New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday ordered the suspension of the vice-principal and teachers of a government school in northwest Delhi over their alleged failure to report to police the sexual assault of two boys by their classmates.
He also directed the Directorate of Education (DoE) to prepare high-quality material for reference of all teachers and principals and issue guidelines for schools to handle cases of abuse in a supportive environment for children.
On the direction of the chief minister, Delhi Education Minister Atishi has written to the DoE to ensure rigorous training of all principals and teachers on provisions of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, mandatory reporting, tools for early identification of abuse, types of abuse, impact of abuse on children and remedial measures to avoid such incidents in future.
In her note to the DoE, the minister said it is a "deeply disturbing" act. "It is especially worrying that the students had informed the teachers and the vice principal, but they did not bring it to the notice of the police or any higher authorities. Not only is this immoral, but also against the law. As per the POCSO Act, non-reporting of sexual abuse - by any adult who is aware of the abuse - is a criminal offence," Atishi noted.
She asserted that everything must be done to ensure children are safe and secure at all times. "While the criminal proceedings into the matter will continue, the teachers and the vice principal concerned should be suspended immediately. Disciplinary action should be initiated against them for failing to report the matter to police," she said, citing the directions of Kejriwal.
The minister also underlined that all possible steps have to be taken to ensure that such an instance is not repeated in schools.The two boys, aged 12 and 13 years, have filed separate complaints with the police alleging that they were sexually assaulted by five to six classmates. Police said the alleged incident took place in April during a summer camp organised by the school.
The 13-year-old boy, a student of class 8, alleged that his classmates forcefully took him to a park and sexually assaulted him. They also threatened him not to disclose it to anyone, officials said.
A few days ago when the boys started troubling him, he told his teachers about the incident who asked him not to tell anyone about this, they said, adding the victim informed his parents who later made a PCR call and a case was registered on Sunday.
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