KEY HIGHLIGHTS

  • The teacher allegedly sexually harassed and assaulted both female and male students
  • The students accused him of often making inappropriate remarks about the colour of girls’ bras, the length of their skirt, tugging boys’ underwear and “spanking” them
  • The teacher has attempted to threaten the complainant by filing a case against her

‘He pointed at my bra… He grabbed my genitals’

A CBSE school in Mumbai has received two complaints against a teacher, accusing him of sexually harassing students on the premises of the school for the past 5 years; teacher intimidates complainant

Rahi.Gaikwad

With the Delhi ‘Bois Locker Room’ case renewing discussion on rape culture, current and former students of a prominent CBSE school in Navi Mumbai have accused a male teacher of sexually harassing and assaulting students—both girls and boys—on school premises for at least the past five years.

The allegations were made in private Instagram chats over the last few days, following which two alumni sent formal complaints to the school via email. Mirror has 54 screenshots of these conversations.

One of the complainants said as many as 30 students were part of the chats. Mirror also spoke to two other students who were part of the conversations.

The chat threads paint a disturbing picture of the teacher routinely passing inappropriate remarks about girls’ bras and the length of their skirts, grabbing at least one boy by his genitals, and often tugging boys’ underwear. The students alleged that such behaviour was normalised by several teachers, who gave the man a free pass.

“At times, he would point out my bra and chest, saying that it has grown a lot,” one text said.

Another student recalled a rainy day, when some students who were on school ground waiting to get back to class. “I was waiting for a friend so that we could get back to class immediately. That is when he came, looked at my chest and said, ‘Yeh kya kala-peela pehna hai?’(referring to her bra),” she said.

On another occasion, he pointed to a girl’s pink bra and asked her to not wear it as “it did not look good”.

Students cited instances of the teacher grabbing them by the waist, prolonging handshakes to the point of making them uncomfortable, and wanting to talk to them in private. “Always in private. He would always point out my bra and my friend’s bra because of the colour of it,” one student said.

A male student alleged that the teacher once gave him a ‘wedgie’ (yanking one’s underwear till it gets wedged between the cheeks of the buttocks) and made a comment about its colour.

Girl students said they were constantly policed for their clothing, even by women teachers, and “slutshamed” for talking to boys.

One particular text message talked about the male teacher making a boy run naked before bus drivers and “spanking” another student who wore leggings.

As the posts grew in number, the teacher threatened to file a case against one of the complainants. He told Mirror that he had filed a case at a police station, but the senior inspector of the station disputed this claim. “I sent the [girl’s] family a notice that I am filing a case. To scare them. I didn’t really want to do it, but the girl has crossed her limits,” the teacher said, who also flexed some influential connections.

He attempted to minimise the complaints by questioning the delay in raising them. “I must have said something by mistake. Just imagine that a girl is soaked in the rain and she is wearing a pink or dark-coloured bra. It looks bad. There are some things I do not like. I agree that I was wrong. I said sorry to her and she too apologised to me. But why are these allegations being made by the complainant now? It’s been years. Why did she not tell her parents then? They could have come to the school and would have confronted me then itself. If I were wrong, she could have slapped me.”

He said he had coached many girl students over the years and claimed that they were all on his side.

The school, meanwhile, has taken a serious view of the complaints and their sexual harassment committee is set to take up the matter. The principal said he had received two emails—one from a male student and another from a female student. “They are anonymous letters, but I can’t take them lightly. I will present them to the committee, which will decide the next course of action. Our duty is to investigate properly. It is our duty to nurture children’s character and protect the dignity of the school. I am serious about this issue.”

The letters to the school state that most of the complaints are anonymous as the victims are scared of repercussions.

Mumbai Mirror

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