THIS refers to the news item ‘Harassment scandal at school in Lahore raises alarm over safety’ (June 30). Being a parent of young children, I am so shocked and disturbed to read the startling revelations about the reported sexual harassment cases in the Lahore Grammar School.
Since this a very serious issue which warrants immediate attention and action, I recommend that all private schools be made to take the following steps to nip this evil in the bud in the future.
All schools must have a comprehensive sexual harassment policy for their respective administration, teachers and students.
A proper orientation programme on the subject may be imparted to teachers, administration and students at the start of every academic year along with the consequences.
A detailed list of behaviours falling in sexual harassment categories may be shared with teachers and administration. It must be obligatory for schools to ask for police clearance certificate for school teachers and administration and for those to be hired in future as is done in schools across the UK.
Students and parents should be encouraged by the school administration to immediately report any instance of sexual harassment in school with the assurance that no adverse action will be taken against the complainant student/parent.
While probing such cases, due care and diligence may be exercised to maintain secrecy and name of the complainant.
The provincial and federal governments must make it obligatory for all schools to share the names of offending teachers with educational and police authorities for blacklisting such teachers.
Any lapse by any school in this regard must carry heavy penalties for the school owners.
THIS refers to sexual harassment cases at Lahore Grammar School. Lately, several girl students have spoken on social media about inappropriate behavior of male faculty members.
According to them, these teachers would send them inappropriate pictures and even touch them.
The stories of these students have led to an outrage on social media. People have been demanding the LGS administration to investigate the matter. The girls have talked about the school administration’s apathy and inaction despite several complaints.
After an uproar on social media, the LGS has sacked four of its teachers. However, no action was taken earlier. Has this been done only for the sake of the reputation of the school? If students had not revealed the names of these teachers, their complaints would have gone unheard.
The Punjab education minister has taken notice of the issue. One hopes the culprits will be brought to justice and made an example.
Published in Dawn, July 5th, 2020