Sexual harassment at school: Lack of action negatively impacts students' behavior

Photo shows a march by citizens against child and sexual abuse in Male' city held on January 24, 2020. (Sun Photo/Ahmed Awshan Ilyas)

A case involving a student sexually harassing other students in class has come to light from a school in Laamu Atoll.

Speaking with Sun, some of the staff from the school in question detailed that a male student, studying in ninth grade, has been behaving in a manner that can qualify as sexual harassment for a long time now.

The staff further stated that the student has been exposing his private parts to other students, as well as touching the private parts of others. 

“Also shows other students’ videos and movies with nudity and explains what is happening. Even tells students the names of those in the videos.”

The staff described the student to have mild special needs, citing this as the reason no action has been taken so far. 

The staff further detailed that the student continues to act in this manner, with no changes to his behavior, as a result of which the behaviors of other students have changed drastically. 

Another staff who spoke with Sun said that the issue has been raised with the Ministry of Gender, Family, and Social Services a while back, despite which no action has been taken by the authority to date. 

When questioned about the matter by Sun, the Principal of the school said that such information pertaining to students can only be shared with the approval of Education Ministry.

Sun has been unsuccessful in its efforts to get a statement from Education Ministry regarding the case. 

Meanwhile, the island council's president said they have not been made aware of such a case, in any official capacity. 

However, the council president noted that since the case has been now brought to their attention, they will be closely monitoring the situation. 

“We will closely monitor the situation. That is a very serious case. Such acts by one student drastically changing other students' behaviors is a huge and serious issue," the council president had said. 

Sun has also been unsuccessful in its efforts to get a statement from Gender Ministry regarding the case. 

Sun has learned that parents have been concerned over the lack of action taken over the case despite having raised complaints a long time back.