‘Were Forced to Write We’re Lesbians,’ Say Girls of Kolkata School
“Write that you have put your hands in your friend’s blouse; that you’ve tickled them under their skirt, hugged them and held their hands.”
This was what was allegedly said to a group of twelve thirteen-year-old school girls in a south Kolkata school, who were threatened with expulsion because they were “suffering from homosexual behaviour”. The school in question, Kamala Girls’ High School, is one of the most reputed Bengali-medium schools in the city.
‘Suffering From Homosexuality’
According to allegations by parents and students, on 9 March 2018, the teacher-in-charge or acting headmistress of the school, Shikha Sarkar, asked 12 students to write that they were indulging in certain behaviour that was not civilised and sexual in nature. They were told that they were being asked to do so based on a complaint by a fellow student.
When one of the girls refused to write anything without the presence of her parents, she was told that a transfer certificate would be issued to her.
We were taken to Shikha Di’s room and asked questions in derogatory language. We were told that we hold hands, hug etc. which is “uncivilised”. We were accused of other things too which we didn’t do. We were told to write down “all that we do”. We were forced to write.One of the girls to The Quint
Following this, on 12 March, the parents of all these children were called to meet Shikha Sarkar. “We were shown a register and asked to read out our daughters’ ‘misdeeds’,” said one of the parents. It was then that the parents were told that their daughters are indulging in homosexual behaviour and must be “dealt with”.
When The Quint questioned Sarkar on the allegations against the school, she said that the students wrote the letter of their own volition.
The students have written everything on their own. We haven’t forced anything on them. The matter is solved. The students are in class. We have a problem with their behaviour, the explanation for which will only be given to the Director In-charge of Education. We shall offer no further comment on this matter.Shikha Sarkar, Acting headmistress, Kamala Girls’ School
‘How Does It Feel To Put Your Hand Up A Girl’s Skirt?’
Some students say that they were even asked why they hug their friends. Some parents also say that they are appalled with the tonality of the administration’s rebuke.
“When we said that all that we do is hold hands, we were asked why we do that too,” said one of the girls.
The parents have submitted all the signed letters to the police and a complaint has been the lodged. However, an FIR is yet to be registered.