Mumbai: The three teachers accused of sexually abusing a class IV Mira Road student for a year were suspended by the school authorities on Tuesday.
The teachers had threatened and warned the nine-year-old girl against speaking about it to her classmates and parents. They have been remanded to police custody till November 28.
Police investigations revealed that the abuse began by her 46-year-old PT teacher. The 27-year-old drawing teacher learnt about the abuse and he too got involved. The third suspect, a 23-year-old drawing teacher, joined the school about six months ago. He too learnt about the abuse while travelling from home to school and back, and he too began abusing the child.
They were arrested on Monday after the parents approached the Mira Road police on Sunday. The teachers, who reside in Palghar and Dahanu, used to abuse the student in vacant classrooms.
The police met the school authorities, who suspended the teachers, on Tuesday. The police are awaiting the medical report of the girl. A case under section 376 (rape) of the IPC and Protection of Children against Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act has been registered.
Recent cases of child sexual abuse are a cause for worry, feel educationists. “The situation seems to be going out of hand. Apart from police action, professional degrees of teachers who indulge in such offences should be taken away so they can’t join another school, reducing the risk of a repeat,” said Swati Popat Vats, president, Early Childhood Association.
Experts stressed the need for personal safety education for students. “We must empower children to help them identify what are safe and unsafe situations and who are trusted adults. We can only make children participants to ensure their safety but the onus will remain on adults,” said Pooja Taparia, CEO, Arpan, an NGO which spreads awareness to prevent child sexual abuse. “Teachers are very uncomfortable talking about these topics and many consider it an extra burden,” she added.
Mental health professional feel there is need to better communication channels. “There is a mental block in teachers and parents to discuss sexual abuse with children. This makes it difficult for children to open up about such incidents. Extensive workshops with teachers and parents are extremely important,” said clinical psychologist, Seema Hingorrany.
Source : The Times Of India