A day after a Lahore private school fired four employees, including a teacher, accused of sexually harassing multiple female students, Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar took notice of the incident on Wednesday.
The chief minister directed CCPO Lahore to carry out an impartial inquiry into the incident, adding that harassment of students will not be tolerated at any cost. “Action against the accused should be taken in accordance with the law,” said CM Buzdar. He added that the affected students will be provided justice at any cost.
Dr. Murad Raas, provincial education minister, also took notice of “sexual harassment incidents” at LGS and said that he will personally deal with the case.
I will deal with the case in Lahore Grammar School 1A1 myself. Have talked to the Principal this morning. Getting all the details. These Children are my Children. I will protect them. This case will be brought to a proper conclusion according to law. Make NO mistake about it.
— Murad Raas (@DrMuradPTI) June 30, 2020
On Tuesday, four employees of a private school in Lahore, including a teacher, were sacked by the administration after they were accused of sexually harassing female students.
Numerous students said that they were being harassed since 2016 but had decided to report the incidents to the management after it became unbearable.
The Lahore Grammar School’s (LGS) 1A1 branch located in Ghalib Market has fired four teachers over allegations of sexual harassment and sending objectionable pictures and messages to at least eight female students. The students spoke up about these allegations on social media in detail. As the issue went public, more students from the school stepped forward sharing their experiences with the same teachers as well as students from other schools, showing how rampant harassment at schools was.
One of the accused teachers, whose screenshots of private pictures were also shared, used to teach debate and politics at the school. Reportedly, he had been sending such pictures and text messages to teenage girls for almost four years and was accused by students from almost every branch of the school.
Students said that they had lodged various sexual harassment complaints over the years against the accused but no action had been taken by the administration. Dismayed, the students said some of them were forced to leave the school and seek admission in others.
The administration said that after receiving evidence against the accused, which included videos, photographs and indecent messages sent by them to students, all four persons involved were shown the door.
The students revealed that the chemistry teacher, Warraich, used to harass them by staring and trying to touch them inappropriately. They also said that he tried to sit with them in a manner that made it very uncomfortable for the students to study.
They also spoke of a female teacher in the school who told them about how she was also a victim of harassment by one of the staff members at the institute but instead of taking action against the harassers, she told the students to remain silent.
On the other hand, the police said that they have not received any request from the school administration to take action against the four accused in the case.
Federal Minister for Human Rights Dr Shireen Mazari has also taken notice of “sexual harassment incidents” at LGS and said that Ministry of Human Rights (MOHR) helpline 1099 is available for such complaints and for help of the victims.
Have taken note of serious harassment allegations of young girls and women at educational institutions – most recently at two premier private institutions in Lahore. MOHR helpline 1099 is available for complaints & for help. Our regional offices have been alerted on this issue.
— Shireen Mazari (@ShireenMazari1) June 29, 2020
“Have taken note of serious harassment allegations of young girls and women at educational institutions – most recently at two premier private institutions in Lahore. MOHR helpline 1099 is available for complaints & for help. Our regional offices have been alerted on this issue,” Mazari wrote on Twitter.
Committee formed to submit fact-finding report
In pursuance of the complaint lodged against the incident, the District Education Authority has also formed a three-member committee comprising educationists and government officers to probe the incident.
The authority has directed the committee to submit the findings along with “clear cut recommendations” within three days to decide the future course of action regarding the reported incident.