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Haryana: DPS teacher named in teen’s suicide note to return to teach?

The deceased's mother claims that the Academic Head, who had been charged with abetment to suicide four months ago, is all set to return to her post after getting bail

Sabrangindia 07 Jul 2022

DPS TeacherRepresentational Image

It has been four months since a Class 10 student at Delhi Public School (DPS), Greater Faridabad, died by suicide on February 24, 2022. In his final communication, the c

hild blamed fellow students and the Academic Head for his death. Yet, the mother claimed recently, that the named teacher has not only been granted bail, but may resume teaching as well.

On July 6, the mother held a virtual press conference to talk about her police complaint against the school and the negligence by authorities. According to the mother, the child was undergoing therapy due to prolonged bullying, sexual harassment and assault. Even when her son complained to the school administration, the mother claimed the teachers took no action. Instead, they accused the mother-son duo of taking undue advantage of his mental health issues.

“I was threatened that my son will be held back in his class if we continue with the complaints,” said the mother.

This violates the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act’s (POCSO Act) guidelines that mandates the reporting of any sexual offence via a School Complaints Committee. However, the mother – who used to work in the school – said the institution has no POCSO mechanism in place. She went on to say that the school has no gender sensitisation programme either.

Although the website shows a ‘Reflective workshop on gender identity, cyber navigation & wellness’, school authorities confirmed to SabrangIndia that the workshop topic changes annually.

Apathy of police

Two days after her son’s death, the mother approached the BPTP police to complain about her son’s ordeal. She talked about her son’s experiences since Class 6 and shared voice notes by her son with the police on April 11. In his last communication, the boy named the senior academic coordinator and others. The academic coordinator was arrested on February 27 by the Haryana police under Section 306, abetment of suicide.

Yet, as per the mother’s account there was no chargesheet. Moreover, the academic coordinator was subsequently granted bail. It may be noted that abetment to suicide is a non-bailable offence.

LGBTQIA+ group Yes, We Exist – which offered its support to the mother – said quoting sources that the academic coordinator “is likely to be reinstated by DPS and shall start teaching Class 11-12 students this month. Meanwhile, the mother, who was a teacher in the same school has been unlawfully terminated from her job following her child’s death.”

The mother accused the police and the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) of diluting charges and intentionally delaying the investigation to give the school sufficient time to build its defence. She also accused the police of leaking the evidence material, shared by her, with the school, as parts of it were used by the academic coordinator during her bail hearing.

SabrangIndia contacted the school regarding the details of the accused’s employment in school, and is awaiting their response. Meanwhile, the mother has been running pillar to post for the last four months.

She met Haryana Home Minister Anil Vij, Women and Child Welfare Association Panchkula, CWC Faridabad, CP Faridabad, DCP, ACP, SHO but to no avail. Although her complaint to Vij against the SIT Head resulted in new officials investigating the case, no action has been taken till now. According to Yes, We Exist, the police intend to investigate Instagram and other social media accounts of the nine students accused in the case.

“This we think is unnecessary and simply a tactic to waste time or find some material to shift the blame falsely on the boy,” said Yes, We Exist founder Jeet.

Weeks into the incident, the school claimed that most of the students named by the mother had left the place.

Dubious moves by school

Shortly after voicing her complaints about her son’s death, the mother received a letter stating she was “relieved from her services”. Similarly, the accused teacher also received a letter that said she was “temporarily relieved” from her services. This has caused considerable confusion for the mother who is the sole earning member of her family.

Although she acknowledged that she received her salary in keeping with the three months notice period clause in her contract, she said, “There is still no clarity from the school. I asked the school what do you mean by relieving me from services?”

This is not the first time the mother had complaints about the school functioning. During his therapy, the boy was diagnosed with dyslexia and as such was entitled to a writer for his exams. However, during his recent exams, the accused teacher refused to give the boy a scribe stating that he will manage.

“He was denied a scribe and he was left alone in the exam room. The teachers knew about his condition. Speaking to his friends, he had said 90 percent of problems were the school’s fault,” she said.

In a ‘Living With Dignity’ report by the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) in 2019, Educational and training opportunities are often denied to LGBTQ persons due to harassment, bullying, and violence. While the boy never confirmed his sexual orientation, he was constantly abused with slurs merely on the suspicion that he might be gay.

Life of a non-conformist

The 15-year-old boy was interested in jewellery. His mother recalled he had asked for piercings on both his ears to test his handmade products but was scolded for this at school. The accused teacher kept him from wearing studs, although girls were allowed to wear the jewellery. The mother and son were scolded for the same.

Her mother tried to make sure there was no pressure on his mind. She requested his teachers not to scold him publicly or directly, considering his depression, but to talk to his school counsellor. Yet, it was the mother who was told to “explain” to the child. The boy also found it difficult to voice his few complaints to the female teachers. The mother also claimed that the nine accused students threatened the boy about his mother to keep him quiet.

“My child was called over-sensitive. Being abused daily cannot allow the child to “take it easy,” she said.

Worse still, the mother learnt that her colleagues shared similar experiences in their children’s lives. It is for this reason that the mother is fighting for the application of POCSO guidelines in all schools.

“Every child should know their rights… I’m glad that youths nowadays understand but there are still people who do not understand,” she said.

Related:

Beyond Pride Month: Where is the commitment to Equal Rights?
Indian women, transgender and non-binary persons in science: A 21st Century calendar by TLoS
The Supremacy Myth
When a judge allows himself to be counselled, justice can mean a transformation
I am not fully ‘woke’: Madras HC judge to start psychology sessions to understand same sex relationships

Haryana: DPS teacher named in teen’s suicide note to return to teach?

The deceased's mother claims that the Academic Head, who had been charged with abetment to suicide four months ago, is all set to return to her post after getting bail

DPS TeacherRepresentational Image

It has been four months since a Class 10 student at Delhi Public School (DPS), Greater Faridabad, died by suicide on February 24, 2022. In his final communication, the c

hild blamed fellow students and the Academic Head for his death. Yet, the mother claimed recently, that the named teacher has not only been granted bail, but may resume teaching as well.

On July 6, the mother held a virtual press conference to talk about her police complaint against the school and the negligence by authorities. According to the mother, the child was undergoing therapy due to prolonged bullying, sexual harassment and assault. Even when her son complained to the school administration, the mother claimed the teachers took no action. Instead, they accused the mother-son duo of taking undue advantage of his mental health issues.

“I was threatened that my son will be held back in his class if we continue with the complaints,” said the mother.

This violates the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act’s (POCSO Act) guidelines that mandates the reporting of any sexual offence via a School Complaints Committee. However, the mother – who used to work in the school – said the institution has no POCSO mechanism in place. She went on to say that the school has no gender sensitisation programme either.

Although the website shows a ‘Reflective workshop on gender identity, cyber navigation & wellness’, school authorities confirmed to SabrangIndia that the workshop topic changes annually.

Apathy of police

Two days after her son’s death, the mother approached the BPTP police to complain about her son’s ordeal. She talked about her son’s experiences since Class 6 and shared voice notes by her son with the police on April 11. In his last communication, the boy named the senior academic coordinator and others. The academic coordinator was arrested on February 27 by the Haryana police under Section 306, abetment of suicide.

Yet, as per the mother’s account there was no chargesheet. Moreover, the academic coordinator was subsequently granted bail. It may be noted that abetment to suicide is a non-bailable offence.

LGBTQIA+ group Yes, We Exist – which offered its support to the mother – said quoting sources that the academic coordinator “is likely to be reinstated by DPS and shall start teaching Class 11-12 students this month. Meanwhile, the mother, who was a teacher in the same school has been unlawfully terminated from her job following her child’s death.”

The mother accused the police and the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) of diluting charges and intentionally delaying the investigation to give the school sufficient time to build its defence. She also accused the police of leaking the evidence material, shared by her, with the school, as parts of it were used by the academic coordinator during her bail hearing.

SabrangIndia contacted the school regarding the details of the accused’s employment in school, and is awaiting their response. Meanwhile, the mother has been running pillar to post for the last four months.

She met Haryana Home Minister Anil Vij, Women and Child Welfare Association Panchkula, CWC Faridabad, CP Faridabad, DCP, ACP, SHO but to no avail. Although her complaint to Vij against the SIT Head resulted in new officials investigating the case, no action has been taken till now. According to Yes, We Exist, the police intend to investigate Instagram and other social media accounts of the nine students accused in the case.

“This we think is unnecessary and simply a tactic to waste time or find some material to shift the blame falsely on the boy,” said Yes, We Exist founder Jeet.

Weeks into the incident, the school claimed that most of the students named by the mother had left the place.

Dubious moves by school

Shortly after voicing her complaints about her son’s death, the mother received a letter stating she was “relieved from her services”. Similarly, the accused teacher also received a letter that said she was “temporarily relieved” from her services. This has caused considerable confusion for the mother who is the sole earning member of her family.

Although she acknowledged that she received her salary in keeping with the three months notice period clause in her contract, she said, “There is still no clarity from the school. I asked the school what do you mean by relieving me from services?”

This is not the first time the mother had complaints about the school functioning. During his therapy, the boy was diagnosed with dyslexia and as such was entitled to a writer for his exams. However, during his recent exams, the accused teacher refused to give the boy a scribe stating that he will manage.

“He was denied a scribe and he was left alone in the exam room. The teachers knew about his condition. Speaking to his friends, he had said 90 percent of problems were the school’s fault,” she said.

In a ‘Living With Dignity’ report by the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) in 2019, Educational and training opportunities are often denied to LGBTQ persons due to harassment, bullying, and violence. While the boy never confirmed his sexual orientation, he was constantly abused with slurs merely on the suspicion that he might be gay.

Life of a non-conformist

The 15-year-old boy was interested in jewellery. His mother recalled he had asked for piercings on both his ears to test his handmade products but was scolded for this at school. The accused teacher kept him from wearing studs, although girls were allowed to wear the jewellery. The mother and son were scolded for the same.

Her mother tried to make sure there was no pressure on his mind. She requested his teachers not to scold him publicly or directly, considering his depression, but to talk to his school counsellor. Yet, it was the mother who was told to “explain” to the child. The boy also found it difficult to voice his few complaints to the female teachers. The mother also claimed that the nine accused students threatened the boy about his mother to keep him quiet.

“My child was called over-sensitive. Being abused daily cannot allow the child to “take it easy,” she said.

Worse still, the mother learnt that her colleagues shared similar experiences in their children’s lives. It is for this reason that the mother is fighting for the application of POCSO guidelines in all schools.

“Every child should know their rights… I’m glad that youths nowadays understand but there are still people who do not understand,” she said.

Related:

Beyond Pride Month: Where is the commitment to Equal Rights?
Indian women, transgender and non-binary persons in science: A 21st Century calendar by TLoS
The Supremacy Myth
When a judge allows himself to be counselled, justice can mean a transformation
I am not fully ‘woke’: Madras HC judge to start psychology sessions to understand same sex relationships

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