School Headmaster Kisses Girl: Who Will Teach Teachers About Good And Bad Touch?

Is it high time for schools to establish boundaries in student-teacher relationships with regard to unsolicited touch and inappropriate dialogue? 

Tanvi Akhauri
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In Karnataka, a case was filed last week against the headmaster of a school after he was caught allegedly kissing and hugging a girl on camera. A video of the incident that occurred in Mysuru surfaced on social media, triggering outrage. The accused was charged with sexual assault under the Prevention of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act and sacked from his post, as per reports.

The viral video was allegedly shot by some students from a window. The man, identified as RM Anilkumar, allegedly misbehaved with the student in his chamber. Following complaints by villagers who pushed for strict action against him, the education department proceeded to file a case. More here.

This is shockingly just one of several such instances of teacher misbehaviour on school campuses in recent times. Last year, a #MeToo wave swept educational institutions in Tamil Nadu with students flagging old and new cases of professors indulging in indecent, inappropriate and sexually charged conduct towards them. In many instances, people taking to social media alleged that school authorities, alerted of these complaints previously, failed to act against the guilty parties.

School headmaster kisses girl: Do schools need to tighten their ethical and safety codes? 

The state of affairs at the school level reveals a concerning reality that should prompt us to ask many relevant questions. Are schools ensuring the complete safety of their students? What is the cost of calling out the complicity of authorities in masking sexual assault crimes on campuses? Will the creation of such distrust between students and teachers adversely affect educational exchange?

Is it high time for schools to establish boundaries in student-teacher relationships with regard to unsolicited touch and inappropriate dialogue?


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Most schools have stories to tell of teachers who made girls feel uncomfortable.

Back when I was a student, we had a male teacher for elocution. Given the bearing of his subject, he was assigned to the whole expanse of primary and high school classes. His behaviour was far from appropriate in most lessons - he picked individually on students, even girls, joking in ways that often induced discomfort in the class. And yet, the class laughed with and at him, attributing his conduct to his eccentricity.

It took us over five years of being taught by him to realise the implication of his actions. He was arrested in 2013 for molesting a young girl inside a locked staff room; the school principal filed a police complaint after the student narrated her ordeal to her.

As children, it is often difficult to differentiate between right and wrong, especially when it comes from a figure of authority like a teacher, whom we are taught to trust blindly. This is precisely what came to light from Chennai last year when scores of students raised complaints of sexual misconduct against a Scripture Union preacher who was otherwise popular and well-loved.


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With the rise of social media tools, students today can go public with their complaints if school authorities turn a deaf ear to their concerns. While this can fast-track action, it hardly strikes at the root of the problem. The question to ask is: How do some teachers have the audacity to transgress the protocol of their position and pull their students into unsafe territory?

Is it a warning sign when a teacher tries to be chummy with his or her students? Is someone keeping a check on just how overfamiliar two people far apart in age are getting? Taking advantage of this cover, do predatory adults find ways of sexually grooming children?

Yes, a bond between an educator and their pupil is most precious when it flows freely, is open and values safekeeping. But will schools remain sanctums of knowledge and learning if the purity of a student-teacher relationship, built on trust, is exploited to harm the vulnerable party? Can schools thus be called 'second homes'?

Mere lip service of teaching students about good touch, bad touch and &t=1s">consent without alerting them of the dangers that persist around them at all times is not enough. Perhaps it's time that teachers sit in on these lessons with students to pick up a thing or two themselves?

Views expressed are the author's own. 

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