Thursday, Oct 02, 2014

Schools cry foul over police efforts to impose new safety norms after rape crime

Public protests in Bangalore after the rape of a 6-year old in a private school. Public protests in Bangalore after the rape of a 6-year old in a private school.
Express News Service | Bangalore | Posted: July 30, 2014 5:59 pm

Private school managements in Bangalore have opposed a move by the city police to impose safety guidelines for schools including CCTVs and GPS systems for school buses. The safety guidelines for the schools in Bangalore were issued last week by the police to prevent sexual offences against children following the rape of a six-year-old child on a school premises in early July.

The Karnataka Private School Joint Action Committee on Wednesday expressed difficulties in adhering to the guidelines laid down by the police and threatened to stop school transport facilities if coerced into implementing the unilaterally created safety laws of the police.

The committee has demanded the convening of a meeting with school managements by the police to resolve the issue. In a press briefing on Wednesday the chairman of the private school managements committee L R Shivarame Gowda said that the safety measures will not be implemented till police department gives a hearing to the concerns of school managements.

“We will not implement the guidelines until the police department convenes a meeting,” Gowda said. The committee submitted a representation to the Bangalore police commissioner and also sought time from the Chief Minister, Home Minister and Education Minister
to discuss the issue.

“We know the costs of installing CCTVs and GPS devices in school buses. The education department has already issued guidelines about private transport facilities provided to schools. There is no need to set more and more guidelines. The police are harassing private schools by issuing new guidelines. We will stop transport for schools and let the government run the show,” Gowda said.

The Bangalore police have set an August 31 deadline for all schools in the city to implement fresh safety guidelines issued by it last week. “We will not follow the deadline. The commissioner must relax it and hold a meeting with schools,” Gowda said. “Some of the schools in the city already have facilities like CCTV and GPS. Let the government first apply these safety norms to government institutions. We also know our social responsibilities.

We are running schools with responsibility,” he said. Gowda said the committee had decided to hike school fees by 20% in the middle of the academic year if the government fails to relax the deadline for installing CCTVs and GPS in schools and buses.

According to the guidelines framed by the city police all school premises must be equipped with CCTV cameras, the school vehicles must have GPS and CCTVs, the school vehicles must have women assistants and proper identification has been made mandatory for anybody interacting with children at their schools.

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