Tamil Nadu to set up committee in schools for sexual assault complaints, review online class guidelines

Addressing reporters in Chennai, the Education Minister said the police department are carrying out the investigation into the allegations of sexual harassment against a teacher of a private school and they will initiate necessary action.

Tamil Nadu Minister for School Education Anbil Mahesh Poyyamozhi Tuesday said the state will set up a separate committee to handle complaints of sexual assault from school students. He further said many schools are not duly following guidelines issued to conduct online classes and hence they will review and implement the procedures the schools needed to follow.

Addressing reporters in Chennai, the Education Minister said the police department are carrying out the investigation into the allegations of sexual harassment against a teacher of a private school and they will initiate necessary action.

“It is important to ensure that genuine complaints are acted upon. It is a sensitive issue, we must be very careful. There are several other good teachers as well and a false complaint should not be filed in any manner. Just like how CEOs are in constant touch with the schools, necessary steps will be taken to make sure the committee will address the issues,” he said.

Replying to a question on whether the government should implement more stringent measures for online classes, he said, “We never faced this kind of a situation before, this is a great lesson for us. In upcoming days we will be more vigilant,” he said.

He said as per the guidelines of the Supreme Court, every school should have an Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) to address complaints of sexual harassment and the state education department will keep a check on all the schools. Sources said the government is also planning to have time restrictions for online classes and taking steps to make sure the school management records the virtual classes and stores them in a portal so that the parents and authorities from the education department can view them whenever they require.

Following complaints from former students that school authorities neglected the complaints escalated earlier by them, the management issued a statement on Tuesday where they reiterated that they didn’t receive any written complaint on the matter from anyone. Further, they said they have never had a situation with an errant teacher and it is a wake-up call for them to be more vigilant. They added that the behavior of one teacher does not in any way detract from the highest standards of professionalism their teachers uphold.

“For us our students’ welfare is absolutely sacrosanct,” the statement read. The school is further planning to constitute a special senior group, drawn from both legal and non-legal backgrounds to guide them and ensure such incidents don’t occur again.

Source: Read Full Article