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Students: Why did school keep us in the dark?

AFRAID: Students Goh Shi Xuan (above, left) and Hans Danial say the school did not warn them about the armed assailant. - TNP PHOTO: JONATHAN CHOO

Some ITE College West students were concerned that they did not receive any warning from the school about the armed assailant.

They told The New Paper they found out for themselves through word of mouth or social media.

Year 3 student Ali Azmi, 21, said: "I found out through Twitter."

Another student, Lorenzo Mediano, 17, said: "My friends texted me about it."

As there was no communication of the fight over the school's public address system, or through e-mail or text messages, some students said they did not know what to do or which area to avoid to stay out of danger.

They also did not know whether the fight had ended or when the piazza, where the fight took place, was safe again.

Several students said they saw others rushing to the scene of the fight out of curiosity, unaware that the youth was armed with a knife.

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Lorenzo, a first-year student, said: "There should have been more information given to students for their safety."

Year 2 student Hans Danial said: "Why didn't the school tell us there was someone wielding a knife? What if he was targeting random students? I would have liked to be warned."

The video of the incident shows a security guard looking on during the fight without trying to break it up.

A witness, Muhd Danisy Abdul Rashid, said: "Eventually, the guards did step in to separate the two. The discipline master was also there."

But several students felt the school's security response could have been faster.

The school's reply to The New Paper's queries did not address the students' concerns about the lack of information and the slow security response.

ITE College West was in the news about a week ago when a viral video showed a cross-dressing peeping Tom being confronted by students after he allegedly entered a female toilet.

He was later arrested and charged with criminal trespass.

Last November, the police arrested a youth who attempted suicide at the college.

Some students said such incidents have made them feel uneasy while on campus.

Muhd Danisy said: "Things like these are disruptive and bring down the name and reputation of ITE."

Student Goh Shi Xuan, 19, said: "Because of the peeping Tom incident and now this one, I am afraid to come to school or go to the toilet."