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Home > News > PTI

Sexual abuse in TN schools on the rise

January 23, 2008 23:44 IST

Shocking incidents of sexual abuse and molestation by teachers came to light during the one-day hearing of the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), in Chennai on Wednesday, which was attended by school children from different parts of Tamil Nadu.

Most of the girls, who attended the hearing, said they had been molested and sexually abused by male teachers, while boys were subjected to degrading treatment.

Many of them complained of corporal punishment in schools, despite a ban on it in the state.

The public hearing on 'Corporal punishment, all forms of Torture and Degrading treatment, Sexual Abuse and Neglect of children in schools and hostels in Tamil Nadu', was attended by over 50 students from around 40 schools across the state.

It was also attended by parents and relatives of the students, education and police department officials.

Commission chairperson Shanta Sinha announced that she would take up the cases, especially those involving sexual abuse, with the state government.

Mother of Matheswaran, a Class I student of a residential school for Scheduled Tribes in Coimbatore district, alleged that her child was left unattended after he fainted in the classroom and by the time she reached there, he had died.

She claimed that her son was not having any particular ailment. Even the post-mortem report was not clear on the reason behind the death.

After the day-long session, Sinha said that teachers should not use abusive language while scolding children.

"Teachers should not even use words like donkey or idiot, as they would affect the children," she said.

Many school managements were not even aware of what was happening in classrooms, she said in an apparent reference to the sexual abuse.

"In fact, the education department, when faced with such serious issues, should not wait for a police FIR and act immediately," she said.

She also asked the police and the education departments to seek the help of NGOs while dealing with issues related to children.

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