A six year old was allegedly raped in her school by two men, one of them a faculty member of the school.
And mind you, this is not just any school. It is one of those prominent schools in Bangalore where every parent dreams of sending his/her kid.
One look at their website and anyone will be impressed.The school offers both ICSE and CBSE syllabuses .Few international level examinations have been listed. The list of post school activities and extra curricular activities are mind blowing. The school infrastructure in itself is drool worthy.
I am sure they charge a fortune in the name of tuition fee, donation and an array of ‘other’ fees. There would have been cc tvs in all class rooms and every other corner of the school. SMSes and emails regarding the child’s daily activities would have been promptly sent every day. In fact it would have been a kind of school any parent would have envisioned for his/her child.
But inspite of all these, a six year old child was molested. And it was done by a faculty member, the fitness instructor they say, within the school premises during the regular school hours.
I went ahead and read a few reports about the unfortunate incident.I read reports about the school’s initial attempts to avoid any tie up with the incident;about the agreement with the clause “that the school will not responsible for the child’s safety” which the parents were made to sign during the admission; about how the school used it’s influence to print misguided articles in popular media; about the faculties for Sports and Performing Arts not being on the school pay roll and being outsourced from external agencies;about how the other parents were not informed about the unfortunate incident and how the school tried to cover it all up as it put its reputation at risk .
More shocking were the indications that such instances had been reported within the school in the past. The article in Citizen Matters talks about how one of the accused was reported to have been taking the photos of a sixth grader of the same school.
Was this incident not reported, if yes did the school authorities not look into the matter? Why was this guy still inside the school?
I know that child abusers are hard to identify.They pass with flying colors when it comes to socialization tests. But did the school do any back ground check on the faculty members they had outsourced?How close were the kids monitored? When the parents shell out a fortune to ensure proper safety and quality education for their offspring, how far do the schools go to actually achieve these expectations?
And this is not an isolated incident,more reports of this nature are coming out from all part of the country- from both private and public institutions.Being a mother, I am at loss of words. I feel my trust is broken.How can I ever trust my daughter with anyone else? How can I be at peace when my daughter is not with me?
And to think our health minister was talking against the sex education imparted in the schools!The least we can do is to educate our kids and help them defend themselves…