The rape of a six-year-old girl in Bangalore has parents enraged. Led by the child’s parents, protesters stormed the school breaking down the gates and glass windows as police tried to control the crowd. On July 2, a first grade student was allegedly raped by two gym teachers as she left the classroom in route to the restroom. The attack was reported a week later and according to law enforcement three people have been arrested and the role of the school is now being challenged.
After the incident caused such an outrage other schools in the city have declared they cannot be held responsible for the safety of students. They have initiated a petition asking parents to sign a form which would release the school from any responsibility where the children are concerned. Supposedly, some schools have even threatened to expel any student whose parent went to the media. According to NDTV the form initiated by the schools reads:
When a child participates in events organized by the school – including field trips, excursions, and camps – the school’s staff and teachers can’t be held responsible for the damage to loss of property, sickness, or injury from ‘whatever source’ legal entanglements, loss of life or money…
This has caused many parents to fear their child’s safety. One parent, whose child studies in Class 1, said they did not know whether she should send her child to school anymore. Another parent said, “The children need security, not the school management.” Others said they collectively refuse to sign such a form. Another student’s mother said when she is at work her child spends anywhere from six to seven hours in school. She questioned, “If the school does not protect her, how can I send her to school?”
Rusam Kerawalla, the school’s chairman, came out of the building to address the irate parents. Kerawalla stated the school would install CCTVs and ensure background checks of all staff. He said he is doing all he can to aid the investigation.
All cooperation is being given to the police authorities and guilty will have to be punished and all our cooperation is there towards that in spite of today being a holiday we assured that the staff are here to assist the inquiry.
Parents who, at the time in question, were at the school for 24 hours accused the school authorities of not properly addressing their concerns. They did not believe the school had any care for the children’s well-being.
The six-year-old child is receiving treatment at a local hospital and according to T. D. Pawar; Bangalore Deputy Commissioner of Police, law enforcement is still investigating the case. He has since released the following statement:
The offence has taken place on 2nd of this month and case was registered on 14th. So, we have taken up the case and we are investigating the matter, taking all the aspects into consideration.
India has a population of approximately 1.2 billion. Reportedly, sex crimes are very common in India with the highest number among major cities occurring in New Delhi. According to police, a rape is reported in New Delhi every 18 hours.
The alleged rape of a first grade student at a well-known Bangalore school has caused indignation in the city and ignited a massive protest by an outraged group of parents. Protesters charged into the school breaking down locked gates as police unsuccessfully tried to control the crowd. In the aftermath, three people have been arrested and the role of the school is now being examined.
By: Cherese Jackson (Virginia)