When it comes to analyzing friendship and interactions between fellow classmates, the authorities at Kamala Girl’s School in Kolkata, West Bengal seem to have a completely different and insensitive approach in dealing with it.
The school authorities took offence when some of the girls were seen holding hands, hugging each other and being playful with each other. You know, just acting exactly how normal girls act like whenever they are around their female friends.
But this amounted to “uncivilized sexual activities” that the girls were seen indulging in according to the authorities at the school.
On 9th March, the girls were singled out and were forced to write a confession admitting to the fact that they are lesbians and were then asked to submit it to the teacher-in-charge or acting headmistress of the school, Shikha Sarkar.
They were further asked many derogatory and insensitive questions by the authorities. When the girls admitted to only holding hands and hugging they were rebuked and asked to admit “all that they do”.
“Our daughter was asked how it feels to put her hand up a girl’s skirt or blouse and feel it,”
said a parent who was appalled at how insensitively and shamelessly the authorities had handled the situation.
Following the confession, on 12th March, the parents of the girls in question were called and asked to read out their daughters’ ”misdeeds” as well as telling them on how they should deal with their daughters who “suffered from homosexuality”.
Yes, you heard it right. In a matter of a few hours, some stuck-up educators at an all-girls school had been successful in reducing homosexuality to a mere curable ‘disease’.
The outraged parents of these twelve girls, however, didn’t back down and have registered a complaint that the students wrote the statements without conscious volition. An FIR is yet to be registered by the police.
What the Education Minister Has To Say
Partha Chatterjee, West Bengal Education Minister in an interview with The Quint, said that he “will not inculcate the idea of lesbianism at school.”
When asked about what’s the problem with homosexuality and why he feels that it is something that will ‘corrupt’ the children he said that,
“Young teenagers should not explore sexuality among themselves. That is not the culture of Bengal.”
It’s doesn’t come as a surprise though that in a world which is increasingly showing more acceptance and empathy for the LGBTQ community, our ministers have failed to believe in evolution.
What Needs To Be Done
It’s painfully shocking to see how the faculty had such misconstrued conceptions about intersectionality and sexual preferences.
Instead of singling out students who show signs of homosexual behavior, and reprimanding them, they should be sensitized and not shamed about their sexual preferences.
A more conducive, accommodating environment should come into the picture, which offers the right kind of support to students who identify themselves as gay. It should be ensured that such students aren’t a victim of homophobic bullying being meted out to them.
Where teachers should be sensitized to gender issues, the schools should focus on just imparting knowledge while teaching empathy, compassion, acceptance, and love for other people, instead of just being fixated on age-old, rigid ideas of right and wrong because there are worse things in life than a girl kissing a girl.
Image Credits: Google Images