Thursday, September 23

Kolkata: School heads, parents welcome state panel against sexual abuse

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The education department forming a nodal committee — in compliance with a High Court order — to protect school students from sexual abuse has met with a lot of trust and support from both schools and students’ parents. Administrators and principals across the city said they have implemented most of the nodal body’s suggestions and have assured that whatever was left will be done soon.

Principal of Don Bosco School Park Circus Fr Bikash Mondal said, “We have an internal committee to avoid lapses on campus. Moreover, we have to take note of the guidelines that the state has given as they will help create a more secure environment for the students.”

Supriyo Dhar, secretary of La Martiniere Schools, spoke about their internal sexual harassment committee.

“Both our schools have independent sexual harassment committees that act on the state guidelines. There have been no complaints yet, but we have kept an eye out to avoid any occurrences. The implementation of the rules needs to be precise. If there is no follow up on the part of the administration then the initiatives will die out,” he said.

At Vivekananda Mission, principal Sarmishta Banerjee said, “We have recently brought both our campuses under CCTV surveillance.”

The mother of a Class V student in a school near Moulali welcomed the move to form the nodal committee. “Several school authorities refused to abide by the laws stating the institutes were outside the purview of the rules since they were affiliated to other boards. Hopefully, now everyone will follow the guidelines.”

Modern High School director Devi Kar said, “We have women attendants on each floor and we do not let students go to the washroom alone. They are sent with a partner.”

Sujoy Biswas, principal of Rammohan Mission High School said the rules prescribed by the state were part of a commendable initiative.

Source: Times of India

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