Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Seri Pristana whistleblower, citing abuse, transfers daughter to vernacular school

Seri Pristana whistleblower, citing abuse, transfers daughter to vernacular school

BY YISWAREE PALANSAMY
August 07, 2013
Malaysian Insider
Latest Update: August 07, 2013 04:18 pm
 
The whistleblower parent who exposed how non-Muslim pupils at the SK Seri Pristana had been made to have their recess in a shower room has removed her daughter from the school.

Guneswari Kelly said she is putting her daughter in a vernacular school in Subang, adding she made this decision after her child allegedly was shamed during school assemblies and subjected to constant racial slurs by teachers and schoolmates.

"One of her teachers harassed her by accusing her of bringing shame to the school. She also told my daughter she was not fit to be a pupil of the school," Guneswari told The Malaysian Insider today.

The distraught mother claimed she had gone to the Kuala Selangor district education office after obtaining the release letter from the school and was told that the transfer would take a month.

"I will be going to Putrajaya after Hari Raya to get my daughter's school application sorted out," she said.

Guneswari said she found out what her 9-year-old daughter was being subjected to when she asked her about her losing her stationery.

"I asked her why she had been so reckless and then she broke down and related the real story, about the abuse and mental torture," she said.

Guneswari called the school's Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) chairman Hussein Mohd Ariff to report what was happening to her daughter but, she claimed, he did not answer her calls.

"In fact, the announced meeting with parents to discuss the matter will also not be held from what I was made to understand. I was told to come alone and meet the school authorities and Hussein for a discussion, which I firmly objected to," she said, alleging that the move may be an attempt to “frame her”.

Hussein had announced a special meeting would be held with parents of all the students to discuss what had actually transpired and to provide them with an avenue to voice any dissatisfaction.

In an immediate response, Hussein told The Malaysian Insider that he did not receive any text messages or phone calls from Guneswari.

However, he said he had been in contact with Guneswari's husband, whom he named as “Mr Raj”, but said he was not informed by the man that his daughter was having a hard time in school.

"I did not know that the girl was taken out of the school," he said.

On the cancellation of the meeting with parents, the PTA chairman said it was rescheduled to after Hari Raya as many parents would not have been able to attend if it had been held as scheduled.

Guneswari now fears for the other non-Muslim parents who had joined her in the “crusade” against the school administration in seeking justice over the canteen fiasco.

"Some of their children had also been photographed and intimidated and I worry for their children's safety now as I do not want to be seen as ‘escaping’ to save myself."

Guneswari was the parent who blew the lid off the issue of the school authorities instructing the students to use the shower room as the canteen. She even took photographs of pupils in the shower room during recess.

The photographs went viral on social media and caused an uproar among netizens who voiced their anger against the school. Guneswari was also targeted for allegedly playing up the issue.

"I did not do this only for my daughter. I was thinking of the other children as well," she said.

"Clearly, the school needs a good leader… what is happening in the school reflects on the type of leader it has and I feel very sorry for the teachers and students." - August 7, 2013.

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