The principal of St Margaret's had made her stand crystal:""It's very clear in our mission: it's about their turnout as a young lady." She did not subscribe to the NGO's gimmicky call for shaved heads to raise awareness of cancer patients and, supposedly, empathise with their suffering. She was not inflexible, five girls were exempted from the ruling provided they wore lady like wigs to school. They can show off their bald pates and parade along Orchard Road if that's what tickles their youthful fancies. Only two of the five Secondary 3 students kept to their solemn undertaking. That's when the lesson in upbringing fell apart.
An animal rights activist group once wanted to make a point to protest the use of mink for ladies' fashion wear. They burned down a mink farm. Sure, they made an impact on the supply of mink fur for the business, but did they spare a thought for the lives of the furry creatures that died in the conflagration?
It was Education Minister Heng Swee Keat who used his Facebook account to announce the U-turn deal. Nobody knows if there were any midnight telephone calls to "pass the message along". While noting that the school was trying to teach how commitments are supposed to be honoured, he wrote "... there is a learning moment in every situation, in every situation we make, in every promise we pledge." And what exactly is the minister trying to teach, that it's okay to go back on your word? Youngsters should not be roped into political causes, unless they plan to be groomed as politicians with malleable principles.