Vulgar RI teacher reported to Police and 2 Ministers

From ‘RI takes action against teacher’, 8 Dec 2012, article by May Chen, ST

RAFFLES Institution (RI) is taking disciplinary action against one of its teachers, Mr Adrian Chng, for using inappropriate language – even though he did not do so in his capacity as an RI teacher. The Straits Times reported on Thursday that Chew Jee Yang, 17, a Singapore Polytechnic student and member of the national youth softball team, had filed a police report against Mr Chng, the team manager, for his use of expletives in a WhatsApp group chat with three co-captains of the squad. Wang Zheng Rong, 18, also took issue with Mr Chng’s choice of words, although Chin Ken Min, 19, distanced himself from the complaints.

…Mr Chng, RI’s assistant head of the physical education and co-curricular activities department, is also the secretary-general of the Singapore Baseball and Softball Association. Mr Chng and the three players had been discussing preparations for an overseas tournament in Argentina last month in the WhatsApp conversation, which took place in September. In it, he used expletives such as “f***” no fewer than four times.

A complaint against Mr Chng was also later e-mailed to several parties – including Education Minister Heng Swee Keat and Acting Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Lawrence Wong – by Chew and Wang’s mothers.

…AN EXCERPT of one of the exchanges Mr Chng had with his student-athletes.

The conversation was in response to the teacher, who was functioning as a team manager, chasing the boys for jersey and slacks sizes ahead of an overseas trip. He had lamented that time was “tight”.

  • Zheng Rong: Frankly speaking time can’t be tight time runs at a constant speed! HAHAH!
  • Teammate: Lol
  • Adrian Chng: U better make sure ur a** super tight if not de bat I’m gonna stuff in there is gonna fall out

Maybe it’s not Adrian Chng’s profanity that the MOTHERS of these teenagers are worried about, but that he could be a dangerous bat-wielding sodomiser who preys on innocent virgin boys. This is how the accused looks like according to the SBSA (Singapore Baseball and Softball Association) website. You can’t deny the respectability of a suit and tie.

By now, getting the police involved in teacher-student spats isn’t surprising anymore. It has been done for teachers who’re too stern, or those who ruin expensive haircuts before important examinations. What’s disturbing is these budding athletes have their mummies complaining to MINISTERS for abusive, sexually charged, language. When Chew and Wang enlist into the army, is Mummy going to complain to Ng Eng Hen for homophobic verbal abuse by drill sergeants as well? Or feedback to SAF that no one tucks them in to sleep at night?

Perhaps Chng as team manager was doing a favour and prepping the boys for a hard NS life, where threats of sodomy with random objects are used in place of ‘Good Morning Recruits!’. Or he was just doing what most sports team managers would do to discipline their charges, regardless of whether their day job was teaching in a prestigious school or preaching from a pulpit. I thought we’ve come to accept that angry, ‘macho’ profanity in the management of competitive sport is all part of team camaraderie, whether it’s boys’ softball, men’s rugby or in a bikini beach volleyball World Cup tournament. The only sports coach who doesn’t need to resort to potty-mouthing is the one in charge of seniors’ Gateball.

What is known is that Chng is apparently doing a good job with RI softball. Earlier this year, the RI team beat Hwa Chong for their fifth national school’s title in 6 years. God knows if a fiery personality and foul language were part of his coaching methodology, but it seems to work for RI. It was just unfortunate that Chng’s obscenities were documented in Whatsapp group chat this time round. If every testosterone-charged team coach or manager was caught F-bombing or mentally ass-raping his squad and summoned by the police or ministers because of distraught parents, what hope is there for youth sports in this country? What if Chng wasn’t from RI but from a ‘neighbourhood school’ instead? Would the boys and their mothers let him off then? Maybe these boys and their parents have been watching too much of Disney’s Angels in the Outfield.

Even if Chng were indeed using foul language on a student in the capacity of an educator, is a police report even necessary? In 2008, a CCA teacher reportedly cursed and sweared at his ex-student for not greeting him properly.  Private tutors have been known to lash out at hopeless students on Facebook.  But in most cases it’s often the teacher at the receiving end of a student’s fury. In a reversal of the case above, a distressed teacher called the police to report a Hokkien-vulgarity spewing pupil in 2008. Another RJC teacher had to respond to a vulgar Facebook post online about not being able to ‘fxxxing control the class’. Many petty obscenities hurled at unpopular teachers are often ignored, because students heaping scorn on a teacher is expected – it even bonds them with fellow students – but not the other way round, even if such ‘motivational’ expletives are the secret to a softball team’s success.

Without a full picture of the relationship between Chng and his boys, one can’t tell if he was indeed abusing his authority or was just being his normal foul-mouthed self and was marked for some unknown reason. I’m guessing that it’s his ties with an elite school which may have inflamed any misgivings between the parties involved. In the meantime, if you’re in the business of playing a sport that uses anything with a handle, be it a softball bat or a croquet mallet, making nerdy jokes to your coach about ‘time-tightness’ may not be the smartest thing to do. If you’re a teacher suffering from Tourette’s syndrome, delete Whatsapp off your phone with immediate effect.

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12 Responses

  1. How come nobody noticed that the student’s reply to Mr Chng was rude? It might have been a joke but it was inappropriate. It was not witty, it was a smart-aleck kind of remark. If they can mock their teacher in this way, but cannot take a rebuke in return but instead go rushing to their mummies for help, it shows up their parents’ upbringing. It won’t be their maids carrying their haversacks for them during NS, it will be their mothers.

  2. this is clearly a sad and pathetic attempt by one party to ruin the reputation of someone else who has done nothing more than to make sure that the job he is responsible for is done.

    whatever these two jokers’ real motives are, hopefully they will have the balls to come clean with them when this has been cleared up, because obviously something is not kosher here.

  3. http://bayden-wzr.blogspot.sg/2008_02_03_archive.html

    The strange thing is, he uses so many vulgarities in his own blog.

  4. http://bayden-wzr.blogspot.sg/

    4th post shows little bayden using expletives to describe his mom….wonder what mummy would think of that? Hmm…Parents still think their kids are little angels and bother to fight for them. And yes this was 3 years ago, but I wonder what he’s grown into. Probably a hypocrite bcos this Mr Chng definitely never saw it coming.

  5. The blog is taken down. Anybody got a screen shot?

    • hey if you want to see some excerpts of his posts u can try googling bayden wzr and for one with expletives u can check out the second entry if u google “bayden” wzr samuel :) cheers bro

  6. Got a bunch of screenshots showing that Bayden WZR is no angel…not like any of us is blameless but we don’t report someone who has worked so hard to make the team excel, just because of internal politics driven by other envious parties.

    can’t seem to get anything on chew jee yang, anyone managed to crack this?

  7. Honestly, i don’t see why this has got anything to do with this zhengrong kid using expletives in his own blogpost. Some readers are obviously missing the issue here.

    Is this Mr. Chng likely to shove a bat up this kid’s ass? Probably not (who knows?). Could he have meant these vulgarities as part of “friendly banter” as he claimed? Why not?

    However, was he in the right position to do so? No.

    This isn’t about how our Singaporean sons are becoming more “fragile” or of their over-protective moms. It’s the responsibility and accountability that goes hand-in-hand with one becoming an educator. Like JJ pointed out, the kid’s being a smart-aleck giving that kind of reply, but it definitely doesn’t warrant such a reply from an educator, and a youth team manager at that.

    Some readers are fussing too much over the police report. It might have been an over-reaction on the students’ part, but Chng’s actions were definitely unjustified. The reason why MOE & RI aren’t laughing this issue off is because Chng has stepped across the line. Since when has such behaviour by an educator acceptable?

    • while i see the logic in your reasoning, i believe the main issue you are focusing on is one which is beyond the control of anyone, including RI, or the MOE. The issue of vulgarities and expletives being used freely in Singapore is something you are NEVER going to get over. If you want to sack every individual in a senior position who uses vulgarities, let’s see where Singapore ends up. I will willingly provide you more examples should you so require.

      What I myself, and i believe some of the other commenters are trying to get at, is that this report seems to have been made more out of SPITE than anything else. I am loathe to make such stereotypes, but you have to agree that regardless of whether Mr Chng made use of such vulgarities or metaphorical examples, these boys would have been exposed to them eventually, if they hadn’t already before this.

      could it be that YOU are missing the not-so-obvious issue here? We have two boys, whether doing so out of their own free will or not, taking their TEAM MANAGER, not their teacher, to the ministry for inappropriate language. Why did we not hear of such reports from them previously? Did they just emerge from some deeply-dug hole in the middle of nowhere?

      yes, he might not have been in the right position to do so, but are they taking him to task because he was not in the right position to do so?

      Probably not.

      • I do not have an issue with the use of expletives or offensive language in general. Although I agree with you that it is not possible to persecute every single individual in a senior position for such a matter, is it fair to assume that this incident should be brushed off as trivial? Let’s back up a little and look at the comments made by Mr. Chng:

        “- Zheng Rong: Frankly speaking time can’t be tight time runs at a constant speed! HAHAH!
        - Teammate: Lol
        - Adrian Chng: U better make sure ur a** super tight if not de bat I’m gonna stuff in there is gonna fall out”

        “In it, he (Adrian Chng) used expletives such as “f***” no fewer than four times.”

        How is such language acceptable? Moreover from a teacher? We cannot rid the usage of such language in today’s world, but considering the circumstances under which the team manager chose to use these comments, it is definitely inappropriate. Whether or not he meant to hurt the students with his comments is immaterial; he has been placed in a position of authority, as a team manager of the youth squad, as well as an educator of a premier institution. He should have been more mindful of his position, considering that students were placed in his charge. If the relevant ministries & RI choose to let this matter slide, it will compromise on the high teaching standards of local teachers, and how the public perceives RI’s so-called top educators.

        @slau, you seem really convinced that there’s some conspiracy going on to smear the reputation of said Mr. Chng. I have no idea how that idea came across to you, but it seems like you’re pretty defensive over this whole situation, or of Mr. Chng in particular. It does not matter already whether or not this incident was truthfully reported, or of the students’ own will. It cannot be denied that the team manager has to bear responsibility for his comments, and to accept any punishment that will be meted out to him. Let’s not jump to conclusion before the investigations by the relevant parties have been completed.

  8. @J yes yes, I am well aware of the outrage directed at the seemingly preposterous nature of Mr Chng’s comments…how could anyone be irresponsible enough to spout such utter nonsense in the full view of such bright, young, talented minds?

    I would first like to correct your statement about Mr Chng being an ‘educator’ to these two individuals; he is in fact, as you later point out yourself, a ‘manager’. Last time I heard, a manager and an educator/teacher have completely different obligations. The job of a manager is not to make sure his charges get ‘educated’, but to manage them…aka, use whatever means necessary, most of the time.

    Then you may choose to counter with your argument on how he apparently ‘crossed the line’, which brings us to the necessity of dragging up evidence of the two boys’ own conduct. If they were saints, yes…you might then have a point about how anyone not completely devoid of sin should be hanged if they so much as come within arms’ length of their precious porcelain skin. But they aren’t.

    Which makes their claim even more outrageous.

    I quote from http://news.asiaone.com/News/Latest%2BNews/Sports/Story/A1Story20121207-388232.html


    In the report, the Singapore Polytechnic student said that “during the chat, my other two friend and myself felt uncomfortable as our manager had type some uncomfortable remarks which we feel awkward”.

    “We are afraid that something might happen to us through his remarks and wanted to record down what had happen,” he added.

    and again

    When asked why they had waited more than two months before filing their complaint, he said they were afraid that their trip to Argentina would be cancelled.

    so, if Mr Chng’s comments had been so OUTRAGEOUS in the first place, why not report him immediately? Hard to imagine how the fear of being sodomized by bats could pale in comparison to the desire to go on a trip to Argentina, no matter how prestigious the trip is.

    Or perhaps they were just afraid of ruining the trip for the rest of their teammates as well, and subsequently face the possibility of being sodomized by MORE than one bat at a time? Well, then we’d be seeing many more police reports wouldn’t we?

    By now I hope you have a better idea of what I am getting at. Yes, the offence was committed, but was the report really necessary? And if it was delayed as such, was it really as severe as portrayed?

    Yes, I am defensive about it, because this is a man’s job we are talking about. I’m not sure what you do for a living, J, but surely you can empathize. Surely you would feel wronged if this were to happen to you? Assuming you would even get into this situation in the first place…but no, you probably are either morally upright enough to abstain from vulgarities completely, or have the innate ability to cover your tracks perfectly.

    And just fyi, I know both these parties. If you do too then wow, what a coincidence. To be specific, I was a softballer under Mr Chng’s tutelage in both RI and the youth team, and I trained on the same team as said Wang Zheng Rong before. I know what goes on behind the scenes in this particular community, and it is not an assumption I make when I suggest the presence of a conspiracy, but an educated guess.

    If you’ve read this all the way til here, then thank you kindly for your time.

    • Ah, I figured as much too, that you were in some way in acquaintance with Mr Chng. I respect that you were once under Mr. Chng’s tutelage, and that you might feel unjust and frustrated of how this incident may turn out for him. That aside, I hope you would respect my take on this issue too. I may not personally know the parties involved, nor of what goes on “behind the scenes” in the local softball community; but as an adult, and a father, it is indeed appalling to see such unbecoming behaviour from an educator AND team manager, whichever role he may be assuming.

      And although like you said, the boys involved probably aren’t saints themselves, however defiant their personal character should be, it should not lessen the responsibility that Mr. Chng possesses, nor should such behaviour from him be condoned.

      Like I mentioned earlier, let’s not jump to unnecessary conclusions, be it about the boys’ character & integrity, or whether Mr. Chng was wronged. All these will be revealed in due time, once the investigations have been concluded.

      And of course, thank you for your time.

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