By Sharanya Gopinathan
In a doubly horrifying case, the parents of a minor rape victim have revealed that they were asked by her school authorities to stop sending the child to school because her presence would “tarnish” the school’s reputation.
The student was studying in class X in a private school when she was kidnapped, raped and thrown out of a moving car. Her parents allege that the school refuses to grant her admission into class XI as it will “spoil the school’s image”, and have agreed to let her move on to class XI only if she stops coming to school.
Further, the parents say that the school had asked the parents to sign an undertaking saying that the school would not be responsible if any “untoward incident” occurs in the future on the school premises. Which is a huge crock of shit, because schools are responsible for their students’ safety when students are on campus, and should be doubly concerned with making sure that at the very least, sexual assault can never happen on their campuses, and be ready to accept some responsibility for an institutional failure to do this very basic duty. It’s also a bit strange that the school has made this particular student’s parents’ sign this undertaking: it’s unclear now, but seems unlikely that all parents of children in the school were made to sign such a declaration. What are they trying to imply or achieve by making her parent’s sign this declaration?
India Today reports that the parents allege that the principal of the school has asked the girl’s friends not to sit next to her in class. I really can’t imagine the extent of the misery that child must be feeling.
The parents do not wish to make the name of the school public as it would very likely lead to their child’s identity becoming known.
Of course, it’s 2017, so we see a lot more demands for rapists to be punished harshly and for CCTV cameras to be installed everywhere, but what use is any of that if people still carry the assumption that rape is something that the victim and those associated with her should be ashamed of, or that tarnishes their “reputation” by association? That school can stick it’s reputation where the sun doesn’t shine, and since we’re being facetious, let’s just say that it’s very likely that this child and every child is better off in any school but this one.