Students of Padma Seshadri Bala Bhavan (PSBB), a group of schools in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, called out a teacher for sexually harassing them. On May 23rd 2021, it all started with a Twitter space where some participants alleged casteism being practiced in the school premises. Soon after, both alumni and the current students started sharing their horrifying experiences with one particular teacher identified as Rajagopalan, who is reportedly from one of the PSBB schools at Chennai’s KK Nagar.
Model Kripali Samdaria started a campaign on Instagram and urged students to narrate their experiences so as to expose the pervert. She received hundreds of messages from students, narrating their experiences during and after school. One student made a shocking revelation where Rajagopalan attended his class semi-naked. She wrote, “He came to class straight out of his bathroom with only a towel tied to his waist.” The student also shared a screenshot of the teacher with the towel for poof.
Singer Chinmayi Sripada tweeted “Wish parents of students at PSBB to file a case. Not sure how many could do it since they shut their own kids down fearing ‘dignity’ and ‘family honor’. These offenders use to their advantage. People like Rajagopalan, Ramesh Prabha should’ve been in jail for Child Sexual Abuse”. She added that the screenshots of students sharing their experiences are been posted in Kripali’s Instagram account and also attached statement letter she got from the affected students.
Statement by Alumnus of PSBB earlier. pic.twitter.com/xjfAFuF6Cf
— Chinmayi Sripaada (@Chinmayi) May 24, 2021
Wish parents of students at PSBB to file a case. Not sure how many could do it since they shut their own kids down fearing ‘dignity’ and ‘family honour’. This offenders use to their advantage.
People like Rajagopalan, Ramesh Prabha should’ve been in jail for Child Sexual Abuse
— Chinmayi Sripaada (@Chinmayi) May 24, 2021
Kripali kept sharing students messages on her Instagram. One student reported that he asked her out for a movie. She said that he was ignoring her request to check her project and when she sent a message begging him to check the project, he agreed. Later, he had asked “Ur free tonight can we go to a movie.” Then he claimed that it was by mistake when she accused him for asking out a minor.
Another student alleged that he shared pornographic link in the class group. She also mentioned in one of her DMs that he asked for late night video calls and photos from girl students. The girl also shared a WhatsApp screenshot of him inappropriately appreciating a student’s dress.
“He would select some a few of us as his ‘targets’ and constantly slut-shame and make horrible sex jokes about us to the point of breaking down in the class. A few times when we were expected to stay back in small groups, he would give us disgusting looks, touch us ‘by accident’ and even so much say things like ‘you are making me horny (in Tamil),” told one student to Kripali in DMs.
A former student said that he tried to hug her in front of class, another student shared an inappropriate joke on a girl’s breast. Several students said that his behaviour is often normalized by fellow students and even the school administration.
What caught people shocking is that a male student came forward and shared that Rajagopalan touched his private parts while frisking him, alleging he brought gadgets to school.
Sadly, Rajagopalan was head of the sexual harassment committee.
The PSBB management that parades as a prestigious institution has taken ZERO action on this man and protected him at all costs. This guy was also the head of sexual harassment committee ffs. You can only imagine what a nightmare it is.
— Nivetha Sekar (@NivethaSekar10) May 23, 2021
Other teachers were also called out, students shared the inappropriate actions and behaviours by other teachers as well. A female biology teacher was mentioned in the stories, who would flirt openly with the male students, used derogatory language for girls, and used cuss words in class. She also made sexual remarks and jokes with students.
One of the students talked about a former Sanskrit teacher who would abuse students, slap them for no apparent reason and flirt openly with girl students. He would “accidentally” walk into the girls’ changing room and inappropriately touch both boys and girls.
Students also mentioned that the school management ignored all the complaints received, even if it was from parents. They turned a blind eye and also threatened the students that their future will be spoiled if they didn’t remain silent. Several complaints were ignored, and the students were allegedly made laughing stock for complaining against Rajagopalan or any other teacher in PSBB.
Celebrities, film fraternity and the politicians urged the PSBB management to take strict action against the accused. Archana Kalpathi, Karnan fame Lakshmi Priya, Politician Kanimozhi expressed their disappointments on twitter.
Sexual harassment cannot be normalised It was heartbreaking to see stories about this commerce teacher in #PSBB As alumni we have to amplify so it reaches the right people to take severe action This is not Ok !Love and hugs to all the brave girls who have shared their stories ♥️
— Archana Kalpathi (@archanakalpathi) May 24, 2021
TW: stories of sexual harassment. Rajagopalan, commerce teacher in #PSBB(KKN) is a sexual harasser. Posting this after I have personally verified this with a student from this man’s class. Also posting this to amplify and ensure he gets the punishment he deserves. This is sick. https://t.co/ndJIKrOmN5
— Lakshmi Priyaa Chandramouli (@LakshmiPriyaaC) May 23, 2021
The sexual harassment allegations against a commerce teacher in PSBB School,Chennai has been shocking. Inquiry should be conducted and action must be taken against those who are involved including school authorities who failed to act against the complaints from students. (1/3)
— Kanimozhi (கனிமொழி) (@KanimozhiDMK) May 24, 2021
Harassing students, abusing them sexually and verbally and the management ignoring all this stuff is horrifying and unacceptable. Kudos to all the girls who finally took out the courage to expose this pervert.
And the school management has now responded to the allegations stating that the management isn’t aware of the issues and wouldn’t tolerate any behaviour that affect the well-being of students. Further, they stated that necessary steps will be taken to address the issue in a transparent manner.
Further investigation awaits as this case could further legally be handled.