Five Students Tortured By Their Principal Still Under Treatment In Hospital

Five Students Tortured By Their Principal Still Under Treatment In Hospital

On 16 October, students started getting out of the school bus. At a
stop near the school, one unknown student in the bus murmured the word
‘Pina’. Then several students turned their heads to search for the
student who murmured the word. No one was able to identify the exact
student. Finally, all the students returned to their classes and
continued with their studies.

The next morning, on 17 October 2017, the Principal called four senior
girls from year 11 and one boy from year 8 to the Principal’s
office. When they arrived at his office, the Principal without any
inquiries assaulted the five students.

The Principal hit the students on the head, neck, back and legs with
his fists. He equally beat both girls and boys. Then he ordered the
students to kneel down in the office. While they were kneeling many
teachers and students passed through the office. AND THE STUDENTS WERE
HUMILIATED.

At no time did the Principal question the students about committing
any crime or action against the code of discipline in the school. The
students were in deep shock due to the fear of being beaten. The
Principal asked the students if they knew his name. Then said they
knew it. Later, the Principal ordered them to write a letter to him
stating that they used the word ‘Pina’ to refer to him. All the
victim students collectively told the Principal that they have never
used that word. He did not accept their explanation. He accused them
of using the word ‘Pina’ while on the school bus and that they
intended that name for him, the Principal of their school.

One after the other, the students elaborated in detail what really
happened on the school bus on the previous day. It was then that the
Principal indicated that one teacher who was in the bus had made a
complaint that a student had used that word in the bus.

Then the victims explained to the Principal that the identity of the
responsible student had not been verified. Infuriated, he proceeded to
assault those who were kneeling down. They began screaming. He dragged
the girls by their hair and kicked them! Needless to say, the students
suffered physical and mental trauma as a result of this ordeal as they
were released.

According to the parents, after school was dismissed, all five of
their children were admitted to the Deniyaya District Hospital for
injuries suffered at the hands of the Principal after being beaten by
him. Later, Doctors transferred the five students for further
treatment to the Karapitiya Teaching Hospital. The Consultant, a
medical practitioner, diagnosed that the victims were suffering from
psychological trauma and the physical results of being beaten. He
further confirmed the fact that the students are still in fear of
returning to school. They are afraid that the Principal will beat them
again. The students were continuously treated for 6 days between the
two hospitals.

Later they were transferred to ‘Child and Adolescent Mental
Development Centre’ at the Karapitiya Teaching Hospital for
follow-up care and treatment.

The parents stated that they had lodged a complaint with the Deniyaya
Police Station regarding the crime committed by the school’s
Principal. They requested the Police to investigate and provide
necessary protection for their children in the future. All the parents
accused the Police of not investigating their complaint due to the
powerful influence of the Principal. Their last resort is seeking
justice through an independent investigation. They seek the safety and
protection of their children. They fear there may be revenge-taking
and repeated assaults by the influential Principal.

Parents called for Police and the National Child Protection Authority
of Sri Lanka to take all possible legal measures to protect the rights
of their victim children. These Institutions need to make sure of the
well-being of the students and their education into the future.

(AHRC)

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