THE DISTRICT administration, in its report, has observed that Vaishnav Kanya Bal Mandir at Rajmohalla did not take timely measures on complaints of sexual harassment made by children against school bus drivers and conductors.
Had the school management acted promptly, incident and parents’ outburst would not have occurred, the report said. “Children don’t lie and the school management should have taken corrective measures immediately if students complained against misconduct by school staffers,” the report signed by Additional Collector Renu Pant added. The report with its set of recommendations is being sent to the school for enforcement.
In the report, district administration has recommended that bus routes should be fixed in a manner that at least one teacher stays in the bus till all children get down at their stops.
A regular Parents Teachers Association (PTA) meeting has been recommended to build confidence among parents. Another strong recommendation been made is that the management should make the character verification and check antecedents of bus drivers, conductors and peons before appointing them. The administration has asked school management to take cognizance of students’ complaints even if it were oral and not written.
On January 25, over a dozen parents of the school charged that bus driver Ashok Karode and conductor Ram had been sexually harassing girls when they boarded or alighted from the bus and also inside the school building with help of ayah named Sarla.
Parents alleged that they had complained to the school management including principal Nanda Vyas on a number of occasion, but rather than taking action, the school management had brushed the matter under the carpet, as they thought that it would give the school a bad name.
The police arrested the driver and the conductor and booked them under Section 354 of IPC. Nevertheless, there was pandemonium on Republic Day (January 26) in the school when angry parents beat up two of the school trustees, threw furniture in the air as they accused the school management of failing to take action against three employees. Police had to be called in to escort the teachers and trustees out of the building and to appease angry parents.