Staff Reporter

Ten Tsirang residents, claiming to be parents of students who were allegedly molested by the officiating principal of a primary school in the dzongkhag, said a female teacher in the school coerced their children to make statements against the officiating principal.

The parents, in a written submission, alleged that the female teacher gathered eight girls in an Information and Technology (IT) classroom and told them to tell police that the officiating principal pinched and touched them.

“The teacher had warned the girls that their parents would be behind bars if they didn’t do as told,” the letter stated.

A parent, Lhomo Dem, said that her daughter, who studies in class II, shared how they were warned to tell they were pinched and touched.

She said that some of the parents of the children were not informed about the molestation issue when they should have been.

Parents also claimed a male teacher of the school also told some girls to say they were pinched.

They alleged the male teacher had also recorded pictures and videos with the statements. “The police never verified about the pictures and videos with us,” the letter stated.

The parents also claimed that the two teachers were at fault and not the officiating principal.

They said that prior to the arrest of the officiating principal, the female teacher cut the hair of students even when the students had short hair and some of them lodged complaints to the school after which the officiating principal  reported to the gewog gup about the incident.

A parent, Jagat Bdr Chuwan, said they made written complaints against the teacher to the school.

The parents also said the male teacher behaved inappropriately with the officiating principal during the assembly on one occasion and their children saw what transpired.

They also said their children were used against the officiating principal by the teachers, which is affecting the children’s future and mental health.

The parents also said that they permitted the officiating principal to pinch their students after an incident involving the female teacher and a student.

Jagat Bahadur Chuwan said that whatever happened cannot be changed. “But our children should not be affected.”

He also said that the case had also impacted the place, people and children of the locality badly.

Parents said that they wanted to know the truth and that justice should be provided if the accused was guilty.

Meanwhile, the female teacher said that she was not the complainant, as most people assumed.

She said that she had been conducting classes and providing information about good touch, bad touch, teenage pregnancy, and menstruation among others since 2015. “It is one of my initiatives in the school.”

She said that she had filed defamation charges last week.

Concerning the claims that parents made, she said that as a teacher she had only told the students to say the truth and nothing else. “When police walked in, I told them to be calm, as some panicked.”

Tsirang police said they had no comments as the case was still under investigation. The case is with Office of the Attorney General (OAG).

The parents said they would submit the letter to the dzongkhag court.