July 17, 2018 3:05:59 am
Two days after a complaint was registered over the alleged sexual assault of a three-year-old girl at a prominent school in Greater Noida by a swimming pool lifeguard, the school administration faced protests from the child’s parents as well as guardians of other students.
SP Gautam Buddh Nagar Ashish Shrivastava said, “The girl’s parents have expressed their wish to press charges against the school principal as well. They said they will submit evidence against her. Once that is done, we will decide the course of action.”
The parents alleged the principal called them Saturday, and that they have a recording which they will hand over to police.
The child’s mother alleged that when they approached the school — after a medical examination confirmed evidence of sexual assault and the child identified the lifeguard as the accused — they found the administration’s attitude “demoralising”.
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“We had expected full cooperation and support from the administration. However, the principal told us things like ‘it is extremely difficult to prove such things in court’. She also told us her son is an IAS officer and that she has many connections. She had a very confusing and disappointing approach,” she alleged.
“She told us that since the accused was employed on a contractual basis, the issue is between us and the contractor. That is absurd because as principal, she is responsible for the welfare of my child,” she alleged.
She also expressed indignation at a message that the principal had circulated among parents and to the media, claiming that CCTV footage had not been able to ascertain that the incident took place. The mother said circulating such a message was “shocking and irresponsible”.
When contacted, the principal said, “It was necessary to instill some confidence among parents by saying that the situation is under control. School work will continue as well because we don’t want students to have any problems. We are supporting the investigation and will cooperate with authorities. It is better to wait for them to resolve the issue.”
Around 200 parents gathered at the school on Monday morning, demanding that the principal take responsibility for the incident and that she resign until the investigation is completed.
The child’s mother said the girl used to love swimming, and would visit their society’s swimming pool. “But after two visits to the school swimming pool, she started experiencing a revulsion towards swimming and would even refuse to wear her swimming costume,” she alleged.
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