Less than a week after one of Chennai’s reputed Padma Seshadri Bala Bhavan School (PSBB) was in a negative light for complaints about sexual harassment by a teacher, another school teacher from Maharshi Vidya Mandir Matriculation Higher Secondary School has been accused of similar behavior with students.
Anand, PGT-Commerce, a teacher from the Maharshi Vidya Mandir Matriculation Higher Secondary School has been accused of harassing girls in the pretext of calling himself a fatherly figure having no wrong motives.
A student recollected an incident when Anand was allegedly working in St. Mary’s School, which has his previous place of work. One of the alumni recollected that Anand had invited himself over to the house of another girl student during a festival while her parents were away. “He told the girls to sit on their lap and asked them to kiss him as they were all his daughters. The girls protested and left the place. A complaint was made and he was fired.”
Dhivya Marunthiah, a social activist took to social media to share a similar observation that one of the students made. The alumnus alleged that Anand would initially befriend families of girl students and acting in a friendly manner would have himself invited over to their houses where he would behave inappropriately with the child. “In the pretext of going the extra mile as a teacher, he would win over the family’s seal of approval and use that to misbehave with children. The onlookers kept quiet in a constant confusion over whether the teacher is just old-fashioned and needs reskilling or if he is a predator in broad daylight.!
“While smart parents move away, the vulnerable ones (particularly looking up to him as someone who would get their kids through the boards with great scores) fall into this trap! Just like any other offender, he can trace disapproval from miles away and also systematically ensures that the family cuts off connections with anyone trying to warn them,” she wrote.
Responding to these allegations, the school in a statement said that they had taken cognizance of these and that an internal committee was looking into the issue. The school also suspended Anand on Wednesday following the allegations against him and has directed him not to contact or interact with any former or current student of the school.
“We will never tolerate any abuse, misconduct, misbehavior or harassment by anyone against our students. For us, our students are always precious- even after they have left the school and we are here only for the cause of education and for our loving students,” the school management of MVM group of schools said in a statement sent to parents and students.
It may be recollected that on Monday, social media was brimming with messages, screenshots, and pictures of Rajagopalan, a teacher from the PSBB school, who is being accused of sexually harassing girl students and behaving with them inappropriately. This now seems to have triggered a chain of reactions on the lines of the #MeToo movement as students have complained against similar instances in other schools as well.
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