The use of electronic devices will be limited in lessons at the international school attended by slain Hong Kong model Abby Choi Tin-fung’s child to minimise the impact of gruesome online news reports about the murder.
In an email to parents on Monday seen by the Post, Ann Haydon, the head of Harrow International School, located in Tuen Mun, said Choi was the parent of a pupil at its lower school, which serves students up to Year Five.
She said the school’s psychologist, counsellor, therapy team and staff of its healthcare centre would work with students and teaching faculty to provide support. She also addressed the use of electronic devices over the next few days.
“We will be limiting use in the Lower School lessons given the content of the articles posted online and trust that parents will be mindful of this and check settings and filters on home devices accordingly,” Haydon said.
“Whilst we do not want to be alarmist, we are aware that given the coverage in the news and on social media, many of our pupils will be aware of this tragedy and we want to do everything we can to support Ms Choi’s child and the wider Harrow community,” she said.
The former model’s death has attracted worldwide media attention over the past week. Four of her former in-laws were remanded in custody without bail on Monday in connection with her murder.
Almost a week after the socialite was reported missing, police continue to search for the last of Choi’s remains. The force on Sunday discovered a skull and several ribs believed to belong to the victim inside a large soup pot from a village house in Tai Po. Two female legs were also found inside a refrigerator in the flat.
However, psychologists warned too much interaction with the case’s contents, especially certain grisly details, would impact children’s mental state, causing discomfort and emotional problems.
Clinical psychologist Dr Eliza Cheung Yee-lai, service-in-charge of the Hong Kong Red Cross’ psychological support service, said children had easy access to news reports about the murder, and exposure to such content could lead to physical and mental responses, including having difficulties falling asleep, nightmares and feelings of fear.
She said such reactions were not overly concerning, but parents should seek professional help if they lasted a long time and affected the child’s daily life.
Cheung urged parents to be mindful of how their children may hear about the case, while comforting them and explaining the situation.
She also called on media organisations to give warnings to their readers and audience before displaying videos or text containing images and descriptions of the case’s gruesome details.
She added her organisation had received calls for psychological support from some residents of the village where the body parts of Choi were found.