Hyderabad: Despite deploying 10 security guards and installing 40 CCTVs, child abuse at the hands of the school staff continued at Sujatha School in Hyderabad until an incident was reported by a horrified child on October 25.
The incident of a 30-year-old watchman was arrested on charges of abusing a Class 8 student in the school premises came to light after the child reported it to her parents. When the parents approached the school principal, she was shocked.
Then the CCTVs at the school’s reception and in the vice-principal’s cabin were examined. "We monitored the old records and did not find any such incident in our CCTV system in the last few days," a school official said. The watchman went on leave from October 16 as his mother was unwell. The school learned about the incident on October 26. The watchman was arrested on October 31, the school authorities said.
“We had sleepless nights until the watchman reached the city. We had warned all the security guards against passing on the information to him. When the watchman did not return from his leave, we called him. We alerted the police after he reached the city and he was arrested by the police party, which was waiting outside the school," the school authorities said.
Like the CBSE, the state government also should direct the state board to conduct a psychometric test for school staff for safety, said the vice-principal. She added that the school reported the incident to the police. "We also held an orientation programme and counselled Grade IV employees. This is the first incident in our 52-year history," she noted. To tighten the security, the authorities have got the security guards changed and more CCTV cameras have been installed in the school. What still remains a mystery is how the cameras managed to miss capturing the incident.