The idea of lesbianism in schools is “against the ethos of Bengal”, West Bengal Partha Chatterjee has said. He was reacting to an incident in a Kolkata school which reportedly forced 10 female students to sign a written paper stating that they were lesbians.

He has also directed the management of the girls’ school to disclose if they had written statement from 10 students that they indulged in lesbianism.

Stating that he finds the report upsetting, Chatterjee told reporters that he has never witnessed anything like this before.

“We are not treating the issue lightly. We had not come across such reports at educational institutions in past … If such an incident (lesbianism) had really taken place that will be against the ethos of Bengal.”

“I will ask the school management what prompted them to seek such an undertaking. I will also want to know why the same school is getting embroiled in controversies repeatedly,” the minister said. He was referring to the arrest of one of its non-teaching male staff on the charge of sexually abusing a class IX student on February 9.

The school authorities have said that a few students had complained against the 10 girls and said that they found them behaving inappropriately.

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“As the 10 students admitted it verbally, we asked them to give it in writing. They complied,” a school spokesperson had said.

However, the parents of students have protested against the school’s claims. They said that the school has actually forced the students into signing the alleged paper. Students’ parents staged a protest against the school’s management earlier this week

 

“I will ask the school management what prompted them to seek such an undertaking,” Partha Chatterjee

“The headmistress had asked them to write on paper that they were lesbians. She also showed us that paper. We had objected to it,” said a parent.

The headmistress of the school told Indian Express, “It is completely untrue. We had found some students indulging in some mischief and only wanted to take the matter up with their parents. However, there was some miscommunication with the parents. We had called the parents of the students to raise the issue, but somehow they misinterpreted the message. Now we have resolved the issue through a meeting. Media did not have to involve itself as it was not a serious issue. It has blown the matter out of proportion and I will request all not to sensationalise it.”

The meeting took place on Tuesday.

Picture credit- India

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