Solemn mood at River Valley High School as students return to campus

SINGAPORE – The gates at River Valley High School were void of chatter as students returned on Wednesday (July 21), two days after the alleged murder of a 13-year-old student on campus.

More than a dozen school staff and security officers stood at the gates to usher in students as early as 6.30am. They exchanged greetings. The mood was solemn.

School was closed for Hari Raya Haji public holiday on Tuesday.

Parents were seen dropping off their children outside the school. They waited as their children enter the compound.

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

“The students are confused… investigations are still ongoing,” she said, adding that 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 aged 12 to 18 years old as it offers the six-year Integrated Programme, which allows students to skip the O levels and take the A levels in their sixth year.

Many students brought flowers to pay their respects to their schoolmate and left them at the school foyer.

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

On Tuesday (July 20), a 16-year-old student from the school was charged with murder in a district court. He cannot be named as he is under 18 years old.

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

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The police said in a statement on Monday that officers found the 13-year-old boy lying motionless with multiple wounds in a toilet. An axe was seized as evidence when the 16-year-old was arrested.

Law and Home Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam said in a Facebook post on Tuesday that preliminary investigations suggest the older boy had purchased the axe online and that he had a history of mental health issues.

Getting help

• National Care Hotline: 1800-202-6868

Mental well-being

• Fei Yue’s Online Counselling Service:
• Institute of Mental Health’s Mental Health Helpline: 6389-2222
• Samaritans of Singapore: 1800-221-4444
• Silver Ribbon Singapore: 6385-3714
• Tinkle Friend: 1800-274-4788


• TOUCHline (Counselling): 1800-377-2252
• Care Corner Counselling Centre: 1800-353-5800


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