Samiti stages dharna, seeks transfer of headmistress - School denies charge

The Hindu

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 She is accused of harassing a physical education teacher


Members of the Karnataka Dalit Sangharsh Samiti and other groups staging a protest in front of the Mount Rosary High School at Santhekatte-Kallianpur near Udupi on Wednesday.

Members of the Udupi district units of the Karnataka Dalit Sangharsh Samiti and Samata Sainik Dal and the Ashrayadata Auto Union staged a dharna in front of the Mount Rosary High School at Santhekatte-Kallianpur near here on Wednesday.

The protesters demanded the transfer of the school headmistress,  Rev.Sister Regina, for allegedly harassing a physical education teacher, Nagaraj, who attempted suicide on February 9. However, there were only 20 protesters in front of the school entrance gate. There was tight police security in front of the school and the classes went on as usual.

Ramesh Kotian, convener of Karnataka Dalit Sangharsh Samiti, said that Mr. Nagaraj was harassed and threatened by the school headmistress and two others of school governing board on February 9. He then attempted suicide the same day. He is now recovering int a private hospital here.

The school had got many trophies in sports events due to Mr. Nagaraj’s efforts. He was also a recipient of District-level Best Teacher Award. But the headmistress wanted to sack Mr. Nagaraj. Even though an enquiry was initiated against Mr. Nagaraj, notice had not been issued to him, he said.

“Our demand is that Rev. Sister Regina should be immediately transferred from here. We have no complaints about the school,” Mr. Kotian said.

Vishwanath Pethri, convener of the district unit of Samata Sainik Dal, Ramesh Shetty, convener of the Ashrayadata Auto Union, and others were present.

School denies charge

The governing board of Mount Rosary School on Wednesday clarified that there was no harassment or discrimination meted out to the physical education teacher of the school, Nagaraj, who is said to have attempted suicide on February 9.

Addressing presspersons here,Rev Fr. Dennis D’Sa, Public Relations Officer of Udupi Catholic Diocese, said that the school established in 1997 had 1,485 students and 61 teaching and non-teaching staff.

Of these 61 teaching and non-teaching staff, only 20 were Christians, while the remaining 41 belonged to other religions. The school had a harmonious relationship between teachers, parents and governing board.

Mr. Nagaraj had been working in the school for 14 years. Initially, he worked well. But slowly he became indifferent, showed indiscipline and was discourteous to his colleagues.

He was counselled periodically, but to no avail. Tired of his behaviour, the school governing board warned him orally several times.

When Rev. Sister Regina, a disciplinarian and able administrator, took charge as headmistress of the school in June 2016, Mr. Nagaraj continued with his same old habits.

When he realised that Sister Regina would not tolerate his behaviour, he started making baseless allegations against her. He had threatened to commit suicide at a meeting with the headmistress on August 29, 2016.

On February 9, when Mr. Nagaraj was called for a meeting in the presence of Rev.Fr. Lawrence D’Souza, Secretary of Catholic Education Society, and Rev .Fr.Philip Neri Aranha, school correspondent, he accepted a couple of lapses on his part and apologised.

But soon he became angry, started banging the desk, and walked out of the meeting and later allegedly attempted suicide, which was a well-calculated act. He later made baseless allegations against  Rev. Sister Regina, Rev.Fr. D’Souza and Rev.Fr. Aranha.

At a meeting held on February 18, the school governing board and the teaching and non-teaching staff had unanimously backed Rev.Sister Regina. “Our school has always strived for the welfare of weaker sections,” Rev. Fr. D’Sa said.

Ravi Acharya, president of Parent Teachers Association, Rev. Fr.Valerian Mendonca, diocese chancellor, Vanitha, Assistant school headmistress, Savita, teacher, and others, were present.

Comments on this Article
Maxim, Kukude Fri, February-24-2017, 10:10
Looks like we are moving back to STONEAGE.
Agree[0] Disagree[0]

James Fernandes, Barkur Chicago Fri, February-24-2017, 8:32
Once, many decades ago, I rescued and treated a baby squirrel injured by my cat. As it became healthier it turned out to be aggressive and demanding more ground nuts. Thanks folks.
Agree[1] Disagree[0]

stan, dubai Fri, February-24-2017, 1:00
Only one dozen people sitting in front of gate....

How much they will get wages per day from our political parties???????

Agree[5] Disagree[1]

Jossey Saldanha, Mumbai Thu, February-23-2017, 1:06
Agree[10] Disagree[3]

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