Schools Not Responsible For Molestation of Students in the School Bus
A five year old KG student was molested in the school bus of Stepping Stone School, Sector 38. The issue has raised questions against the safety offered by school buses.
The school bus was operated by private school bus operators upon an agreement with the school that the school authorities won’t have any control over the bus crew.
Principal of Stepping Stone School, Sanjiv Kumar stated that he has terminated the conductor from service after receiving complaint against him from the victim’s parents. The transporter was asked to fire the conductor by the school management. They have also asked to provide a new conductor for the bus.
Presently, the school puts the whole responsibility of the incident on the bus operating crew. The president of the School Bus Operators, Manjeet Singh claimed that the responsibility lies on the shoulders of bus operating crew. “We regularly brief the operating staff on the dos and don’ts while ferrying children. If there is any such incident, we bring it to the notice of the school authorities”, he added.
He said that they verified the background of both driver and conductor still such unfortunate incident happened. “I will request the school authorities to send a woman attendant in each bus so that there is a check on our staff”, he added.
After the incident, Sanjiv Kumar confirmed that he was going to install CCTV cameras in all the buses.
The Independent Schools Association (ISA) held a meeting to discuss about the safety issues inside school buses. They recommended the hiring of a woman conductor or maids inside the school bus. GPS system is also recommended for school buses to confirm the location. Vivek High School has already taken the wise step by hiring woman conductors for the buses of Mohali and Chandigarh branch.
The school made it mandatory to have GPS system and a woman teacher in each bus. A feedback system is also arranged for children to report any complain against conductor or driver. Upon receiving any complaints, immediate and proper action will be taken by the authorities – Anju Mehta, Faculty member of Sacred Heart.
“Schools should initiate strict agreement with the transporters which will create a fear among the staff that if any untoward incident happens, their contact could be cancelled by the school," Rakesh Sachdev, CBSE counsellor and DAV principal said.
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- A woman warden must be made mandatory in school buses, who must take the charge of the security of girl students on school buses.
- Verification of the antecedents of teachers, other staff and service providers (school bus providers) should be done strictly.
- Criminal history assessment of the staff and volunteers working with or around children must be taken seriously.
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