Dear Editors,

I am a Singaporean Indian male teacher teaching in East Spring Secondary School. One day my Head of Department (HOD) refered to some external Software vendors who were mostly Indians providing a service or product to my school as “cheats” Specifically she said “All Indians are cheats” Then she looked at me “Except You” This was said in my first week in the school. As i did not want to come across as a trouble maker, I thought that perhaps keeping my head down and showing that i could work either independently or in a department i could prove that i could finish whatever thrown on my table for the academic year.

At the end of the year i decided to open up to my HOD via an informal meeting. I did not have end of year appraisal as i am a Contract Staff. When i told her of this incident at first she said she could not remember but after i reminded her of some more details she admitted it. She told me she did not mean it and she is not a racist because she had friends and colleagues of Indian and other races. Throughout the meeting i did not once use the label “Racist” but instead told her how her words made me feel.

Before i joined the teaching profession if someone told me that in a place of knowledge and learning like a school there are adults that use discriminatory remarks and slurs based on a person’s race i would be highly skeptical! Sadly this is not the first time such an incident had occurred. In the past i totally clamped up as i was a Beginning Teacher bonded to MOE. If your school concluded that you are a trouble maker your life could be made very difficult and worse there are some who leave and break their bond which would result in them being “blacklisted” if they ever want to rejoin the Civil Service!

As per The Police’s advice i informed my school of the incident. My Principal told me candidly that any “Tom Dick and Harry” can file a report but what’s important is what action can be done afterwards. I thought about the past incidents and how things persist so i decided to file a police report anyway.

P.S I have attached a copy of the report but have cut/pasted/edited so actual names are not shown as it is an ongoing investigation

Upset Teacher
A.S.S. Contributor

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