The Ministry of Education (MOE) said on Tuesday that schools in Singapore have the obligation to cooperate with the police and “not stand in the way of law”, but will seek to ensure the well-being of its students if they assist with police investigations.
This is in response to media queries about the case of Benjamin Lim, a 14-year-old boy who was found dead at the foot of the block of his family flat in Yishun after being questioned by the police, unaccompanied over a case of alleged outrage of modesty. The mother had told TOC that the police had denied access to her son, Benjamin throughout the course of interview.
MOE said through its spokeperson that the schools have a set of guidelines “which corresponds to the police’s guidelines on working with minors”
“This includes ascertaining the identities of the police officers who approach our schools,” MOE said. The ministry also explained that the school would speak to its student before the police speaks with him or her.
“The student’s parent or appointed guardian is also contacted before the student leaves with the police to assist in investigations. We will also ensure that our student is not hungry and has something to eat before leaving with the police,”
MOE added that its schools will keep the student’s identity and the nature of the case strictly confidential to protect the student’s privacy and dignity.
“While the student is assisting in police investigations, the school will continue to keep in contact with the student and the parent/guardian to render the necessary support,” MOE said.
To understand more about the case, you can read the interview that TOC conducted with the family.