At Manav Mandir High School in Walkeshwar, Tuesday was no different from any other day. In the afternoon, the din of students streaming out of school drowned out furtive whispers and hushed talk among groups of parents standing at the gate.
But the arrest of a schoolteacher on charges of sodomy has certainly worried parents who are now contemplating on the necessary course of action.
On Monday, a physical education teacher was arrested after a Class 2 student alleged that the teacher had sodomised him in the school’s toilet twice last week. The teacher is in police custody and will be produced before a court on October 7.
“This is a well-known, reputed school and nothing of this sort has happened before. We are shocked,” said a parent who did not wish to be named. A group of parents was also planning to approach the school management on the issue on Tuesday.
“We are very worried about the safety of our children,” said another parent. “What’s going on? How could this happen?”
According to the victim’s statement to the police, the teacher allegedly forced himself on him during school hours on Wednesday last week and then again the following day. The victim said he was sexually abused in the toilet situated on the school building’s first floor.
Meanwhile, the Class 6 student who was suspended after the victim wrongly accused of sodomising him, returned to school on Tuesday. The victim, who had named his senior allegedly under duress from the accused teacher, is yet to return to school.
School authorities were circumspect about the issue. “The matter is not in the hands of the school, it is with the court now,” said Kishor Dave, a trustee of the school. Dave refused to comment on whether the school would devise a policy on how to prevent such incidents in the future.