Gerosa School controversy: Teacher did not hurt religious feelings of Hindus, says headmistress

Headmistress Sr. Anitha accuses Vedavyasa Kamath of forcing Sr. Prabha to remove from her job

Published - February 15, 2024 10:06 pm IST - MANGALURU

St. Gerosa English Higher Primary School in Jeppu on Thursday, February 15, stated that its teacher Sr. Prabha did not hurt religious feelings of Hindus.

The school management was forced by D. Vedavyasa Kamath, Mangaluru City South MLA, to “remove her from job”, it alleged.

In a statement, its Headmistress Sr. Anitha said that the teacher in question while teaching the poem ‘Work is worship’ authored by Rabindranath Tagore had said: “Temples, churches and mosques are only buildings. God dwells in the human hearts. Hence, not to kill the human beings in the name of God. We need to respect the work and the human beings and see God in them. God doesn’t exist in the structures but in the human hearts and all of us are temples of God.”

The Headmistress said that as alleged by an anonymous woman in the voice message circulated on social media, Sr. Prabha did not make any derogatory remarks against Hindu or any other religion or on the Prime Minister while explaining the poem.

The school management on February 10 approached the district administration stating that the audio message was far from the truth and they sought an inquiry into the matter and also sought protection from any untoward incident. A complaint was also lodged with the police to take action against the woman’s audio that had gone viral.

Sr. Anitha said that on February 12, when protesters who are Hindutva activists gathered outside the school shouting slogans, the management recognised the presence of Mr. Kamath and gave him due respect and invited him inside the school. But the MLA refused to come inside and protested against the school outside. “...It was hurting to note that the MLA who should have been a person for all, gathered the children around him and instigated them to shout slogans against their own school...” the Headmistress alleged.

“The Block Education Officer and other Education Department officials asked us to meet the MLA who was protesting at the school gate. When I met him subsequently, he asked me immediately to dismiss the teacher failing which he threatened to intensify the protest. I told him that I could not remove the teacher without inquiry as per education institution rules. But the mob led by the MLA pressurised me to remove the teacher with immediate effect. With no go and to maintain law and order and to disperse the mob that was swelling, I was forced to issue a statement removing Sr. Prabha from the job...” the Headmistress said.

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