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In light of a four-year-old girl who was raped by her school peon recently, the early childhood association (ECA) — consisting of 200 preschools and experts — has come up with some steps that schools can follow to ensure that children are safe. These include how the management should act if any parent or student approaches them with a complaint about sexual abuse.
Here are five major safety steps to be taken by schools:
1. Conduct background checks on all support staff including bais (women attendants), peons, watchman, drivers, cleaners, gardeners and liftmen. There are many companies who can help you do this. Write to firstname.lastname@example.org for more details, or just approach your nearest police station.
2. Do not allow children younger than seven to be alone with male staff, always ensure that they are accompanied by women. There should be one woman staff member for every three children who are younger one as they require extra attention. A ratio of 1:5 can work for children between one to two years.
3. Ensure that children are taught about good touch and bad touch regularly. Train staff to teach children according to the school policy and not according to their own beliefs.
4. If any parent or student complains about sexual abuse, do not dismiss the complaint. Meet the parent and give them your full support. Many schools, crèche and day cares are afraid of negative publicity but if you support the parent and child, other parents will respect you.
5. Always encourage the parent to ask the police to file a first information report (FIR). Under the Protection of Children Against Sexual Offences Act, any party having knowledge of such an incident must report it to the police.
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Source : http://www.hindustantimes.com/mumbai-news/four-year-old-raped-by-peon-here-s-5-ways-mumbai-schools-can-keep-your-child-safe/story-RQBIm5wgs28f4J86t8w9QI.html