Fear psychosis playing havoc with smooth functioning of Indian schools

ANI | Updated: Sep 25, 2017 17:07 IST

Panipat/New Delhi [India], Sept.24 (ANI): Panic apparently seems to have gripped several schools in India and their respective teaching communities after some incidents resulted in the surfacing of an irrational fear psychosis leading to them being highlighted.

Recently, The Millenium School, Panipat, Haryana, was in the news over an alleged case of sexual misbehaviour with a Class IV student by a cleaning attendant. The incident took a new turn when the school authorities claimed that they had proactively shared information regarding the incident with the child's parents and other authorities, besides offering all assistance from the moment the incident was reported.

School Principal Ms. Amita Kochhar claimed she moved swiftly after receiving the first qualified indication from the parents. But when there was no clarity on the identity of the culprit, it was decided to involve the police.

The school prepared an incident report based on what the child and his parents said and spelt out the steps the school has taken and supplied the same to the authorities.

Police were accordingly provided access to the entire premise and given immediate access to the CCTV recording, which has since been placed in the custody of the police.

Reacting to numerous versions of the incident, the school management has now issued a clarification detailing the proactive steps taken, including nomination of a staff member to respond to all parental queries round the clock.

Principal Kochhar said, "We have moved swiftly and proactively. We have offered all cooperation to the authorities. In fact, it was the school that called in the police. We have no reason to protect anyone - least of all someone who may have hurt any child of our school."

Many concerned parents have also come out in support of the school and demonstrated in front of the SDM and DC.

In this particular incident, the district administration has played an admirable role in keeping the situation calm . Further the district administration has constituted a special investigation team (SIT) to probe the matter .

"Our child has been studying here for a number of years. One incident cannot make the teachers, staff and management villains for the actions of one employee," said Pramanjeet Singh Roha , whose child studies in Class VI.

Rajesh and Bindu Jaglan, whose child studies in Class 5 at TMS Panipat, said, " It is now the responsibility of the authorities not to create a fear psychosis for other children, parents and school employees. Shutting down the school is not a solution and it is playing havoc with our child's education."

TMS staff members said that they are concerned over the broad based maligning of schools and their teaching staff, adding that this is creating a lot of uncertainty for everyone.

"Staff members wonder if every teacher in town will be under suspicion and or arrested for the mistake of one deviant school employee," said one cynically, but refusing to reveal his name.

It is being allegedly reported that some politicians and vested interests are using such incidents to make schools bend and meet their requirements.

Some parents have demanded the arrest of the school principal, but others and teachers have launched a counter protest. They assembled as a group and met the sub-divisional magistrate of Panipat to demand the principal's reinstatement. They claimed that the latter had been removed by the management under pressure.

One of the parents said, "The police should take action only after the report of the SIT comes out. Any coercive action will only create panic among both parents and teachers and no one will be want to take up the profession of teaching or become a principal of a school".

Another parent who declined to be named said " These teachers are our Gurus and they deserve our respect for the contribution they are doing. We should be very concerned about the values that we are instilling in our children if we openly speak against them. It will threaten the very fabric of our society." (ANI)