Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Doing good and keeping a promise equally important--By Daniel Koh Kah Soon

Here is Daniel Koh's (Christian Ethicist at Trinity Theological College) response to the St. Margaret's Secondary School's hair affair, first published at Strait Times, 3rd August 2013:
ST MARGARET'S Secondary School has a well-earned reputation for providing an all-rounded education for its students, and this is why it has consistently been a school sought after by students and their parents ("Girls' bald move a no-go at school"; yesterday).

Part of the ethos of the school, in helping to form character, is for students to follow certain rules which are made known to all of them.

It is clear that the principal did not forbid the students from having their heads shaved in support of the Hair for Hope project. She supported that move. All that she asked for, and the students agreed to do so, was for them to wear wigs to school.

The students should be commended for their efforts in making a bold and bald statement supporting cancer-stricken children.

But the support can surely be given without breaking school rules, for example, at the school assembly when their efforts are acknowledged, in their classrooms when teachers can praise their stand, or in their personal conversations with their friends in and out of school.

Of course, outside of school, they can take off their wigs if they so choose.

The students who went bald deserve our praise for their brave move.

Being brave is commendable, but keeping their promise must be of equal importance.

In this case, they promised to wear wigs, and they should have done so, unless they can be excused on medical grounds.

I am a supporter of Hair for Hope. I did my small part in helping to raise awareness and in supporting children with cancer when I had my head shaved on Sunday at VivoCity.

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