Teaching staff at a primary school in Kwai Chung where a 10-year-old Law Cheuk-ki fell to her death two years ago were told not to call 999 for "non-emergency matters", an inquest heard yesterday.
Coroner Ko Wai-hung was told of the instructions yesterday while questioning Tam Chi-keung, Cheuk-ki's teacher. The student died on December 9, 2013.
The inquiry heard that notices in the teachers' office at CCC Kei Chun Primary School said staff should call St John Ambulance instead.
The coroner suggested to Tam the notices gave staff the impression they should call St John Ambulance regardless of what happened to students. Tam did not answer directly but said: "That's the [number]."
Tam said he was not aware of Cheuk-ki's fall until he looked down from the fifth floor and saw a crowd gathering on the ground floor, about half an hour after he did the roll call at 8am.
Yesterday, the inquest also heard Cheuk-ki was bullied on her school bus a month before her death. Cheung Nga-ki, one of her friends, said she teased Cheuk-ki, while others rummaged through her bag before tossing her belongings out.
The matter was settled after the students apologised, the inquest heard, although Cheung said her friend was especially quiet hours before the incident.
"I greeted her after boarding the school bus, yet she ignored me," she said, adding they would normally chat with each other.
After arriving at the school, Fu Hoi, Cheuk-ki's classmate, said she looked upset before leaving the classroom prior to the incident. Fu told the inquest he once overheard Cheuk-ki ask others if drowning was the best way to die.
On the ground floor near the playground, domestic worker Lima Evangeline Lagarta, who was sending her employer's children to school, said she heard a loud bang. "I glanced at it … It was a kid [in] her school uniform, lying down with no blood," she recalled.
The court also heard Law was given a shorter than normal haircut, before the incident.
The inquest, which is being held to discover why Cheuk-ki fell, continues today.