Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Shower room canteen incident: the Education Minister must haul up the headmaster for disciplinary inquiry and action for intimidating the pupils.


Media Statement by M Kula Segaran, DAP National Vice Chairman and MP for Ipoh Barat in Ipoh on Tuesday, July 31, 2013

Shower room canteen incident: the Education Minister must haul up the headmaster for disciplinary inquiry and action for intimidating the pupils.

Yesterday, a parent lodged a police report against the headmaster of SK Seri Pristina for taking photographs of pupils who allegedly reported him.

According to media report, Kumancan Veeriah said headmaster Mohd Nasir Mohd Noor had gone to the school, while he was on leave last week, and taken photographs of some non-Muslim students who he suspected had leaked the news that they were asked to have their meals in the school changing room, near the toilets.

“I am worried about the safety and security of my daughter who is in Year Four. The headmaster was supposed to be on leave. Why did he come to the school and take photos of the non-Muslim students?” asked Kamancaan who is a mechanic.

I see the headmaster’s action as an act of intimidation which is most unacceptable.
This is not light matter and it warrants immediate action.

I call on the Education Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin to immediately haul up the headmaster for disciplinary inquiry and action.

One can imagine the kind of psychological fear that the pupils have endured and will continue to suffer.
In fact, 5 days ago, Guneswari Kelly who had exposed the “shower room canteen” controversy had revealed that her daughter was depressed as a result of being bullied by both her classmates and teachers ever since the photographs went viral.

Hence, the Minister should also send a top officer to address the school assembly and convey the message that his Ministry will not tolerate any intimidation , bullying or discrimination against the pupils whose photos of them having meals in the changing room had appeared in the social media.

Yesterday, the Selangor Umno liaison committee chairman Noh Omar has called on the police to charge those responsible for uploading photos of the non-Muslim pupils eating in the school shower room with sedition.

It is ridiculous for a former Minister to make such a call and it will be ridiculous if the whistle blower is charged under sedition.

The fact that the headmaster and the deputy Education Minister Kalamanathan had apologised over the canteen incident shows that the headmaster had committed a grave mistake and that the Ministry could not accept what he did.

Why then should the parent be targeted?

 Just because the headmaster had lodged a police report alleging that the photographs had created tension? What tension was he talking about?

The headmaster must realize that there has been public anger against his decision to make pupils eat in the changing room and he is not helping to bring about a closure by lodging a police report and by taking photographs of the pupils.

Let me tell Noh Omar that instead of targeting the parent, he should commend Guneswari Kelly for being a brave whistleblower.

Let me also remind the Education Minister that there is still a lot of public doubt against the explanations given by the headmaster, especially the “canteen being under renovation” part.

I reiterate my earlier call that the Education Ministry must carry out a thorough probe which must involve interviewing the headmaster, teachers, pupils and parents.

The probe results must be made public.

( This statement was not uploaded here earlier by mistake ) 




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