Days after a Kolkata girls’ school faced criticism over its decision to force out confession from its students of “being lesbians”, the state’s education minister has said that he will not allow the idea of “lesbianism” in schools.
Arguing that teenagers should not explore sexuality among themselves, West Bengal Education Minister Partha Chatterjee has said lesbianism is “against the Bengali culture.”
The cabinet minister was quoted as saying by The Quint, “if it’s a personal matter, it should be taken up outside of school. You can’t inculcate your personal ideas in the school. It can influence others. It is a problem at the school level. Young teenagers should not explore sexuality among themselves. That is not the culture of Bengal.”
The minister also said that his department has asked the school for a report on the incident.
On March 8, Kamala Girls School in south Kolkata had pulled up ten Class IX girl students and accused them of “being lesbians.”
The action had evoked criticism from the parents of the girls who then stormed into the room of the headmistress and got into a heated argument with her. The parents alleged that the school had forcefully obtained the written confession from the students.
A school official, on the condition of anonymity, had told The Indian Express on Tuesday: “It was a simple act of disciplining the students. They were being naughty in class so they were called into the office of the headmistress and were made to sign a confession. The parents were called to sort out the matter and have a discussion but they overreacted saying their girls were forced to sign it. They probably thought this was similar to the sexual assault case that happened in February and that we were at fault. We have given back the signed letters to the parents.”
While the minister said that he has sought a report from the school about the incident, he also said that schools shouldn’t be “lenient” if the students are found to be “indecent” in their behaviour.