Parents worried about security at Lancers School
Parents of students studying in Lancers International School are apprehensive about the security at the institution after the alleged molestation of three-year-old earlier this week. They said the CCTV cameras near the entrance of washrooms were missing and attendants were present inside the washroom to assist the young ones and keep a watch on them.
On Monday, a nursery student was allegedly sexually molested in the girl’s toilet on the ground floor of the school by a housekeeping staff.
The girl went home and informed her mother that one of the helpers had inappropriately touched her while she was in the washroom.
The accused, Yogesh, a 32-year-old resident of Ferozabad district in Uttar Pradesh, was arrested on Thursday after the mother filed a complaint. The incident has left parents fearing for the safety of their wards.
“I do not know how safe my child is in the school even after paying such a huge fee. It is not possible to have cameras installed inside the washroom, but what about installing one at the entrance to keep a check?” said a parent requesting anonymity.
The parents said while the school boasts of having over 120 CCTV cameras on its campus, how a male staff was allowed near the girl’s washroom without being spotted is a matter of concern.
“The attitude of the school and its security measures are unacceptable. There are no CCTV cameras in the drinking area or outside toilets and the school should have ensured that no man is allowed to enter the girl’s washroom,” said another parent.
A few also pointed to the growing dependency of schools on contract staff especially for cleaning and maintenance work. They said the schools blindly hire workers without a proper verification.
“The school should get their employees — permanent or contractual — verified by the police as the security of children was at stake.
“In an incident in August, a girl was molested in another school by a contractual worker hired without proper verification. It should be mandatory for schools to maintain files on all employees,” another parent said.
The school management said it has supported the child and her mother since the incident was reported to them. They have also made changes in the school’s housekeeping staff by terminating all nine male cleaners. Also, the contract of the company proving the housekeeping staff has been cancelled.
“An enquiry was conducted by the internal sexual harassment committee with the help of CCTV footage available. The housekeeping agency was also asked to withdraw their services and the services of all nine male housekeeping staff were terminated. We have also sent an email to the parents about the entire incident and the steps undertaken by the school,” said a spokesperson from Lancers International School.