Stress, not knowledge, the target of burning act

While I agree burning school material to celebrate the end of the Primary School Leaving Examination is distasteful, the matter was taken too far in last Friday's article ("Book burning: Start of a slippery slope").

In the examples of Qin Shi Huang, the Spanish and the Nazis, the idea of "where they burn books, they will eventually burn people" holds true because the reason behind the two actions is the same: The books and the people were both deemed "objectionable".

But when the parents and children burned the school material, they did not mean to attack learning or knowledge, only their stress and exhaustion.

In the article, burning books is juxtaposed with killing people. Life and books are sacred. Yet, it is irrational to say any attack on them is a horrendous crime against humanity or education. The lack of sensibility among the participants - especially the parents - deserves criticism, but is it enough to bring them to the stake?

Le Thi An Lanh

Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to for more stories.