NEWS

QVS Chilli Torture

According to the complaint lodged with the commission, this was a punishment directed by an assistant principal of the school to a head of department teacher, who also took leave without permission.
20 Nov 2020 11:13
QVS Chilli Torture
Queen Victoria School in Tailevu. Photo: Ministry of Education

Four Queen Victoria School students were allegedly stripped naked and chillies rubbed on their private parts and mouth for allegedly taking leave without permission (French leave).

The incident happened on Monday. All four students were boarders.

The Human Rights and Anti- Discrimination Commission received an official complaint by parents of three children, who were in Years Nine and 10.

According to the complaint lodged with the commission, this was a punishment directed by an assistant principal of the school to a head of department teacher, who also took leave without permission.

Concerned parents approached the commission on Wednesday evening. Commission director Ashwin Raj and his team met with 19 parents at a community hall to discuss the matter.

“After listening to the parents and interviewing one of the students, the commission met with the principal of the school late Wednesday night and facilitated the removal of another student from the boarding school, who is also a victim,” Mr Raj said.

“Following which, the commission took the child and his parents to a Police station and lodged an official complaint around 10.30pm on Wednesday with the Fiji Police Force.”

Mr Raj said the commission will prioritise counselling for these children who were too traumatised to sit for their exams next Monday.

 

 Ministry action

In a statement last night, the Ministry of Education, Heritage and Arts said it had “immediately suspended four staff members including the acting head of school”.

Investigations will continue while the four remain suspended, it said.

As custodians of all children in schools it is paramount that children’s safety and wellbeing remains a priority for all heads of schools and teachers.

Minister Rosy Akbar warned all teaching staff members that the ministry had no place for officers who inflict harm and subject children to inhumane and degrading treatment in schools.

 

 No further action

The ministry was urged by the commission to ensure that said students were not subjected to further reprisal and recrimination and that they were able to realise their constitutional right to education without interruption.

“Corporal punishment is a criminal offence and is contrary to section 11 (2) and section 41 of the Fijian Constitution and those responsible for these acts of gratuitous violence must face the full brunt of the law,” Mr Raj said.

Police spokesperson Ana Naisoro confirmed that a report was lodged and an investigation was underway.

Meanwhile, yesterday marked the World Day for Prevention of Child Abuse.

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

Feedback:  shalveen.chand@fijisun.com.fj

 

 



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