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Hwa Chong suspends school counsellor from all duties over anti-LGBTQ claims

SINGAPORE — The Hwa Chong Institution counsellor who delivered a presentation containing discriminatory claims against the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) community has been suspended from all duties.

Hwa Chong Institution said that it has reprimanded and suspended a counsellor from giving more sexuality education lessons in the school.
Hwa Chong Institution said that it has reprimanded and suspended a counsellor from giving more sexuality education lessons in the school.

SINGAPORE — The Hwa Chong Institution counsellor who delivered a presentation containing discriminatory claims against the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) community has been suspended from all duties.

Education Minister Chan Chun Sing gave this update on Tuesday (Aug 2) in a written response to questions from Member of Parliament (MP) Xie Yao Quan and Non-Constituency MP Hazel Poa.

The incident last month involved a Hwa Chong staff member giving a presentation on sexuality, which contained a slide that was said to be filled with discriminatory content.

It included claims such as “58 per cent of homosexuals have problems with intestinal worms” and that “one in 15 homosexuals is a paedophile”.

Hwa Chong clarified on July 18 that this content was outside the scope of the sexuality education curriculum under the Ministry of Education (MOE), and that the views presented were the counsellor's personal perspectives.

The school said that it had reprimanded and suspended the counsellor from giving more sexuality education lessons.

On Tuesday, Ms Poa asked about the duties the counsellor was retaining and what safeguards were in place to ensure such incidents do not happen again.

Mr Chan said: “Following the incident, the school counsellor, who is an employee of Hwa Chong Institution, has been suspended from all duties, pending further investigation by the school's personnel board.”

Parents and students have also been assured that the views expressed by the counsellor do not reflect those of the school, he added.

“The school has also emphasised the importance of respect and care for everyone in the school community.” 

Mr Xie asked when the ministry expects to conclude investigations into the incident and if it was aware of any student who was personally affected by the counsellor's statements and had asked for help.

In his reply, Mr Chan said that the school has been watching out for students who may be affected by the incident.

“Teachers have been vigilant in monitoring their students’ well-being, and students who have concerns or require support have been encouraged to approach the school leaders or a trusted adult in school,” he added.

“The school is reviewing its processes to ensure alignment with MOE’s curriculum and guidelines.” CNA

For more reports like this, visit cna.asia.

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Hwa Chong Institution LGBTQ counsellor suspended MOE Chan Chun Sing Sex Education

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