Published: 31st May 2021
After several private schools, Kendriya Vidyalaya in sexual harassment storm as alums call out teacher for sexually abusing them
They have also sent copies of the complaint to the Childline, the CBSE, the Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan, the National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights and the TNCPCR
A group of 22 alumni of Kendriya Vidyalaya, CLRI, Chennai have written to the school's principal, alleging that a teacher of the school had sexually abused and misbehaved with them, while they were students there. They have also sent copies of the complaint to the Childline, the CBSE, the Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan, the National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights and the Tamil Nadu Commission for the Protection of Child Rights.
Describing instances where the teacher had allegedly misbehaved with the alumni, the letter further says, "This reeks of impunity and going by past conduct, and a pattern with respect to sexual abuse and sexually inappropriate behaviour, we are concerned that the teacher continues to misbehave with current students, who may be too scared to speak out[sic]."
The complainants have asked the school to suspend the teacher immediately, alert the police about the complaint, prevent the teacher from all academic activities and constitute a child protection committee. "We request you to sensitise all current students and staff (teaching, non-teaching, permanent, temporary, and contract) at KV CLRI about sexually abusive behaviour, and what actions can be taken against predators as per the POCSO Act, as the same is mandated by law in addition to being an integral aspect of safe schooling," the letter says. The complainants also ask the schools to set up a committee to investigate the matter.
While the accused teacher continues to work in the school, Principal T Rama Prasad told EdexLive that the school has already formed a committee to investigate the matter. "We cannot suspend the teacher based on the complaint alone. A committee will investigate the matter and take an action immediately," he said.
An alumna of the school on condition of anonymity told EdexLive that she was contacted by the school on Monday after the letter was sent. "They told me that a committee was set up with three teachers and an external member. However, I am just worried that the teachers might still be in favour of that teacher," she said.
Dr Saranya Jaikumar, Member, Tamil Nadu Commission for Protection of Child Rights also told us that the Commission has received the complaint and has decided to summon all the affected parties for a hearing.
The alumna added that the recent incident where a teacher of Padma Sheshadri Bala Bhavan, a school in Chennai was arrested for misbehaving with the students was what prompted her and the others to write to the school. "In light of the several instances of sexual harassment, assault and abuse coming out from schools in Chennai, I decided to post my experience on social media – following which several students have reached out to me and my friends (also KV CLRI alumni) about their own experiences of sexual abuse by the teacher. Some of these former KV CLRI students want to remain anonymous because of the backlash from society towards those who speak up about their abuse experience and fearful of retaliatory consequences arising from the same, the details of all these cases are shocking and warrant an immediate impartial inquiry," she says in the letter.
Name of the teacher and alumni withheld to maintain anonymity and in accordance with the POCSO Act