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[溫哥華本地新聞] Assignment based on pro-China film trailer pulled from Richmond classroom

Updated: Assignment based on pro-China film trailer pulled from Richmond classroom





                        Richmond students were asked a series of questions after watching a movie trailer that celebrates the Chinese government’s 70th anniversary. A pro-Hong Kong Facebook group is encouraging parents to lodge complaints with the Richmond School District for violating “the rights of other ethnic groups…” by showing the video.Screenshot.


                                       
                                                                                            
A Richmond high school has removed an assignment based on a pro-China film trailer after an outcry on Facebook by Hong Kong supporters.
A pro-Hong Kong Facebook group asked parents to complain to the Richmond School District after Steveston-London students watched movie trailers from a film, My People, My Country, made by the People’s Republic of China to commemorate the Chinese 70th anniversary in September. The group claimed the film violates the rights of “other ethnic groups.”

Students in three Mandarin classes at Steveston-London secondary watched YouTube trailers for the movie, which was distributed in China and worldwide.


The administrator for the group “Hongkonger in Vancouver,” which has 3,438 members, told the Richmond News that the information was received from a group member.

The administrator didn’t reveal his or her identity to the Richmond News when asked.
The post, flagged Thursday on Twitter, describes the movie, and asks “why do these students need to watch (a) movie that defines China as a motherland?”
The post ends with this message: “Parents from Vancouver and Richmond, please complain to the local school board and the school principal, this Mandarin class course has violated the rights of other ethnic groups, which is unfair for other … students.”
On Thursday, the principal, Carol-Lyn Sakata, asked the teacher to stop using the worksheet about the film trailers – that were meant for oral practise – and the teacher will be giving the student another assignment instead.
Sakata wrote a letter to parents in the Grade 10 to 12 Mandarin classes saying that there was concern over the “controversial and political nature of the film,” with some critics calling it a pro-China propaganda film.
“This has brought to my attention how schools must continue to be sensitive to the resources we use in our classrooms,” Sakata wrote in her letter.
Tension between supporters of the Hong Kong protests and those defending the Chinese government has arisen in Richmond over the past few months, reflecting tensions taking place in Asia.
Two Lennon Walls in Richmond, which had messages of support for Hong Kongers protesting China’s influence in the autonomous region, were torn down by people claiming to support the Chinese government and the police cracking down on protesters.
According to David Sadler, spokesperson for the Richmond School District, the teacher’s intention was to engage students in an “informal and open discussion” to analyze perspectives of other people and world views “through a cultural lens,” as prescribed by the curriculum for Mandarin 10-12 classes.
The teacher also gave the students a handout with questions about the film, however Sadler notes the handout was a template used for all class assignments for videos, books and films.
“The questions were not developed specifically for these trailers,” he added.
Sadler explained there are policies and regulations to make sure content is appropriate and principals engage with staff about how they decide what supplemental curriculum resources to use.
He added, if parents are concerned, they should contact “the individual most closely associated with their concern” and if this doesn’t resolve the issue, to take the issue to a higher level.

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