Biology teacher taught reproduction chapter repeatedly: Held for sexual harassment
In Guna, Madhya Pradesh, a government school teacher has been sentenced to jail for sexually harassing girl students. The accused has been booked under the POSCO act by a special judge-led court. The teacher Pradeep Solanki has been suspended and a fine of 1 lakh has also been imposed on him by judge Varsha Sharma.
Pradeep Solanki had sexually harassed children on numerous occasions before. There have been instances where he has forced himself on students or made objectionable advances. In a letter to the warden, a girl student explained that once she went to the biology lab to get her practical file, that is when Solanki forced himself upon her and she fled from the scene. Solanki taught the reproduction chapter repeatedly for many years. He also taught the chapter to the art students, who do not have biology as a subject. The classes would usually take place in the biology lab, and Solanki used to give the reason that it would be beneficial for their education for this behavior. An ex-student from four years ago has also opened up about the inappropriate advances of the teacher. Five female students were present to give their statements against the teacher in court. Upon questioning 4 out of 5 of them backed down from their statements but one student stayed firm on her accusations which held Solanki guilty. The major accusation was that he used to show obscene content to female students for explaining reproduction chapter concepts. The students also reported an FIR at the local police station. Solanki used to tell his students that soon he is going to be the principal of the school, then no one would be able to say anything against his sexual advances.
According to the POSCO Act, anyone who shows any object to a child in any form or media for pornographic purposes should be held guilty.
Sexual harassment has long and lasting devastating effects on emotional well-being. Children who have suffered any kind of sexual trauma, find it difficult to build healthier relationships after. They find it difficult to trust people and do not feel safe on many occasions. These individuals do need to seek guidance and counseling for mental health support. They are at a risk for developing mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety. The students who suffered because of this teacher will be awarded one lakh rupees which were paid fine by the teacher Pradeep Solanki.
Even though this had been going on for many years, there was hardly any strict action taken against Solanki. There need to be more awareness and structured regulations to monitor and ensure student safety in schools and universities.