Parents of students in the Panchayat Union Middle School at Vadugapatti near Namakkal gheraoed the institution on Monday, urging officials to dismiss an English teacher who, they alleged, had sexually harassed girl students.
The agitated parents also tried to assault the teacher and block road but were stopped by the police.
Headmistress S. Krishnaveni said that she had received complaints from students of Class VIII and their parents that the 33-year-old teacher made the girls feel uncomfortable by suggestive words and touch. The teacher is the only male staff member of the school, which has eight teachers
. “He has put in five years of service as a government school teacher and been in this school from 2008. In the past, he had used abusive language while talking to parents, picked quarrels with schoolboys and even assaulted them.”
Ms. Krishnaveni said that this was the first time that allegations of sexual harassment had come up against the teacher.
The teacher concerned, P. Sathyaprabhu, contended that the headmistress had instigated parents to make false allegations against him as he was a Dalit.
Education Department officials arrived at the school and asked Mr. Sathyaprabhu to go on leave. They said departmental action would be initiated after enquiry.