Published: 31st May 2021
TNCPCR summons accused teachers, management and students from over 4 Chennai schools embroiled in sexual harassment scandal
The hearings will be conducted on separate dates and based on the findings, recommendations will be made to the government for action to be taken
The Tamil Nadu Commission for Protection of Child Rights (TNCPCR) has called all the parties involved from at least 4 schools in Chennai that have been rocked by sexual harassment allegations against teachers.
In fact, members of the TNCPCR have said that when they went to Padma Seshadri Bala Bhavan, a private school in Chennai that was where the whole saga began, the School authorities did not cooperate with the enquiry made by the District Child Protection Officer. The commission has sent summons to the teacher who has been accused, the school authorities and an alumna who had brought out allegations against the teacher for a hearing, on June 4.
"The information about how a teacher in PSBB Senior Secondary School had exhibited sexual harassment towards his students had reached the TNCPCR head via WhatsApp and the news. Based on this, we had sent District Child Protection Officer Suryakala to the school to collect information and make enquiries. However, the management of the school did not cooperate with her," said the commission in a statement. A week ago, after allegations surfaced online, the school has suspended the teacher, who was later arrested.
Allegations about the teacher started gaining attention, after Kripali M, an alumna of the school posted accounts of students anonymously on her Instagram handle. While Dr Saranya Jaikumar, the head of the commission had reached out to her, the commission explains why the investigation was delayed. "She (Dr Saranya) was informed that the current students had refused to give any complaint or evidence against the teacher in question, because of which the investigation was delayed," reads the statement. "Despite this, TNCPCR officials received all the evidence and details that were collected by the KK Nagar All Women Police Station," it says.
Subsequently, they have also called similar hearings to investigate such allegations of sexual harassment that have been raised against teachers in other major city schools. "Based on the news that has been doing the rounds regarding the sexual harassment of students by teachers of various schools in Chennai, the Tamil Nadu Child Commission for Protection of Child Rights has sent teams to Maharishi Vidya Mandir and Chettinad Vidyashram to conduct enquiries," said a statement from the TNCPCR.
In order to investigate these claims further, the TNCPCR has summoned the affected students, the School principal and correspondent and the teacher who stands accused for St George's Anglo-Indian School on June 7, Chettinad Vidyashram on June 8 and Maharishi Vidya Mandir on June 10.
Based on the findings in these hearings, the TNCPCR will send their recommendations on the action needed to the government and the concerned bodies.