To,

The Dean & Director and Correspondent, PSBB - Mrs Sheela Rajendra

The Principal, PSBB KK Nagar branch - Mrs Geetha Govindarajan

The Principal, PSBB Nungambakkam branch - S.Vasanthi 

PSBB group of schools

Minister for School Education, Tamil Nadu - Thiru Anbil Mahesh Poyyamozhi

Minister for Social Welfare & Women Empowerment, Tamil Nadu - Tmt. P. Geetha Jeevan


Trigger warning: sexual harassment of students and minors


UPDATE 31 MAY 2021


Another PSBB School teacher, Kevin Raj, has been arrested under the provision of the Protection of Children against Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act after two complaints of sexual harassment were filed with the Chennai Police by students. This makes it clear that the school has been a ground for prolonged harassment of students for a long time. There is no room for the administration to deflect accountability, and we need systemic measures in place to uphold it. Only systemic safeguards can maximise the long-term safety of students.


Sign this petition to demand that the school sets up an active Internal Committee to address sexual harassment and conducts sensitisation training for staff and students.


Source: 

Another PSBB school teacher arrested for sexual harassment in Chennai- Life News



UPDATE 27 May 2021


On early Tuesday, 25 May, the Ashok Nagar All Women Police arrested Mr Rajagopalan, the teacher accused of repeated sexual harassment of students at PSBB School, Chennai. He was arrested under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, the Indian Penal Code and the IT Act, with charges of sexual harassment of children and transmitting obscene material in electronic form. 


While this is a step in the right direction, it does not ensure the long-term safety of students from sexual harassment in the future. Moreover, PSBB management has claimed that they were not aware of the ongoing harassment taking place within the school - a claim that students and alumnx have refuted. 

This is why the PSBB school administration must adopt systemic safeguards against harassment. There should be strict mechanisms in place so that there is no room for deflecting accountability, and swift redressal is the norm.  These can prevent incidences of sexual misconduct from occurring in the first place. 


Sign this petition to demand that the school sets up an active Internal Committee to address sexual harassment and conducts sensitisation training for staff and students.




UPDATE 25 May 2021


After a lot of community pressure and social media backlash, PSBB Chennai administration has suspended Mr Rajagopalan for the allegations against him, pending the completion of the inquiry. Online momentum helped deliver this issue to essential decision-makers such as Chennai’s School Education Minister Anbil Mahesh Poyyamoszhi and DMK Members of Parliament Kanimozhi and Dayanidhi Maran. Chennai Police’s special wing, Crime against Women and Children, has acknowledged these allegations of sexual misconduct as well.


This is proof that people power has the potential to bring change - and swiftly. But students need more: consequences for Mr Rajagopalan does not protect them from future harm. We demand structural reforms from the management so that safeguards for students are cemented in the school system itself. We need to make it clear that this behaviour will not be tolerated right from the start. Sign this petition to demand that the school sets up an active Internal Committee to address sexual harassment, and conducts sensitisation training for staff and students.



Date: 24 May 2021

Accountancy and Business Studies teacher, Mr Rajagopalan of PSBB KK Nagar, has, on more than one occasion, exhibited predatory behaviour towards students - many of whom are still minors (15-17 years). Examples of his misconduct include harassment through sexual innuendos, calling women “easy”, inappropriate touch and attending online class in nothing but his towel, among many more. 


Being a teacher and conducting online classes, Mr Rajagopalan has access to students’ phone numbers and Whatsapp contacts. He has routinely misused this access by sending students messages about their photos, commenting on their physical appearance, and even asking a student to go to the movies with him. Ask the Dean and the Principals of the two schools to take immediate action against the teacher.


This is not an exhaustive list of his predatory behaviour. He has also abused his power as a teacher by threatening students with low grades and other consequences for complaining against him. His intimidation tactics become especially frightening when he has access to the students’ personal information such as phone numbers, parents’ phone numbers, home addresses, etc. He has used his power to violate the trust students had placed in him to ensure their safety and well-being. As of now, he has only received a verbal warning from the management as a consequence. While the administration claims that the allegations have not been brought to its attention, PSBB alumnx report that they had been highlighted but not dealt with rigorously. The school’s indifference and refusal to take responsibility sets a dangerous precedence for the safety of students in the future. 


It is frightening to think of the magnitude of his sexual harassment, given that he has been a faculty member for over 20 years. His actions are punishable under the Protection of Children Against Sexual Offences Act, 2012, and must be addressed immediately.


While the alumnx has made strong demands to address this particular case, we demand long-term structural reform to ensure that systemic safeguards are in place at PSBB, preventing the repetition of similar instances:


  1. Make the school’s existing Child Protection Policy about sexual harassment available to the public and increase the management’s accountability

  2. Conduct sensitisation training for all staff members, with a strict definition of the professional relationship between students and teachers

  3. Ensure that sensitisation training about sexual harassment (both in-person and online) is carried out for all students so that they can recognise different forms of violation and harm.

  4. Ensure adequate grievance redressal by establishing an active Internal Committee in compliance with the guidelines mentioned in the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act 2013.


Students must feel safe and protected in school to ensure their quality of education and well-being. Inadequate action by the management sets the example that inappropriate behaviour against students and gross abuse of the teacher’s power is acceptable to the school. The school, in its response to the allegations, has assured zero tolerance towards such behaviour. However, in addition to addressing this case fairly and transparently, it must make larger structural changes by implementing the law against sexual harassment. 


Let us come together and demand accountability, and ensure justice for the students of the school! 


Source: 


Alumni statement against Mr Rajagopalan - Twitter

To,

The Dean & Director and Correspondent, PSBB - Mrs Sheela Rajendra

The Principal, PSBB KK Nagar branch - Mrs Geetha Govindarajan

The Principal, PSBB Nungambakkam branch - S.Vasanthi 

PSBB group of schools

Minister for School Education, Tamil Nadu - Thiru Anbil Mahesh Poyyamozhi

Minister for Social Welfare & Women Empowerment, Tamil Nadu - Tmt. P. Geetha Jeevan


Trigger warning: sexual harassment of students and minors


UPDATE 31 MAY 2021


Another PSBB School teacher, Kevin Raj, has been arrested under the provision of the Protection of Children against Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act after two complaints of sexual harassment were filed with the Chennai Police by students. This makes it clear that the school has been a ground for prolonged harassment of students for a long time. There is no room for the administration to deflect accountability, and we need systemic measures in place to uphold it. Only systemic safeguards can maximise the long-term safety of students.


Sign this petition to demand that the school sets up an active Internal Committee to address sexual harassment and conducts sensitisation training for staff and students.


Source: 

Another PSBB school teacher arrested for sexual harassment in Chennai- Life News



UPDATE 27 May 2021


On early Tuesday, 25 May, the Ashok Nagar All Women Police arrested Mr Rajagopalan, the teacher accused of repeated sexual harassment of students at PSBB School, Chennai. He was arrested under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, the Indian Penal Code and the IT Act, with charges of sexual harassment of children and transmitting obscene material in electronic form. 


While this is a step in the right direction, it does not ensure the long-term safety of students from sexual harassment in the future. Moreover, PSBB management has claimed that they were not aware of the ongoing harassment taking place within the school - a claim that students and alumnx have refuted. 

This is why the PSBB school administration must adopt systemic safeguards against harassment. There should be strict mechanisms in place so that there is no room for deflecting accountability, and swift redressal is the norm.  These can prevent incidences of sexual misconduct from occurring in the first place. 


Sign this petition to demand that the school sets up an active Internal Committee to address sexual harassment and conducts sensitisation training for staff and students.




UPDATE 25 May 2021


After a lot of community pressure and social media backlash, PSBB Chennai administration has suspended Mr Rajagopalan for the allegations against him, pending the completion of the inquiry. Online momentum helped deliver this issue to essential decision-makers such as Chennai’s School Education Minister Anbil Mahesh Poyyamoszhi and DMK Members of Parliament Kanimozhi and Dayanidhi Maran. Chennai Police’s special wing, Crime against Women and Children, has acknowledged these allegations of sexual misconduct as well.


This is proof that people power has the potential to bring change - and swiftly. But students need more: consequences for Mr Rajagopalan does not protect them from future harm. We demand structural reforms from the management so that safeguards for students are cemented in the school system itself. We need to make it clear that this behaviour will not be tolerated right from the start. Sign this petition to demand that the school sets up an active Internal Committee to address sexual harassment, and conducts sensitisation training for staff and students.



Date: 24 May 2021

Accountancy and Business Studies teacher, Mr Rajagopalan of PSBB KK Nagar, has, on more than one occasion, exhibited predatory behaviour towards students - many of whom are still minors (15-17 years). Examples of his misconduct include harassment through sexual innuendos, calling women “easy”, inappropriate touch and attending online class in nothing but his towel, among many more. 


Being a teacher and conducting online classes, Mr Rajagopalan has access to students’ phone numbers and Whatsapp contacts. He has routinely misused this access by sending students messages about their photos, commenting on their physical appearance, and even asking a student to go to the movies with him. Ask the Dean and the Principals of the two schools to take immediate action against the teacher.


This is not an exhaustive list of his predatory behaviour. He has also abused his power as a teacher by threatening students with low grades and other consequences for complaining against him. His intimidation tactics become especially frightening when he has access to the students’ personal information such as phone numbers, parents’ phone numbers, home addresses, etc. He has used his power to violate the trust students had placed in him to ensure their safety and well-being. As of now, he has only received a verbal warning from the management as a consequence. While the administration claims that the allegations have not been brought to its attention, PSBB alumnx report that they had been highlighted but not dealt with rigorously. The school’s indifference and refusal to take responsibility sets a dangerous precedence for the safety of students in the future. 


It is frightening to think of the magnitude of his sexual harassment, given that he has been a faculty member for over 20 years. His actions are punishable under the Protection of Children Against Sexual Offences Act, 2012, and must be addressed immediately.


While the alumnx has made strong demands to address this particular case, we demand long-term structural reform to ensure that systemic safeguards are in place at PSBB, preventing the repetition of similar instances:


  1. Make the school’s existing Child Protection Policy about sexual harassment available to the public and increase the management’s accountability

  2. Conduct sensitisation training for all staff members, with a strict definition of the professional relationship between students and teachers

  3. Ensure that sensitisation training about sexual harassment (both in-person and online) is carried out for all students so that they can recognise different forms of violation and harm.

  4. Ensure adequate grievance redressal by establishing an active Internal Committee in compliance with the guidelines mentioned in the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act 2013.


Students must feel safe and protected in school to ensure their quality of education and well-being. Inadequate action by the management sets the example that inappropriate behaviour against students and gross abuse of the teacher’s power is acceptable to the school. The school, in its response to the allegations, has assured zero tolerance towards such behaviour. However, in addition to addressing this case fairly and transparently, it must make larger structural changes by implementing the law against sexual harassment. 


Let us come together and demand accountability, and ensure justice for the students of the school! 


Source: 


Alumni statement against Mr Rajagopalan - Twitter

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