Timeline of tragedy at River Valley High School

On July 19, a Secondary 4 student at River Valley High School allegedly killed a Sec 1 student on campus.

Speaking in Parliament yesterday, Education Minister Chan Chun Sing shared the timeline of the incident, adding not all details could be shared as the case is now before the court.


• Towards the end of lunch break, a group of students encounters a Sec 4 student outside a toilet holding an axe and asking them to call the police. The students inform their teacher.

• The Sec 4 student asks another group of students in a classroom next to the toilet to call the police. The students' immediate response is the emergency "run, hide, tell" lockdown drill: They go into their classroom, lock the doors and call their form teachers for help.

• A teacher arrives and tells the student to put down the axe. He complies and is escorted to a meeting room. Other teachers call the police.

• The police arrive and take the 16-year-old Sec 4 student into custody. They find a 13-year-old Sec 1 student lying motionless in the toilet with multiple wounds.

• The principal breaks the news to the rest of the staff, then speaks to the students, asking them to contact their parents to tell them that they are safe.

• The principal then speaks to the group of students who are most affected by the incident. Parents are also informed via Parents Gateway - a communication app - that a serious incident has happened in school.


• The school begins to dismiss students and stations teachers at the school gates to speak to parents and students.


• Parents are informed that a student has died. The school asks parents to monitor the well-being of their child. Parents who are worried are encouraged to contact form teachers.

• Preliminary investigations by the police show that the two students had not known each other before the incident and that the axe was bought online.

July 20

• The 16-year-old student is charged in court with murder. He is in remand for psychiatric assessment.