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Essential to instil confidence in teachers: CNI

The Church of North India has said it is essential to “instil confidence in the teachers” for Christ Church Girls’ High School in Dum Dum to reopen.

“We have to also assure them that we are with them. It’s imperative that we see that security is in place. We have our security but it has to be tightened, and if need be we will take help from the police as well,” said Reverend Abir Adhikari, honorary secretary of the Diocese of Calcutta.

On Thursday, teachers had cowered under a table as parents and outsiders went on the rampage, intimidating them and damaging computers, furniture, doors and windowpanes.

“We felt humiliated by the kind of treatment meted out to us by the parents that day. They were hurling abuse at us and telling us that money was being extorted from the students to give us an increment of Rs 200 per month,” said a teacher who has been with the school for more than 10 years.

“If the parents had grievances, they could have protested, but not in a manner in which they chose to do so.”

The police escorted the teachers out of the school on Thursday.

“Teachers will need moral support and a mental boost to overcome the humiliation,” a church official said.

The inquiry and monitoring committee instituted by the Church of North India on Saturday will meet the teachers. The committee will take a decision on reopening the school only after talking to the teachers, according to the governing body of Diocesan schools and the managing committee of Christ Church.

“Keeping in mind the interest of the students, we will try to open the school as soon as possible,” Adhikari said.

The committee will visit the school over the next two days to assess the damage to property.

“The 10-member committee should be able to submit a report by the end of next week on the extent of the damage in monetary terms,” Adhikari said.

The authorities fear that registration forms for Madhyamik might have been destroyed in the vandalism.

A student had told Metro that the registration forms were submitted on Tuesday, two days before the office room was ransacked.

The secretary of the school will write to the West Bengal Board of Secondary Education if the registration forms are found to have been destroyed.

The Church of North India has set up three committees — an inquiry panel of six members to probe the death of 10-year-old Oindrilla Das, a monitoring committee to ascertain the extent of the damage caused during Thursday’s vandalism and suggest restoration measures, and a legal advisory committee to look into the options available to secure bail for principal Helen Sircar.

An immediate priority is to get Sircar out on bail. She is to be produced in court on Monday.

“Our first priority is to obtain bail for the principal,” Adhikari had said after multiple meetings at Bishop House on Saturday.

Sources said the school wouldn’t be able to function properly until the principal was in custody. “We can’t run a headless school,” he said.