CHENNAI: Padma Seshadri Bala Bhavan issued a statement on Tuesday saying that the school had never "received any written complaint" following the arrest of their teacher G Rajagopalan on charges of sexual harassment.
In the statement, the school said that the matter was first brought to their attention through social media and that a formal enquiry into the conduct of the teacher has been initiated.
“We have never received any written complaint on this matter from anyone. The behaviour of one teacher does not in any way detract from the highest standards of professionalism that our teachers uphold. For us our students’ welfare is absolutely sacrosanct,” the principal Geetha Govindarajan said.
The statement comes as many alumni continue to allege that they had complained about the faculty to the school management. It is worth noting that the management issued a statement on Monday emphasising that "these kinds of allegations have not been brought to the attention of the management in the past." However, the second statement from the school pertains to not receiving a written complaint.
Being aware of a crime against children, particularly of sexual nature, and not reporting it is punishable under the The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act under Section 19 (1) and Section 21. The Act in fact states that schools should report even if they have an "apprehension that an offence under this Act is likely to be committed." Failure to report "shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year and with fine."
The statement issued by PSBB on Tuesday also said the school welcomes all assistance by the concerned authorities to deal with this situation and take needed action, and is also extending full cooperation. They also said that they have moved to swiftly suspend the teacher and taken steps to avoid a recurrence in the future.
“In our over 60 years’ legacy, we have never had such a situation with an errant teacher. It is a wake-up call for all schools and we have to be ever vigilant. We are constituting a special senior group, drawn from both legal and non-legal backgrounds, who will be guiding us to ensure that such incidents don't recur again,” the dean of the school said.