A recent article from Malaysiakini highlighted a disturbing sexual harassment case at a primary school in Ampang, that is currently being investigated by the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (SUHAKAM).
The case alarmed a number of people, but as new details emerged on social media last night, many Malaysians were outraged and horrified that such individuals could be allowed near young children.
In a post by a Facebook user named Wani Ardy that has now become viral, she explained the entire chronology of events, as approved by her lawyer friend (nicknamed K). An excerpt from her post reads,
“At first, I thought that K just wanted to spread the word about the alleged harassment, but it turns out that the victim involved in this case is actually her own child. I agreed to help share her story to spread awareness among the public.”
She then shared the chronology of the case as follows;
K’s daughter told her that she was inappropriately touched by a teacher in the school’s co-curriculum room during recess (the incident allegedly happened on 25th May 2018). The teacher called her into the room, claiming that he wanted her to help him record marks. However, the teacher forced her to sit on his lap and proceeded to touch her chest and private area. There were three other students in the same room who witnessed this.
K’s daughter said that her other friends had also been touched inappropriately by the same teacher. She is only 10 years old and wears a tudung.
A police report regarding the incident was filed; K decided not to proceed with the case but reported it anyway for the purpose of recording and forwarding the case to the District Education Office (PPD).
K contacted and met up with the parents of the students who witnessed what the teacher had done.
K went to school to meet the headmaster, but the headmaster was on leave. She found out that the teacher was actually transferred to her daughter’s school just five years ago due to a similar case that happened in his previous school.
K returned to the school and showed the police report to the headmaster. She was then told that the school would investigate the issue.
After the police report was filed and the school was informed, more students began coming forward about their experience with this teacher as well. K’s daughter was not the only victim.
The school held a closed investigation, and the student affairs teacher called students who were sexually harassed for them to give their statements. The school kept a list of these victims, but the school did not inform their parents about the abuse they were subjected to. The students also did not inform their parents out of fear.
The PPD called and informed K that they received the report from the school, and said that the teacher in question has been called in for a counselling session.
K met with an investigating officer (IO) to reopen the case, seeing as how her daughter was not the only victim and that the teacher had a record of doing the same thing in his previous school.
K and the IO went to the school to take photos of the crime scene (the co-curriculum room); they had even set the appointment a day before. However, when they arrived, the school made them wait three hours for nothing, claiming that they could not find the keys to the room.
The IO went to the school to take photos of the crime scene.
The IO requested a medical check-up at the hospital for K’s daughter.
The IO brought K’s daughter to a Children’s Interview Centre.
Right now, the IO is waiting for an order from Bukit Aman, while K is currently in the process of moving her daughter to another school.
Read the full Facebook post here.
Addressing the case, SUHAKAM’s project coordinator Mohammad Alshatri stated,
“The District Education Office, State Education Director and the Ministry of Education previously did not have any special mechanics to process complaints and handle sexual assault cases in schools.”
“This allowed the teacher to repeat the same actions with other students.”
A SUHAKAM commissioner also added,
“These are kids… We need to protect the rights of children who want to go to school to learn. (We can’t have them) go there and not have their safety ensured.”
“It is the responsibility of teachers to ensure the safety of children in class… but in this case, it seems that the parents are not satisfied because of the (uncooperative) attitude and measures by which the school’s administration has dealt with this case.”
Meanwhile, in light of this disturbing incident going viral, Selangor Criminal Investigation Department (CID) chief Senior Asst Comm Fadzil Ahmad told the New Straits Times that the case is still under investigation, and no arrest has been made yet.
Let’s hope the authorities investigate this issue appropriately to ensure that the safety and welfare of these kids are of the utmost priority!
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