He says that because of this ruling, parents, grandparents and maids waiting to fetch the kids from school yesterday (July 10) were caught in the rain, in danger of being knocked down by cars and more susceptible to the spread of H1N1 virus because they were gathered so close to one another for some time.
Lawrence told STOMP in an email yesterday (July 10):
“It has been raining for the past half an hour and it is 1pm at the moment, morning session has just been released.
“There used to be 3 gates open for students to exit the school but has been limited to only one: one way in and one way out, due to the procedures for H1N1.
“You can see that the only gate out of the school has been blocked by parents and grandparents, including domestic helpers with their umbrellas covering each others.
“Cars line up on both side of the road while passing vehicles slowed down to get across. I am standing from a distance, avoiding going close to anyone as I am having an irritating throat and a bad headache.”
He said apparently there was a muffled announcement saying that another gate was open, yet the security rudely refused to let people in, even shouting to one man to “get out of here!”
The guard also tried to prevent the STOMPer from going to the second gate to find his kids.
“At 1.20pm, my boy managed to locate me even while he was blocked by parents and umbrellas, but he was
“I instructed him to get his sister here and he replied, ‘We are not allowed to go there’ and I thought: red tape! He paused and continued ‘I’ll try’.
“Given the chaotic situation, he must have squeezed through somehow and after waiting in the rain for couple of minutes, both my kids appeared and we are out of the H1N1 Jam.
“For the grannies’ sake, please allow the poor kids out of the school in an orderly manner.
“A heavy downpour like this can happen any time in a tropical country like ours.
“You can plan for H1N1 but what is a plan if there is no control? By the way, I believe that not all granny can understand English.
“The jokes out of this scenario are:
“1. We have good teachers and they follow the Law closely.
“2. The security guard was like the guard in the Singapore show ‘follow the law’ unfortunately, a very rude one indeed.
“3. They could use a better speaker or at least have better management.
“4. If there was any infected H1N1 person, he or she would be transmitting the virus among the crowd and in turn, transmit to the students.
“It was raining heavily, it was crowded with people, wet and damp, best place for virus to multiply and spread.
“5. I could see one teacher with a mask on his face but not even covering his mouth giving instructions but I doubt most parents could understand him, I definitely couldn’t hear a thing.”