Singapore

Solemn mood at River Valley High as students return to campus

The mood at River Valley High School was solemn as students returned yesterday, two days after the alleged murder of a 13-year-old student on the premises.

More than a dozen school staff and security officers stood at the gates to usher students in as early as 6.30am. The school was closed for the Hari Raya Haji public holiday on Tuesday.

Parents were seen dropping off their children outside the school and waiting as they entered.

Many parents and students declined to comment when approached by The Straits Times.

One parent, who declined to be named, said her 17-year-old daughter - who had been asked about the alleged attack on a few occasions - was not comfortable answering any questions.

"The students are confused... investigations are still ongoing," the parent said, noting that the teachers in the school are doing their best to manage the situation. "School is still a safe space for students."

River Valley High School has students from 12 to 18 years old.

It offers a six-year Integrated Programme, which allows students to skip the O levels and take the A levels in their sixth year.

Many students turned up yesterday with flowers and left them at the school foyer to pay tribute to their schoolmate.

A website (padlet.com/rvhs/ messages) was set up by the school yesterday morning for the public to leave messages of support and offer condolences.

More than 700 messages had been posted as at noon, many of them from the school's alumni.

SAFE HAVEN

One message read: "Dear RV, you were my safe haven for six years... You hold my emotions and memories (of) youth. It is heartbreaking to hear of the incident... Today we stand in solidarity to mourn the child we lost."

On Tuesday, a 16-year-old student was charged with murder in a district court. He cannot be named as he is under 18.

He will be remanded at Complex Medical Centre for psychiatric observation and is scheduled to be back in court on Aug 10.

The police said in a statement on Monday that officers found the 13-year-old boy lying motionless, with multiple wounds, in a toilet in the school.

An axe was seized as evidence when the 16-year-old was arrested.

Death