Two HK schools ban Valentine’s Day events over concerns that it “could encourage dating”

Two HK schools ban Valentine’s Day events over concerns that it “could encourage dating”

Authorities at the post-secondary institutions reject 'pairing-up' activity and gift exchange that raised eyebrows

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Roses are a symbol of love. But not every school allows such obvious PDA.
Photo: Sam Tsang/SCMP

Today is Valentine’s Day, the festival of romance, dating and gift giving. While it is observed all around the world, dating is not always approved of by schools.

A pair of Valentine’s Day-themed events, organised by students, have been cancelled after their application was rejected by the school administrators, according to two statements released by the Joint Student Union of Caritas Institute of Higher Education and Caritas Bianchi College of Careers on Facebook on Sunday and Tuesday.

The student union, which represents both schools, claimed it had made several changes to its proposal in accordance with the schools’ requests, such as cancelling a planned pairing-up activity due to concerns that it could encourage dating. The planned gift exchange was also cancelled because of worries over commercialisation.

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Leeann Tong, 17 of Shatin College said that her school has organised several charity-based events like roses and chocolate sales.

“I don’t think we have any banned Valentine’s Day-related events. I don’t think our school restricts dating either, although we don’t have any dating-related events,” she said. “I think the general consensus is that as long as you manage your personal and school life well, the school will not intervene.“

The HKMA K. S. Lo College also holds social events, according to 15-year-old student Mimi Wong Wing-yan. “My school does not ban activities for Valentine’s Day. On the contrary, it encourages students to hold more activities,” she said.

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However, Mimi believes students should avoid romance because it could affect their studies. “Students who spend too much time dating may not be able to cope with their studies. As a result, their academic results will suffer.”

Jacqueline Guico from Belilios Public School says her school doesn’t have a tradition of holding events related to the festival, but she isn’t sure if the school authorities would oppose such activities.

“However, I’m sure some of my peers will be writing love letters and giving chocolates to each other,” the 19-year-old said.

Edited by M. J. Premaratne

This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
Schools snuff out Valentine’s events

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