Hong Kong court orders school kids to tone down noise

2011-11-01 09:11

Hong Kong – A court put a gag on schoolchildren today, ordering them not to make too much noise at playtime.

The Lantau International School was told by Hong Kong’s High Court to make sure its children kept their playground noise level to below 60 decibels between 7 am and 11 pm.

Failure to do so will result in a fine of HK$100 000 (R100 632) for the first offence for the school, and HK$200 000 for each subsequent conviction.

The school supervisor Serge Berthier said it was wrong for the government to cap the noise level of schoolchildren in a bid to try to overturn an earlier decision by the Noise Control Appeal Board.

But his argument, that children’s right to engage in play and recreational activities was enshrined in international conventions, was rejected.

The original complaint had been made by a neighbour in whose bedroom playground noise levels of 62 decibels were recorded: less than a chain saw at 70 decibels, but more than normal talking, which is around 60 decibels.

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