Asia Singapore RGS girls who ‘prayed’ to Athena statue in school will not be...

RGS girls who ‘prayed’ to Athena statue in school will not be punished

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No disciplinary action was meted to a group of Raffles Girls` School (RGS) students who were captured in photos allegedly “dancing, chanting and praying” to a statue of Greek goddess Athena located on the school’s premises.

In responding to media queries by Yahoo News Singapore, RGS principal Haslinda Zamani confirmed that an incident involving a “small group” of Year 1 students had caused some disruption to ongoing classes at the end of term 1 of the school year. “Following this, the (head of year) sent an email to the Year 1 cohort on the incident, to encourage the students involved to take responsibility,” Haslinda said. She also said that the school’s approach has always been to have “open and honest conversations” with its girls, and to support “reflection and learning in a safe space”.

Last week, screenshots of an email, as well as a photo attachment depicting the incident, purportedly circulated to all first-year RGS students and form teachers went viral on social media.

The screenshots of the alleged correspondence – which was not dated – showed that it was signed off by a Kamsir, who identified as the school’s head for first-year students, and attached with a photo of the incident.

The school’s website listed a “Nora Kamsir” as its head for first-year students. In them, the school staff member purportedly wrote that a group of students had chosen to act on their “frustrations and anxiety over the pen-and-paper assessments (PPAs) by dancing, chanting and praying” to the statue of Athena.

The alleged email continued to say the “unbecoming behaviour” had tarnished the reputation of all RGS students, noting that the group had not demonstrated the school values of “Principled” and “People Centredness” and “have instead demonstrated Self Centredness”. “Know that pictures of your actions have gone viral online and have caused the online community to have a negative impression of all RGS girls. This is unfair to RGS girls past and present,” the screenshots read.

The alleged email ended with a request to the students against circulating photos of the incident “online or otherwise” as “enough damage has been done”.

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