The school has hesitated to put up any report on the incident that occurred on our campus 2 days ago in the interest of providing a neutral point of view. The media have rushed in and now there is probably no person who is not aware that something happened on our campus.

The fact is that the matter is serious and deserves an honest report. No sane assessment was possible when we had to try to come to terms with what happened, take medical reports as well as spend many hours at the police station. Emotions have been running high and it did not accord us the best circumstance to be writing reports. Two days have passed and this has made it more possible.

Very briefly this is what happened. A teacher was preparing a diagram on the board and some of the students kept interrupting asking questions which the teacher thought was more provocative than genuine. Each time he asked the students to wait until the diagram was completed. Finally the student in question mimicked the teacher’s way of telling the students to wait and that resulted in a reaction of tapping him on the back (open palm).

The student then ran out of the classroom and reported to his father who then immediately came to the school. He called the teacher out of the class and hit him several times.  Fortunately some teachers immediately came to the scene and put an end to it. The police were also  called.

Statements have been submitted by the staff present to the police. The police also came to the school and took individual statements of all the students. Medical examinations of both the student and the teacher were conducted and the reports have been submitted to the police. We are yet to receive the final reports.

The school has received countless calls from teachers from schools in Thimphu and even outside of Thimphu,  expressing their solidarity with our teachers and school. Many parents have also called to express their sympathy.

We would like to add that the school is completely behind our teacher and the rest of our faculty. This incident has brought to the fore the sense of vulnerability many teachers in Bhutan face, both physical and legal while discharging their duties. The incident is also hurtful to many teachers because it illustrates the lack of respect some people have for those in the profession. It is an issue that cannot be taken lightly.

We have advised our teacher to take any course of action that he feels is appropriate, and the faculty and management of the school shall stand completely behind him.

UPDATE (16 April)

Our teacher has decided to resolve the matter internally with the UNICEF staff member. The terms of the resolution were drawn up in through negotiations between officials from UNICEF and the faculty of Pelkhil School. As our teacher was the victim, it was his call and the school management respects his decision.

We would also like to clarify that the case was not opened by the school or withdrawn by the school. The case was opened by the victim and withdrawn by him. Although we recognize that this may not be totally satisfactory to the teaching community at large, we request that they at least respect the teacher’s decision. It helps to bring to a close a matter that has been highly disruptive to the normal functioning of the school to the detriment of all other students. It will also give the opportunity to the teacher to attend to his own medical treatment.

As for the security of teachers, the incident has only proven that the system does not and will not tolerate this sort of behavior. The school took charge of the matter quickly, the police arrived promptly and the final resolution was to the total satisfaction of the aggrieved party.

UPDATE (25 April)

We are happy to report that our teacher has returned from medical treatment in India and joined his duties from today. The treatment successfully treated the hemorrhage in the cornea as well as the blood clot that was the cause of vision loss. Besides his physical recovery, our teacher has also regained his normal high spirits and we are happy to have him back in both body and spirit! Welcome back!


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