I-Word Day

HK Magazine - - NEWS -

Ed­u­ca­tion au­thor­i­ties have re­leased a clar­i­fi­ca­tion to their warn­ing that teach­ers could be fired for dis­cussing the con­cept of Hong Kong in­de­pen­dence in class, say­ing in­stead that they might be dis­ci­plined. We’ve been rum­mag­ing through the bins of the Ed­u­ca­tion Depart­ment, and we’ve found a cou­ple of dis­carded drafts of an in­ter­nal memo...

Dear all school prin­ci­pals,

Any dis­cus­sion of the “I-word” on school prop­erty or within school hours will re­sult in im­me­di­ate dis­ci­plinary action against the teacher re­spon­si­ble. Staff and stu­dents may no longer say or spell the word, or en­gage in oblique dis­cus­sions of the mat­ter.

Ad­di­tion­ally, here are sev­eral more items that Hong Kong teach­ers are no longer al­lowed to dis­cuss openly with stu­dents.

• The con­cept that Sin­ga­pore is a nicer place than

Hong Kong.

• The words “suf­frage,” “vote,” and “elec­tion.” • Phrases such as “air­port bag­gage se­cu­rity.”

It has also come to our at­ten­tion that “con­cepts” and “ideas” are dan­ger­ous things that can un­der­mine the in­ter­nal safety and se­cu­rity of Hong Kong. Fur­ther­more, “dis­cus­sions” can of­ten lead to dishar­mony within so­ci­ety, so we are con­sid­er­ing phas­ing th­ese out in class. “Ques­tions,” in par­tic­u­lar, fly in the face of ev­ery­thing this ad­min­is­tra­tion stands for. There­fore, from the fol­low­ing school year we will be phas­ing out all ques­tions that do not ap­pear on gov­ern­ment-man­dated tests.

Mean­while, dic­tio­nar­ies in schools will be up­dated to re­flect this new di­rec­tion. All in­stances of the “I-word” will be re­moved, and cer­tain def­i­ni­tions will be ad­justed. For in­stance, the noun “syco­phant” will hence­forth be de­fined as “a strong, heroic fig­ure; man or woman of im­pec­ca­ble virtue.” The en­try for the verb “to lie” will be changed to more appropriately read “to ex­press an idea with honor and in­tegrity.”

Please make sure that all of your staff are aware of th­ese changes, ef­fec­tive im­me­di­ately.

And go team!

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