Dear Minister Heng,
I refer to this open letter to you (https://www.facebook.com/notes/chua-sing-rue/open-letter-to-moe-and-hpb/10152301539864026
I am the mother of two gay sons and am very much aware of bullying and homophobia in schools. Even so, I am thoroughly shocked by the prolonged and severe bullying and abuse of Miss Chua by the school authorities, teachers and students at Dunman High. What is most apparent from Chua Sing Rue's letter is the need to educate school personnel about their responsibility to protect children. It is bad enough that children bully each other without teachers and administrators participating in and encouraging abusive behavior. The atmosphere described by Chua Sing Rue was destructive not just to the victim, but will have encouraged other children to grow up believing that ridicule and bullying are proper modes of conduct toward anyone who is different because of race, language, religion, or sexuality.
Teachers and school personnel have the responsibility to foster an atmosphere in school where all students feel safe and protected. There is obviously a glaring need in Singapore for parents, students, and school personnel to be made aware of community support and counseling resources where assistance is available so that children like Miss Chua do not have to suffer in this manner. I suggest that MOE should work closely with MOH/HPB to fulfill this need.
If all our students (AND, it would appear in this case, also the teachers) are taught to be respectful of others who may be different in race, language, religion OR sexual orientation, Miss Chua and other students will not have to undergo the psychological abuse that intolerance and ignorance breeds. Therefore, I suggest that MOE should start such a program to educate students and teachers, if there is not yet one.
Finally, this particular case that led to the near-loss of two innocent young girls’ lives should be thoroughly investigated by MOE to prevent any such events from happening again in any school in Singapore.
Dear Minister Gan,
I am a co-founder of SAFE (Supporting, Affirming and Empowering LGBTQ family and friends). I refer to this open letter to you (https://www.facebook.com/notes/chua-sing-rue/open-letter-to-moe-and-hpb/10152301539864026
) which is such a compelling reason for you to restore the original links on the FAQs put up by HPB.
The FAQs that were put up by HPB have gone a long way in dispelling ignorance and helping educate Singaporeans about the spectrum of human sexuality that exists. I urge you to consider putting back the links to supportive groups so that we do not run the risk of losing young Singaporeans now and in the future who feel so alone and hopeless that they end their lives. Having links to parents and families who are supportive of their LGBT family members, such as SAFE (http://safesingapore.blogspot.sg/
), is also very important for parents who may be feeling lost and alone too when their children come out to them. With support from others, we will be able to maintain strong families with LGBT members.
Dr. Khoo Hoon Eng