Diocese of Mangalore Expresses Concern and Seeks Justice on St. Gerosa School Incident – KONKANCATHOLIC.COM

Diocese of Mangalore Expresses Concern and Seeks Justice on St. Gerosa School Incident

February 14, 2024

Mangaluru: St. Gerosa English Higher Primary School witnessed unfortunate and distressing events on Saturday, February 10, 2024 over unfounded allegations against a English Teacher there.

It all started with the circulation of two audio messages via social media accusing English Teacher of making disparaging remarks against Hindu religious practices and political leaders during a class in 7th standard. As the social media messages spread, four parents approached the Headmistress who assured them a thorough investigation on the issue to bring out the truth.

However, a group of individuals gathered around the school at 12:30 p.m. The Headmistress assured them also that proper inquiry would be conducted to address the matter. Later that afternoon, the sisters from the school wrote to the district administration stating that the audio messages were far from the truth, and they sought protection from any untoward incident.

On Monday, February 12, the situation escalated when officials from the Education Department visited the school in the morning. Local MLA Mr. Vedavyas Kamath led a protest against the school exhibiting disregard for the constitutional process of a fair inquiry. He insisted on an immediate apology and suspension of English Teacher; he started harassing women staff, creating an atmosphere of hostility.

During the evening, as children were leaving the campus, the MLA prompted them to chant religious verses and raise slogans against the teacher. The school management, under immense pressure, suspended the teacher, pending an inquiry, to maintain law and order and ensure the safety of the student community.

It is important to throw light on what actually happened. English Teacher was teaching Rabindranath Tagore’s poem “Work is Worship” and she was explaining the lines “Whom dost thou worship in this lonely dark corner of the temple with doors all shut?” (English Syllabus of 7th Standard State Board, Karnataka). She neither taught nor stated anything of the sort as went viral on social media.   

In the light of these events, the Diocese of Mangalore requests the Minority Department officials, Child Welfare Department, and Women’s Commission to conduct a fair inquiry into the matter and investigate the traumatic treatment meted out to the women teachers and children by the MLA. The Diocese urges the authorities to probe into the false allegations against English Teacher and safeguard her dignity as a teacher and a woman; the diocese also requests all concerned to protect the interests of minorities, women, and children.

The Diocese of Mangalore expresses deep concern over the unfair treatment of the teacher, students and the school by an elected people’s representative and his people.

Media Release