TN announces norms to protect school students from sexual abuse

Chennai: The Tamilnadu government has announced guidelines like advisory panel and safety audit for schools to ensure protection of students from sexual violence and protocol for conducting online classes.

There has been a growing demand for new guidelines on online classes following recent sexual harassment cases lodged against faculty members of some schools in the state.

According to the guidelines, every school will have to constitute a ‘student safeguarding advisory committee’ comprising the principal, two teachers, two parent-teacher association members, a management representative, a non-teaching staff and an external member (optional) to continuously review and monitor the situation and issue recommendations on all aspects of students’ safety.

The guidelines issued as a part of a government order from the School Education Department secretary Kakarla Usha, cover a number of aspects with regard to student safety both on campus as well as online, and have detailed the complaint mechanisms to be set up as well as audit tools for safety checks.

During virtual classes, both the faculty and students should follow a dress code, appropriate for classroom settings. All online classes should be recorded and a random audit should be undertaken by SSAC periodically.

The SSAC must inform the CCC immediately on receipt of a complaint and trained multidisciplinary team members drawn from different fields would guide complainants from the state-level centre.

 

NT Bureau