Violence in schools is still rare in Hong Kong, despite a recent case of assault, says social work expert Johnson Cheung Chun-sing.
His comments come after a student from Rosaryhill School in Happy Valley was injured on campus on Thursday. His face was gouged with a pen during a fight with a fellow student.
While it’s normal for teens to get into arguments, it’s unusual for anything more serious to occur at school – partly because of the work social workers do to keep campuses safe, says Cheung, who works in the Department of Social Work at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
“During adolescence, teenagers start to have opinions of their own. This will sometimes lead to minor pushes or fights without serious injuries,” he said.
According to a police spokesman, a fight broke out between a 16-year-old Form Three student and a 17-year-old Form Two student in a changing room.
The 16-year-old was injured on the left side of his face.
The fight stemmed from an argument over eye contact at a bus stop outside the campus on Tuesday, police said.
The school called for an ambulance at about 12.40pm. Both students were rushed to Ruttonjee Hospital in Wan Chai. The hospital listed the Form Three student as being in a serious condition on Thursday night. The other teenager had complained of pain in their face.
Police have said they are investigating a common assault case. No one has been arrested.
Cheung said that in a case like this, if the police decide to lay charges, the person may be required by the court to maintain good behaviour for a fixed amount of time, and will face a penalty if they don’t.
“Imprisonment … doesn’t help to rehabilitate young people,” said Cheung. “Instead, probation can give them a better chance to start over again.”
Meanwhile, police are looking for seven boys and three girls after a 19-year-old man was beaten and robbed on a housing estate in Tsing Yi last week.