By Merlina Hernando-Malipot
A federation of private schools strongly opposed the sexual orientation, gender identity, and expression (SOGIE) Equality Bill and urged those who support it to “put up a school of their own.”
The Federation of Associations of Private Schools & Administrators (FAPSA) said that those pushing for the passage of the SOGIE bill “have gone overboard with their “demands.”
Should this continue, the group said that a separate school should be put up for them so as to avoid confusion among other learners and other members of the learning institutions.
“They have gone overboard,” said FAPSA President Eleazardo Kasilag – pertaining to the members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) community calling for the passage of the SOGIE bill, as well as those who are supporting it.
“They need to put up a school of their own,” he added.
FAPSA, which caters to issues on the operation of private schools as well as concerns on school management, said that its member schools also expressed reservations accepting students on the basis of SOGIE. “
We do not even know how to call them? SOGIE creature? Heaven sent? Normal alien or just SOGIE kid?” Kasilag asked. “How do we answer toddlers, ‘where they came from if they are not he or she’,” he lamented.
Private schools, Kasilag said, supports diversity of learners. “We accommodate Muslims and other faiths, being non-sectarian schools, most of us, but to accept new enrollees who shall demand our schools’ vision, mission and objectives radically changed just to welcome them, they better put up a school of their own,” he noted.
“We do not want to change our school vision, our objectives or adjust our understanding our morals,” he stressed.
Despite this, Kasilag clarified that FAPSA “has no quarrel” with the LGBTQ since some of the FAPSA officers and teachers belong to the LGBTQ community. “[Some of them are] gay and lesbians and they are well-respected but this SOGIE [bill] is bending us over too far,” he stressed.
Kasilag also noted that private schools under FAPSA “do not have any plan to construct gender-neutral toilet” because “we do not have budget for that.” He then asked how the public schools under the Department of Education (DepEd) would adjust to the proposal. “I also wonder how the public schools, which do not have enough toilets, can cope with this demand,” he added.
Tilting the equilibrium
For FAPSA, the passage of the SOGIE bill shall “tilt the equilibrium when policies change to accommodate them” – noting that the school manual and regulations are not something that can be altered and influenced easily.
The SOGIE Equality bill is a piece of legislation which aims to “protect” members of the LGBTQ community from different forms of “discrimination enacted against them.” However, FAPSA argued that “most of the jokes and shaming usually come from these individuals, it is their nature, but they cannot be disciplined?”
FAPSA also expressed reservations on the on other items in SOGIE bill such as subjecting any person to gender profiling; undertaking psychological examination; and on publishing information – among others.