Guest Fact Checker: Brodhead visit to upper crust prep school in Singapore offends Loyal Reader who is gay

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Imagine the howl if the President of Duke -- our own Magellan circling the globe and finding new places -- spoke at a school that was all white, a racist school refusing to admit any people of color, including blacks or Asians.

Or imagine if he spoke at a school that was religiously intolerant, bashing other faiths.

There would be howls upon his return.

Or at a school that violates one of our core values -- full acceptance of everyone regardless of sexual orientation.

Well Richard Brodhead did speak at the Raffles Institution in Singapore, an upper crust prep school named for the Brit who put the port of Singapore on the map. We noted yesterday the school requires six years of classes in proper relationships -- meaning heterosexual. And our mailbox was immediately filled with documentation about its deep disdain for gays.

Fact Checker notes that this is the same Richard Brodhead who was insensitive a year ago, when the Republican Club on campus changed its by-laws in the middle of the night and bounced Justin Robinette as chair, because he was coming out. This is the same Richard Brodhead who not only refused and refused to see Robinette, ultimately scheduling him for five minutes, but failed to take action against bigots like Carter Boyle and Rachel Provost who taunted and harassed Robinette, in full violation of Duke's policies and Community Standard.

And now another fracture in Brodhead's relations with the LGBT community.

A Loyal Reader sent in the following Guest Fact Checker essay:

Does Duke want to encourage this kind of institutional bigotry by actively recruiting from and forming close ties with the Raffles school?

A teacher at Raffles, in 2007, came out in a piece posted to his blog. After pressure from the school, he deleted the post:


Here's the original text of the post:


More recently, the teacher has been active in Singapore for more LGBT tolerance and produced the following op-ed; he's described as a "former teacher" at Raffles. I haven't been able to find information on whether he resigned from the institution or was forced to leave:


In April 2010, a gay themed play was banned by Raffles. The original article is offline, but I found a copy in an online forum:


BANNED: RI (Raffles Institute) says no to play because ...

Play banned 'due to thematic sensitivities', claims ex-student

By Benson Ang
April 06, 2010

The play involving homosexuality was first performed in front of students, their families and teachers of Raffles Institution (RI) on March 13.

It was performed at the school as part of its annual drama festival. It was scheduled to be staged the next day as well.

But that didn't happen.

A former student claimed on Facebook that the team behind the play was informed that the play was "banned due to thematic sensitivities".

The 20-minute play is called Love is the Law. According to online sources, the play is set in a world where homosexuality is the norm, and heterosexuality is ridiculed.
The play's cast and crew are students from Raffles Institute's Morrison-Richardson house, and its writer-director is Carol Ann Tan, 18, a final-year arts student.

The New Paper contacted Raffles on Sunday. We asked if the play was banned, barred or removed. We also asked for the reasons for the school's actions, as well as the school's concerns about the play.
Yesterday evening, an RI spokesman was only prepared to say: "We have spoken to the students to better understand their position and views of the matter."

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