While girl students have been complaining about sexual harassment by an English teacher at a school in Goregaon for the past 5-10 years, the school could not take action because no formal complaint was filed, said the principal.
The teacher has been working in the school for the past 18 years. His behaviour came to light when a student narrated the ordeal to her parents. Many girls, including some ex-students, have now come forward to complain.
“I was aware of the reputation of the teacher and always kept a close watch on him,” the principal said.
Even a former principal of the school confirmed the accused has been harassing girls. “I feel sorry that despite getting complaints I could not do much. Instead, I used to tell students to ignore him or dress in a particular way,” said the former principal.
Under the Protection of Children against Sexual Offences Act (2012), it is mandatory to report incidents of molestation of children to the police. However, in this case, no police complaint has been made yet.
“We have constituted an internal inquiry committee that is looking into the incident. The committee consists of educational experts who are not related to the school,” said the principal.
The school, which was converted to English medium from Marathi medium two years ago, temporarily suspended the teacher, after parents threatened to take the matter in their hands. “We have suspended the teacher. Strict action will be taken once we get the inquiry report,” said the principal.