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11 December 2023

Indian High confirms 'incident' with Std 8 girl

Picture used for illustrative purposes only. (GETTY IMAGES)

By Joseph George

Just days after the rape of a four-year old student of Modern High School took place in the school bus, another shocking incident came to light in a Sharjah school on Sunday.

The mother of a girl student attacked the bus driver of Indian High School in Sharjah for allegedly misbehaving with her daughter.

The incident occurred on Sunday and was witnessed by several students and staff, a senior school official told this website.

The conductor is said to have misbehaved with the girl who is studying in Class 8 after having befriended her on Facebook.

The parents have already registered a complaint with the school principal.

“The conductor, incidentally, is the brother of another staff member who was dismissed about six months ago for misbehaving with a female staff member. After he was sacked from his job, the management offered the position to his brother,” the official said, on condition of anonymity.

According to him several such incidents occurred in the past and the management and parents, instead of complaining to the police, have been hushing up the matter.

“About three years ago a bus conductor was caught misbehaving with a nursery student. Parents complained to the principal, who, instead of taking action against the conductor, asked the parents not to go public. After a few months, he was caught again and only then did the management sack the employee,” he added.

Another teacher at the school yesterday confirmed the incident to Emirates 24|7 and said parents should immediately report the matter to the police rather than take it up with the school management.

“Schools will always try and hush it up, in the pretext of safeguarding the child's image. The mother of the girl, who hit the conductor with her slippers, should ideally report that matter to the police,” she said.

'Only an internal issue'

However, the Vice Principal of the school told Emirated 24|7 that the incident is “nothing for the public and just an internal issue.”

“The parent only had an argument with the driver. It could be for many reasons but I can tell you it is nothing serious,” said Mini Menon, Vice Principal of girls wing at the Sharjah Indian School.

She however did not elaborate on what led to the fight. “We are investigating the case. Strict action will be taken against the individual, if he is found guilty,”she added.

She however denied reports of both previous incidents where staff were dismissed for misbehaviour.

She said that parents should bring such incidents to the school's notice immediately.

“We want all parents to immediately report to us about any such incidents. Strict action would be taken against any misbehaving staff,” she said.

When asked if there were plans to replace the male conductors with female staff she said, “So far we have not considered such a move. However given the recent incidents we might think of that option,” she added.

K Balakrishnan, the President of the Sharjah Indian Association that manages the school earlier told Emirates 24|7 that a team has been appointed to look into the issue. “All necessary action would be taken against the guilty.”

When asked about the dismissal of Balakrishnan he said, “I am only aware of the incident since I took over as the president of the Indian Association.”