SCMP Wednesday, August 16, 2000

Help for grieving pupils

CLIFFORD LO


Grieving classmates of two schoolgirls found dead in an apparent suicide pact on Cheung Chau are to be offered counselling.

Close schoolmates of Lam Ching-yee, 13, and Yip Suet-kwan, 14, are being contacted by teachers from Hotung Secondary School in Causeway Bay and social workers to see whether they need immediate help, according to headmistress Fung Lin-foon.

Second-former Ching-yee and Form Three student Suet-kwan were found dead in a bed at Ching-yee's grandparents' home in Tai San Street, Cheung Chau, on Monday night. Burnt charcoal was found next to the bed.

The headmistress said: 'We have contacted some of their close friends and detected several with emotional problems. We will arrange meetings with them and offer them counselling if necessary." She added that counselling would be offered to other students during school hours in the new school year.

Miss Fung described the two students as "cheerful and playful" and said their academic standards were average.