13 January 2011

Teacher Accused of Raping Students Transferred...To Another School!

There is something fundamentally flawed with a bureaucratic system that allows for a teacher that has been accused of raping primary school students to remain in the classroom pending a finalisation of the accusations. This is not a question on the presumption of innocence.

The alleged perpetrator of these sex crimes against children has the right to a presumption of innocence until such time as those charges are proven against him. However, common sense would demand that the individual be removed from the classroom and placed in a position where he has no interaction with children in the school environment or he is place on leave until the allegations are investigated and concluded.

Sadly, in South Tangerang, a male teacher, Y.P., was accused of having molested a number of primary school students at the Pondok Ranji 5 Primary School in Pondok Aren. He has since been transferred to Setu 3 Primary School which is also under the jurisdiction of the South Tangerang District Education Office.

There are a couple of problems with this. The most obvious being: why is this individual still in the classroom and still with access to children considering the serious nature of the allegations? And, what in the world is the South Tangerang District Education Office thinking when it states unequivocally where the teacher has been teaching immediately prior to the transfer and then goes on to say where that individual is now.

It is not beyond the realm of possibility here that in a country like Indonesia where vigilante justice goes hand-in-hand with more official forms of punishment that an angry mob could soon be descending on Y.P.'s new school.

I appreciate that there are procedures to be followed and the like because Y.P. is a civil servant, a government employee, but nevertheless it would make sense to remove the individual from the situation. But, the preferred option in this instance has been to transfer him to a different school, provide mandatory counselling and to put in place a more strict monitoring regime.

In the meantime, the South Tangerang District Education Office is encouraging the parents of all students who have been abused to make reports to the police.

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