Tuesday, 3 October 2023

We are shifting our daily news to Gutzy.Asia Support us there!

Ministry of Education denies interfering with transgender student’s HRT treatment; Netizens criticise Ministry for misgendering her in its clarification

The Ministry of Education (MOE) has denied the allegations of an 18-year-old junior college student who claimed that the Ministry had interfered with her hormone replacement therapy (HRT).

In a Facebook post on Saturday (16 January), MOE said it is “not in a position to interfere with any medical treatment, which is a matter for the family to decide on”.

MOE also urged the student to approach the school to clarify and improve the school’s means of support.

“All schools have a duty of care to students and will work closely with parents and medical professionals.

“We encourage students who experience unkind behaviour from peers to approach the teachers or school leaders as they are committed to keep students safe,” said the Ministry.

MOE’s statement “did not address any of the issues” in Reddit post: Student

The student, who wanted to be known only as Ashlee, told TODAY that the ministry’s statement did not address any of the issues laid out in her Reddit post.

Among the issues she laid out in her post was that her request for a referral letter to commence HRT was “suddenly blocked as the MOE had intervened”.

The reason given by MOE was that — quoting the reply from MOE — ‘students in MOE schools are under our control, and we have every right and say over their treatment’, Ms Ashlee wrote.

“This meant that my doctor had to call off the referral, causing me further mental trauma as this affected my ability to pass and present as a female,” she lamented.

Ms Ashlee noted that her classmates and subject tutors are highly supportive of her decision to seek HRT.

She highlighted that prior to that, things were well “for several months” at first, given that she “had a proper diagnosis from a qualified doctor”.

“Alongside this, I was informed that I had to cut my hair to fit the boys’ hairstyle in the handbook, and that I was specifically to wear the male uniform; that could probably have slipped under the radar but it seems unlikely as all these troubles started in the same month,” Ms Ashlee wrote.

She said that if she “became unable to fit in the boys’ uniform” as a result of undergoing HRT, she “would be expelled from school, instead of being allowed to wear the female uniform”.

“The principal’s explanation for this was that ‘due to your presentation, you would be as disruptive to the school environment as a student with severe autism’,” said Ms Ashlee.

“What right does the MOE have over the MOH? Why is the MOE interfering with my medical care, and the irony of MOE advocating for mental health issues. I cannot speak for others, but in my experience, these are outright lies and just a farce to gain support from the younger generations of students,” she said.

In an update of her Reddit post, Ms Ashlee said that MOE’s statement “is an outright lie, contradicts what I was told by my doctor, and I am sure my classmates can vouch for me”.

“In addition, they do not respect my pronouns and instead intentionally misgendered me (against the advice and recommendations),” she added.

MOE’s statement on the matter was met with a wave of backlash, with many criticising the Ministry for misgendering the student and its overall insensitivity in handling the matter.

A couple of netizens questioned how it would be possible for the MOE to “commit to keeping the student safe” and fulfilling a “duty of care” owed to the student when the Ministry was unable to even “find a gender-neutral way of crafting” its clarification.

One netizen said that the MOE is “completely gaslighting the student’s experience and trauma” on top of misgendering her in its statement.

“don’t apologise if it is insincere,” said the user.

A couple of netizens pointed out how MOE’s move to ask the student to come forward “risks outing her beyond her own situation”, which could worsen her well-being by exposing her to the risks of further bullying if her identity is exposed.

Several netizens questioned why the MOE had suggested the student to approach her school leader about the matter when the principal “was part of the problem”.

One netizen called on the MOE to investigate the allegations against the school principal “who used appalling ableist language while supporting transphobic actions on the student”.

A couple of netizens highlighted that the student had pointed out in her Reddit post that the issue stemmed from MOE’s actions, and suggested that the Ministry should not shift the blame on peers when the student’s peers “were supporting her”.

LGBT community “live in Singapore peacefully”, face “no discrimination at work, housing (and) education”: Then-Education Minister Ong Ye Kung

The recent MOE incident at hand appears to be at odds with what then-Education Minister Ong Ye Kung said in 2018 at the annual Singapore Summit, where he was asked how Singapore could become more inclusive, including towards lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people.

Mr Ong replied that inclusiveness is embedded within Singapore’s DNA, and that the LGBT community “live in Singapore peacefully” and face “no discrimination at work, housing (and) education”.

“They go about their lives,” he said.

However, Mr Ong also said that LGBT is “an issue of social mores and societal values”.

TOC has written to MOE regarding Ms Ashlee’s case. We have received no response so far.

Notify of
1 Comment
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Latest posts

Election surprises and certainties: Dissecting Tharman’s presidential win

In the 2023 Presidential Election, Mr. Tharman Shanmugaratnam secured a stunning 70.4% landslide victory, surprising many, including himself. Despite expectations that TKL would win the opposition votes, voters from both camps showed a preference for Tharman's charisma and perceived competency. As Singapore reflects on the outcome, questions arise about the election's fairness and the real implications of Tharman's dominant win.

Volunteer as a Polling and Counting Agent for Singapore’s 2023 Presidential Election

For the upcoming Singapore Presidential Election on 1st September, members of the civil society have spearheaded an initiative to strengthen our democratic fabric. We invite committed individuals to join us as Polling and Counting Agents, standing together for a transparent, fair, and just election. This vote counting exercise, organized by members of civil society, is not specifically in support of Mr Tan Kin Lian, a candidate in the upcoming Presidential Election. It's an exercise in active citizenry. Nonetheless, Mr Tan endorses this initiative, which hinges on his candidacy, championing transparency, and has given permission for the results to be shared publicly.

Reflections from the Centenary: The Legacy of LKY and Singapore’s Future

Gilbert Goh reflects on the LKY centenary event: an inspiring showcase of a leader's global legacy juxtaposed against current challenges, urging Singapore to continue its path of progress.

Lim Tean advocates for Tan Kin Lian: A visionary leader for Singapore’s Presidency

In his speech at Mr Tan Kin Lian's launch of his presidential bid, Mr Lim Tean passionately championed the need for a truly Independent President. Highlighting Mr Tan Kin Lian's unique credentials and genuine concern for the wellbeing of Singaporeans, the Peoples Voice leader emphasized the pressing challenges of rising living costs and job insecurities faced by the public. Mr Lim depicted Mr Tan Kin Lian as a beacon of hope for the nation, advocating for a leader who genuinely understands and represents the people’s aspirations.

Tan Jee Say endorses Tan Kin Lian for President: A courageous, genuine, and humble...

In advocating for a truly representative leader, Tan Jee Say underscored Tan Kin Lian's humility, courage, and genuine dedication. Highlighting the pressing need for restored public trust and effective independence, Tan Jee Say emphasized that Tan Kin Lian, as the 'People's President', would bring back hope to Singaporeans and champion true democracy

Tan Kin Lian’s pledge: Rekindling unity and charting a vigorous future for Singapore

In the press conference to announce his bid for the Singapore presidency, Tan Kin Lian emphasizes safeguarding Singapore's reserves and strengthening public service integrity. Drawing on his 30-year leadership at NTUC Income, he envisions a future with affordable living, accessible housing, and job stability, pledging collaboration with the government for a united nation.

Strengthening Singapore’s political foundations: A call to action by Leong Mun Wai on Singapore’s...

Leong Mun Wai urges Singaporeans to strengthen political checks and balances, emphasizing, 'The best is yet to be for Singapore if we dare to make the right decision in upcoming elections.

Trending posts