Lahore school higher-ups reportedly knew about abuse

School sources say LGS authorities tried to suppress students complaints until issue blew up on social media


Yousuf Abbasi July 04, 2020

LAHORE:

Authorities at the Lahore Grammar School (LGS) 1A1 branch were reportedly aware of sexual harassment complaints from students and failed to take action until the matter blew up on social media, school sources say.

Four teachers were recently fired from the school after they were accused of sexually harassing and intimidating at least eight girls studying at the school. The issue came to light after the girls came forward with the allegations on social media. Since then, many other students from the school have accused the teachers in question of similar behaviour, suggesting that the pattern of abuse continued for years.

According to the social media posts, which have triggered massive public outcry, one of the teachers had been sending inappropriate texts and pictures to girls in other branches of the school for almost four years. His students also complained that he had on several occasions tried to coax them into consuming alcohol and narcotic substances.

Other students complained that the teachers in question went beyond vulgar messages and photographs, and would touch them inappropriately during class as well. Many of them pointed out that teachers intimidated them with threats of bad grades and other punitive measures when they objected to the inappropriate behaviour.

On their social media posts, the students complained they had raised the issue with school authorities several times, but to no avail. Sources in the school confirmed the administration knew about the allegations and took no action while trying to suppress the matter. They added the school authorities sprung into action only after the social media revelations gathered attention.

When contacted, the school’s direct Nighat Ali said following complaints from students, the four teachers had been terminated. She added that the school management has begun a comprehensive inquiry against them while the district education authority has set up an investigation committee to look into the matter as well.

The investigation committee comprises three government education officers and two deputy district education officers. The principal of Government Islamia High School Cantt has been appointed as its convener. The committee will submit a report within three days.

Meanwhile, Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar has also ordered a probe into the allegations and the education department has constituted its own three-member committee to carry out the inquiry. Police officials have also summoned the suspects and reached out to their alleged victims to investigate the scandal.

Critics and observers, however, point out that at present the victims may have little legal recourse, as there is no clear law against sexual harassment in the province.

COMMENTS (1)

Shahid | 1 year ago | Reply

The issue of harrasment in grammer school is very sensetive matter. Young girls are being asked for applications and complaints. Is minster murad sahib insane? It will be a mark on future of these girls. If All details be kept 100 percent secret and No one be allowed to assess these girls identity and Only females are allowed to talk to these victims then some results possible. Why this minster of education wants to meet these girls? How these girls could talk openly in presences of a totally stranger. Who will provide protection to them from these mafias. One question for minster of education if some one harrase his daughter, will he appear with pics and messages on media with her to tell complete story to minute details. Dont deal this as PIA. Make a committee of 5 or 6 females. Ask them to visit all female institutes including schools colleges and universities. Complainant should be assured their identities will be kept secret and never will be disclosed. You will find 99 percent males involved in such activities. Just provide confidence to victims. But this PTI will not able to do this simple task.

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