India

Are Schools Safe Enough?

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On September 8th, 7-year-old Pradyuman Thakur was found murdered with his throat slit in the washroom of Ryan International School, Haryana. This case throws light on the high crime rates in schools and the fact that there are almost 3000 cases against schools pending in the court.

Let’s look at how other such incidents and mishaps that are increasingly becoming a threat for students:

88 students at a girl’s school were forced to undress as a punishment for writing vulgar things on a piece of paper against the head teacher. The victims approached the All Sagalee Students Union (ASSU) who then filed an FIR with the local police. As per the complaint, they were forced to undress in front of other students for their misconduct. The incident was condemned by the Arunachal Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) calling it a “heinous act”.

11 girls were singled out during a ‘trial’ in which the headmistress, Rama Mani and other teachers called them names for misbehaving and talking in the class. They were made to stand from 2 pm to 4:30 pm on the school ground with both their hands raised. They were threatened to be dismissed from school if they failed to bring their parents the next day.

Out of the 11 girls, 4 committed suicide by jumping into the well. After the investigation, the headmistress along with two teachers have been suspended.

A 10-year-old Arman died after slipping on the second-floor corridor. The victim’s father registered an FIR against the principal and the school management under IPC sections 304a (causing death by negligence) and 201 (disappearance of evidence). Parents of the victim claimed that the wet floor was the cause of their son’s death. They also questioned the absence of a CCTV camera on the second floor.

A six-year-old boy Devansh Kacrora drowned in a water tank inside the school grounds. Parents of the victim alleged that Kacrora was assaulted before the murder. According to the reportsit has been found that the principal of the school threatened the victim’s father to be quiet about the murder. After the investigation, the police charged the principal and four other staff members on the grounds of negligence. The investigation revealed that the authorities ran the school without any completion certificate from civic authorities. It also found that the pump room was open and unattended by the staff, and the CCTV cameras in the school didn’t cover the entire school area.

A six-year-old girl was raped by 2 gym instructors named Waseem Pasha and Lalgiri in the campus. Initially, police had arrested a skating instructor Mohammed Mustafa, on the basis of child pornography videos found on his laptop. Later, Mustafa was found innocent, but the police had booked him under the previous allegations of misbehavior in a school where he used to work.

Rustom Kerawalla, the chairman of the school was also arrested for tampering with the evidence and providing false information. This case brought to light the negligence by the management in recruiting staff without a proper background check. The absence of CCTV cameras is considered to be another factor behind the incident. 

A schoolteacher named Bernard was booked for molesting a seven-year-old girl. According to the reports, Bernard had molested the girl at an isolated spot in the school and had threatened her against revealing the incident to anyone. Due to the irresponsibility shown by the principal in taking action against Bernard the parents had approached the police. Many other parents also alleged that their children made similar complaints in the past regarding such issues, but the principal refused to take it seriously.

This negligence by the principal led to the perpetuation of the crime.

2 boys studying in the 8th grade shot their fellow classmate Abhishek Tyagi using one of their father’s guns. Why? A long-held argument between the duo led to the shooting.

As per reports, one of the two boys smuggled his father’s gun to the school and hid it in the toilet till they confronted Tyagi outside the school bus. The failed efforts of the school management to settle the issues between the students and monitoring their activities resulted in the killing. Adding to this is the negligence of lack of surveillance by the management to keep an eye on any suspicious activity on the school premises.

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