YOURSAY | End period spot checks, treat our children with dignity


Modified 24 Apr 2021, 1:04 am

YOURSAY | ‘My salute to the girls, some whom are women now, who voiced out and relived the trauma…’

Schoolgirls 'shamed, groped and violated' in period spot checks

Mano: This was heart-wrenching to read. I had to stop multiple times to compose myself. It hurts deep inside. Those with children of their own may feel the same.

As it is, a young girl at 13 is separated from her parents and family to go to a faraway hostel. That itself to me seems traumatic.

But to read that these repulsive things happen in these modern times when that girl child is on her own turns us inside out. The perpetrators are females themselves!

Oh God, have they ever mothered babies? Even if they have not, do they live with females who are maybe sisters, friends, nieces, etc? Would that not make them understand this is wrong?

While we rightfully express our utter disgust, I salute all those girls, some of whom are women now and married with children.

It would not have been easy for you to voice out and relive the emotional and mental trauma and scars because of these episodes. I note the fact that they requested anonymity in speaking out. I can very well understand their situation.

My prayers that they and many others are blessed with the strength to overcome this trauma. We hope, with these revelations, all children from now on will be humanely treated with dignity.

Mazilamani: I have a daughter. It is not unusual for a girl to be at the height of discomfort when having her period, be overly self-conscious, sensitive, angry, and in some cases, preferring a private space of their own.

There are religions that forbid women to step into a place of worship when on their period. As strong adherents, they respect the conditions imposed.

Nobody except a mother is allowed to examine her daughter's body when she has her first menses. The other person is her elected doctor.

No other person, including a female teacher or warden, should be allowed to touch any part of a girl’s body or even make a complimentary or crude remark about her body. Where have these teachers come from?

What is the Education Ministry, women rights NGOs, and women religious leaders doing about this? There is so much more to say but I may tread on sensitive ground.

The Wakandan: They were violated and robbed of their dignity at such a young impressionable age. It would scar them well into their adulthood. How can we expect them to retain some amount of dignity, self-respect and confidence?

Would they grow to be revengeful, vindictive, resentful, have an inferiority complex and lack self-worth? Would such a person do it again to another, when her time comes?

When a child and young adult has been subjected to such trauma and violation in their life, they can only think that it is normal and would probably do it again to another, unless they have been counselled, healed and rehabilitated.

We are scandalised to hear this news. In our hearts, we might say, "So, that was what they did in there!" But maybe our daughters, sisters, might have gone through that same torture and fright!

The cruelty that humans inflict on other humans knows no bounds. All in the name of religion. Sad.

Coward: This shows that schools do not trust students not to lie. Just to catch the one who does, they will sacrifice the innocent 99. This tactic is common in Malaysian schools, including secular ones. All of it done in the name of discipline.

Instead of teaching us to do the right thing and cultivate self-discipline, schools in Malaysia believe they can bully us into it.

The worst thing, in my case, was done by ambitious headmasters and discipline teachers who believe by doing so they will be achieving in their (measurable) KPIs, completely ignoring their mission objective of educating and moulding individuals.

Our school’s teaching schedule suffers from constant unnecessary disruptions because they insist on showing off visibly that they are "committed to doing their jobs".

I know my school is not the exception but the norm. Other schools are adopting the strategy pioneered by my school.

Dignity People: In the West, priests are hauled to court and charged for sexual molestation. Maybe these girls should start hauling these bullies to courts.

Just imagine a young girl at 13 years old, separated from her family for the first time and undergoing this traumatic experience.

Separated from family, being groomed by persons of authority, molested, threatened, and having fear put into them - isn’t this how sexual predators prey on their victims?

Citizen_Zero: These are nothing but acts done by people who are nothing but bullies hiding behind authority, or the notion of it. These things are what these cowards do.

They feed on the fear of innocents, cowed by the authority they believe they should respect. They entrench themselves everywhere where there is a structure of authority, especially where they can't be seen or be easily accountable. They are the disgusting corrupt. Yes, this is corruption.

If they do this to my children, you can be very sure I will be there to teach them a lesson they will never forget. Even now, I want to teach them a lesson for doing this to all the children and young girls.

Dr Raman Letchumanan: This has been going on for 20 years and seemingly a standardised and widespread practice in schools, almost a ritual.

I am sure the parents knew but were scared to act. Now those in power are feigning ignorance but behaving righteously. Do we honestly believe that is the case or is it more likely they knew and turned a blind eye? All done in the name of religion, how to speak out against?

As the NGOs said, it is blatant sexual abuse and harassment. Period. No ifs, ands or buts. I doubt action will be taken and it will soon be forgotten.

I am sure many were affected and now they are out of that degrading environment, they have to team up and fight it, for the sake of their younger sisters.

Malaysiakini can only do so much. In fact, I won't be surprised Malaysiakini may be attacked for needling and blowing up this issue.

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