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PSBB Chennai Teacher accused of sexual harassment

PSBB Chennai teacher accused of sexual harassment, students demand action

May 24, 2021
Students from other branches of PSBB have also raised similar concerns. Complains of sexual harassment have been voiced on social media by students in TP Road and Millennium branches of the school.
-Reshma Ravishanker
An accountancy and business studies teacher from Chennai’s premier Padma Sheshadri Bala Bhavan (PSBB) School, KK Nagar, Rajagopalan has been accused of sexual harassment and inappropriate behaviour with girl students studying in the school. From sending students sexually explicit messages to touching them inappropriately, the complains are aplenty. 
 
This incident came to light when well known fashion model Kripali shared instances of harassment and screenshots of conversations the teacher had with students on her Instagram handle. The same garnered support from alumni.
 
On Sunday, several hundreds of alumni of the school wrote a letter to the Dean of the school, Sheela Rajendra regarding the behaviour of Rajagopalan. While this was shared on social media platforms, screenshots of his conversations with students with inappropriate content have also been circulated widely. 
 
From being present in an online class, nearly bare, just a towel wrapped around his waist to asking students to join him for movies, students have taken to the social media platforms to speak about their experiences. 
 
In one of the screenshots shared by the school’s alumni, Rajagopalan also commented about one of the student’s profile picture and said that she looked “very cute” while wearing such clothes and remarked to another student that she looked good when she draped a saree. Students have remarked that there have been instances where he has morally policed students for being dressed in clothes of their choice. 
 
“He has commented on the physical bodies of students, and has questioned their character and reputation in front of the class, expressly stating that they are women of easy virtue because they choose to wear sleeveless and non traditional clothes,” the letter by the alumni reads. 
 
Alumni has also expressed concern over Rajagopalan being given access to students’ phone numbers with classes going online. They have said that there have been instances where students have been harassed to refrain from complaining about his behaviour failing which they would be given low marks in exams. 
 
The Alumni of the school have sought that the teacher be immediately suspended, ensure that he does not take part in any academic activities while the matter is under investigation and have asked the school to ensure that he is not allowed to conduct any evaluation until the legal proceedings are completed. 
 
They have also sought that in case he chooses to resign while the investigation is underway, the school must ensure he continues to appear before the enquiry committee. 
 
While denying that these incidents were brought to their notice, authorities said that they would look into the incident in a statement the school released. 
 
The incident has also drawn attention of various political leaders. Among them Tamil Nadu MP Kanimozhi tweeted “the sexual harassment allegations against a commerce teacher in PSBB school, Chennai has been shocking. Enquiry should be conducted and action must be taken against those who are involved including school authorities who failed to act against complaints from students.” 
 

In an official communication from the school, school principal Geetha Govindarajan has said to the teacher, “Some serious allegations of misconduct have been alleged against you and the same has come to the knowledge of the management from and through the social media. Pending further enquiry into your conduct without prejudice, you are under suspension with immediate effect.” The school has also said that they will form a committee to look into the same. 

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