Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal took action on Tuesday by ordering the suspension of the vice-principal and teachers from a government school in northwest Delhi. Their suspension was attributed to their alleged failure to report to the police an incident of sexual assault involving two boys by their fellow classmates.
Furthermore, Kejriwal instructed the Directorate of Education (DoE) to create comprehensive resources for teachers and principals and to issue guidelines for schools, emphasizing the importance of addressing cases of abuse in a supportive manner for children.
In response to the chief minister’s directive, Delhi Education Minister Atishi communicated with the DoE, emphasizing the need for thorough training for all principals and teachers on various aspects of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO Act). This training includes mandatory reporting, early identification tools for abuse, understanding types of abuse, recognizing the impact on children, and implementing corrective measures to prevent such incidents in the future.
Atishi expressed deep concern about the situation, especially the fact that the students had informed their teachers and the vice-principal, but no action was taken to inform the police or higher authorities. She highlighted that this behavior is both unethical and against the law, as non-reporting of sexual abuse is considered a criminal offense under the POCSO Act. Atishi stressed the importance of ensuring children’s safety at all times and emphasized that suspension and disciplinary action against the involved staff members are warranted.
She underlined the necessity of taking every possible step to prevent a recurrence of such incidents in schools.
The two boys, aged 12 and 13, lodged separate complaints with the police, alleging sexual assault by five to six of their classmates. The alleged incident took place during a school-organized summer camp in April. The 13-year-old, an eighth-grade student, claimed that his classmates forcibly took him to a park, subjected him to sexual assault, and warned him against reporting it. The victim eventually confided in his teachers when he faced further harassment. He was advised to keep quiet about it, but he informed his parents, leading to the registration of a case with the police.