10 teachers quit Mumbai school in 2 months after sexual assault case
Less than a week after the Bombay high court (HC) revoked the bail plea of an Andheri school trustee accused of sexually assaulting a three-year-old student, the school management is now facing more problems. Over the last two months, 10 teachers have quit, of which five teachers and the principal of the primary section resigned in the past week.
While the management has called this a ‘warm goodbye’ from teachers who quit for personal reasons, some parents are worried it will affect the school.
“ Three teachers are shifting to work part-time. Two are relocating. Effectively only five teachers quit. That’s a 6% attrition this year, which is very low. The school conducts a year-long course to train teachers, and there’s a refresher course to retrain older teachers, so there’s always a pool of trained teachers to select from,” said the spokesperson of the school.
This week, a school trustee sent a detailed list of the teachers who quit to all parents, citing reasons for their resignation. HT is in possession of the letter. The school also assured in the letter that new teachers will be hired by the school soon.
“Many parents are also planning to withdraw their children from the school,” the parent said.
Many parents were also unhappy that the accused trustee’s wife, also a teacher in the school, will now be heading the primary section.
The case dates back to May 2017, when parents of a three-year-old student accused the school trustee, a French national, of sexually assaulting their daughter.
The trustee was arrested in November following an FIR lodged on the parents’ complaint, and was booked for “aggravated sexual assault”. However, he got bail, and was back in the school in December. The victim has since moved to another school.
Earlier this week, acting on a plea filed by the mother of the victim, the HC struck down the special Protection of Children against Sexual Offences (POCSO) court order, that had granted bail to the accused.
A group of parents who support he school’s stand refuted claims that teachers quit due to the recent events.
“Almost all of them quit for personal reasons, not because of this case. These are attempts to malign the school,” said another parent.