers, then more and more teacher will start oral sex with the boys, then how??

    • Goondu said

      That is the DUMBEST reply I ever heard in my life.

    • P Koh said

      Please do not confuse the issue. Your comment is most unwarranted. This case involves discipline and if the parents were notified by letter and refused to abide by the rules, then the action by the teacher is not wrong.

    • U Like Pinoy Slums?! said

      U “Chui Gong Lum Par Song” is it?! Are you jealous of that young boy?

    • cow138 said

      that’s just a ridiculous comment. way to go Mr Heng. you got my respect. Parents sometimes are just blinded by their children and tend to spoil them.

      Last time, teacher cane student, parent come to school to thank the teacher.

    • Duckula said

      Wat talking U? Here is a simple case where a boy broke school rules despite reminders. Wat has this case got to do with teacher committing wrongful act. Is the minister stopping you from reporting?

      If U are the victim, my advice to you: Pls report before your small birdie got bitten off.

    • NaBey said

      Stress …. people now no sense of humor.

  4. Goh Tong Seng said

    This is the problem with parents who think they’re bigger that the school.

    • Bai Hu said

      Yes, totally agree with u. Just have a friend who is a elite primary school teacher. She told me that the kids are good to handle, but the parents are the nuts that are hard to crack.

      • P Koh said

        Children listens to teachers more than their parents in most cases. Teachers are important as they shape our lives from very tender ages and they make an impact on children for years to come even in adulthood. Some parents are too busy making a living and believe that the teachers are entrusted to look after the education of their children and they will be quick to attach blame on them when something goes amiss. They forgot that the education system is there to ensure that the child receives proper education and guidance in life and that as parents their role is equally important if not more important as what they teach their child at home goes further than education itself.

  5. U Like Pinoy Slums?! said

    Another Ugly Singaporean in the making! See for yourselves…That’s Singaporean! Only know how to complain about others…look at yourself! tsk tsk tsk!

  6. Free Trolley said

    some constructive comments from the MP

  7. Cecil Chua said

    Umm… so it is ok for a teacher to apply physical force on a child when the child is not a danger to himself or others? Isn’t this blaming the victim? Lets tell the rape victims they shouldn’t say bad things about the rapists, or burglary victims they shouldn’t say bad things about the burglars!

    That the child committed an inappropriate behavior does not mean the teacher should have forcibly cut the child’s hair. The parent should file a police report on this.

    I am reminded of the early days of Singapore, when men had their hair forcibly cut at the airport if it was too long.

    • Duckula said

      Wat U mentioned is totally a different case. In this case, the boy’s consent was sought b4 the teacher cut his hair.

      Precisely with this type of attitude from parents, the discipline in schools has gone down the drain. School P are so scare of complaints and their KPI are at stake. The school should do it: After 2 warnings, sack the child. To that parent who complained, go private school or coach on your own lah. Don’t let your spoilt brag have bad influence on other students!!!

      • Singaporean said

        I like what you said Duckula!

        It’s so true!! This kind of parents should let their spoiled brats go to private schools, or homeschooling!

        Don’t want to respect school, principle and teachers, these people should just go elsewhere. And not to influence other good, well-behaved students.

        Wait till they’re old and their spoiled brats ignore them and put them into nursing home.

    • compatriot said

      Perhaps the LAW SOCIETY OF SINGAPORE could help whether the Education Minister comments and the actions of that physical force taken by that relevant shool is within their rights of the laws and by-laws.”By taken the laws into their own hands”

      I want a kind of Singapore that our Statute of Institutions is not trigger happy by taking the laws into their own hands

  8. Maximus said

    I agree with James. The school should just not allow the student to come to school until he had his haircut instead of forcefully cutting his hair.

    Both sides should learn something from this episode.

  9. Fed Up Singaporean said

    Heng Swee Keat : Welcome to North-korean-style Singapore! Enjoy your stay here

  10. spotlessleopard said

    Looks like Teachers, Principles, and people in Authoritative Posns. are exemplted from this graciousness and has free reign to “assault” or “punish” people who do not fit the “Athoritative desired” mold.

    • Jack Sparrow said

      people like you will make a great parent. your kids will grow to be spoilt brats like you.

      teacher cane my child for bad behaviour, i will thank the teacher.

      people like you, will complain to police. tsk tsk tsk

  11. George Ng said

    We finally have a minister who talks sense, after so many weeks of cow peh cow bu from others.

  12. P Koh said

    If you have watched this evening’s “National Conversation” the example cided by Minister Heng about the mother who insisted that her child beats the queue at the toilet and when reminded that her teacher said not to do so, the mother threatened to slap the child. Another incident which I personally witnessed at a restaurant was a mother telling her daughter to study hard or she will become a waitress like the one in the restaurant. What happened to “Education” in Singapore? The end of education is Character and obviously some parents are unfortunately missing it. We can see some of the postings here and indeed it is really very sad.

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