5 Protest Against Discriminatory Treatment Of LGBTQ+ Students Outside MOE Building
UPDATE (6.22pm): A previous version of the article stated that the protesters were handcuffed. This was an editorial error — they were not handcuffed.
The article has been edited to reflect this.
A recent viral Reddit post of a transgender student who alleged discriminatory treatment by her school and the Ministry of Education sparked a conversation on social media.
On Tuesday (26 Jan), a group went outside the MOE building at Buona Vista to show their support for LGBTQ+ students.
They called for an end to discrimination against these students in MOE schools, which they say is a long-standing issue.
However, around 30 minutes after the protest began, 3 of them were arrested.
They were reportedly told to leave by officers.
Protest at 26 Jan outside MOE building
The protest took place at around 5pm on Tuesday (26 Oct), outside the MOE building.
According to pictures taken by freelance journalist & activist Kirsten Han, a total of 5 people were there holding up signs calling for an end to discrimination against transgender students.
She reported that soon after the protest began, security officers showed up telling them to leave, and that they can’t take photos.
Although 2 of them left, 3 remained.
Officers order protesters to leave
Next, several people came up to the protesters, who Ms Han reportedly said were plainclothes police officers.
They were again reportedly told to leave the premises and were issued a Move-On order.
However, the protesters reportedly told the officers that they wanted to talk to each other first before making a decision.
Eventually, at around 5.30pm, police arrested the 3 of them.
A video shared by Ms Han shows the protesters led away by uniformed police personnel.
You can view the video here.
Protesters reportedly said that other avenues weren’t successful
During the time before the arrest, officers apparently tried talking the protesters into leaving.
One of them cited “other avenues”.
However, according to Ms Han, the response was that there haven’t been other successful avenues.
This may have led to their decision to conduct the protest today, despite knowing that doing so without a permit might result in their arrests.
Protest calls for end of discrimination against LGBTQ+ students in schools
In a media statement, Community Action Network SG pointed out that various organisations have raised concerns over discriminatory and intrusive practices at schools.
These practices include checks and controls on uniforms conforming to gender norms, as well as allegedly disrespecting and outing LGBTQ+ students to family and others without consent.
They also said that MOE has a duty to protect the human rights of transgender and other LGBTQ+ students, and condemned the recent statements they put out.
According to testimonies that the groups received, the treatment they’ve faced suggest that MOE’s current practices are not enough to tackle discrimination in schools.
This is a developing story, and we’ll update the story as more information arrives.
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