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Slut Shaming, Casteism, Bullying: Actor Gouri Kishan Opens Up On “Toxic” School Experiences

gouri kishan

Tamil film actor Gouri Kishan took to social media Tuesday to disclose details about the “agony” she was put through in her years at school. From slut-shaming to casteism and bullying, the 21-year-old in a lengthy statement touched upon all that contributed to the toxicity she witnessed up close during her teens.

Kishan’s revelations come on the heels of sexual harassment allegations against a commerce teacher at Chennai’s elite Padma Seshadri Bala Bhavan (PSBB) schools earlier this week. After students and alumni raised the alarm on social media, prompting wide calls for action against the teacher, he was arrested. Follow the whole story here.

“This is with respect to the issues being brought to light in school environments which seem highly toxic and problematic! It needs to change, NOW,” Kishan wrote on Twitter, alongside a compilation of thoughts on her own experiences.

See her full statement here: 

Revisiting memories are thought to be nostalgic, but not so much when it’s about childhood trauma. In the formative years that we spend in school, it pains me to think of the number of students like myself who have been put through so much agony!” the actor wrote.

“Schools are supposed to be a nurturing ground for a student, not a place you fear of being labelled and branded for your worth”

“I’d like to put forward that my schooling in Hindu Senior Secondary, Adyar was hugely problematic too! After speaking to several of my schoolmates about the same, we’ve all come to a collective realisation that there was a great deal of ingrained normalising that had taken place in the school environment,” she said.

The aforementioned institution is situated in Chennai, Tamil Nadu as well. Last year, harassment allegations similar to those seen in PSBB’s case surfaced across other Tamil Nadu schools affiliated with the Scripture Union missionary as well. Read about it here. 

Gouri Kishan Lashes Out Against Misconduct At Schools, Calls Attention To Childhood Trauma

Kishan, in her statement, recounted how she faced “Slut shaming, Casteism, Bullying, Body Shaming, Character Assasination, Objectification, baseless accusations thrown at students” first-hand. Though the 96 star refused to name the accused, she impressed deeply upon the toxicity having “profound impact on a child’s self-esteem.”

Wishing for a “serious shift in culture,” Kishan writes further, “Having recalled this unpleasantness has been traumatic but a huge burden off my chest… I hope this gains more traction so that we don’t stand witness to another generation of students growing up in toxic school environments. Do use the hashtag and share your personal experiences, your identity will remain anonymous!”

The PSBB Chennai school harassment episode was supplemented by students’ claims that the administration allegedly refused to act on similar complaints made earlier. In a statement, school heads denied any prior knowledge of the accused’s behaviour despite several students claiming otherwise.

Testimonies of students were brought to light by model and PSBB alumna Kripali Samdariya, and amplified further with public figures like DMK leader Kanimozhi, singer Chinmayi Sripada condemning the misconduct. See more reactions.

In her statement, Kishan has urged more students to speak up on their experiences so that concerns can be raised with the school collectively in an official way to prevent similar harassment from happening on campuses.