Pupils are afraid to go to the school as they face daily abuse from teachers. Parents plight have fallen on deaf ears
KUALA LUMPUR: Forty special needs children are living through a terrible time at a primary school in the capital city as they face daily abuse from school teachers.
If that is not enough, the kids are then served with low quality food from the school canteen operator.
Unsatisfied parents turned to Berita Daily to reveal this appalling and shocking situation after their plight for a better treatment for their special ones fell on deaf ears.
Berita Daily was informed that many of the special needs children are no longer happy to go to this government school. They are also apparently afraid to even ask for permission to use the toilets, fearing that they would be smacked on the head or being called ‘stupid’ by teachers.
Speaking on behalf of the parents, SK Sentul Utama Parent Teacher Association (PIBG) vice chairman Adnan Yem revealed that many kids with autistic problem were allegedly abused physically and verbally by the teachers.
“My own son who is autistic is now behaving much worse than before. Initially when he entered pre-school which was at the same school, he was able to read and recite simple prayers. But everything changed when he entered Year One,” Adnan recalled.
“When he came back from school he would smack his own head with force. I was shocked and my wife too was surprised with his behaviour.
“Now at the age of 11, he said that there is someone scolding him in his head. At first we thought it was nothing but now we realise that it was from the school teachers who would constantly scold my son and other children.
“How did we know all this? We are the witnesses. We saw how the teachers treated our children at school. My son no longer uses the school toilet. He said the teachers would be angry and they are afraid of them.
“The teachers have no problem smacking the special needs children as if they are worthless,” Adnan shrugged.
Hitting on the head
Echoing Adnan’s sentiment was a mother whose son is also autistic. The woman who declined to be named divulged that in one incident, her son’s private part was wounded after a teacher harshly zipped his pants after coming out of a toilet.
“My son no longer goes to the toilet. He is afraid of the teachers. In one incident, a teacher brutally zipped his pants hurting his private part and until today, my son is afraid each time wearing a pants. He is traumatised after the incident,” the woman revealed.
The boy – whose name is not published in order to protect his safety – was then asked to describe another situation at the school by the mother.
“You always tell mama this, it has been going on for a long time, Who hit you on the head?” asked the mother.
The boy firmly named a school ustaz (male religious teacher).
“Who called you stupid? Who called you and the rest of your friends stupid?” the mother continued.
“Ustazah,” the boy replied, referring to a female religious teacher.
“Who punched you at the stomach and pinched you hardly and you cried at the canteen?,” she asked again.
He once again named a person from the school.
The mother also recalled an incident recently that another special needs children at the school was whacked with a flag rod, leaving red marks on his hip.
“Is that how you treat special needs children? Smack them when they do not listen to you? Is that how you teach kids to behave?” the woman sighed.
No response from headmaster
Asked if the group of parents have tried speaking to the school headmaster in order to look for a solution, Adnan revealed that the headmaster of the school was not very helpful in solving the problem.
“We have had meetings after meetings, we have voiced out our plight and concerns, we have made suggestions but nothing have changed.
“The headmaster is not doing his job. When we told him what is happening, he would snub us off. When we speak during meetings, he would do nothing and pretend that he does not know what is happening.
“Basically, he has done nothing to help us or to make the school a better place,” Adnan said.
“For him, the abuse and the complaints carry no weight,” Adnan added.
Adnan said that a formal letter has been sent to the Education Ministry by the Persatuan Kebajikan Kanak-Kanak Istimewa Sentul Utama (PKKISU) in August but so far no one from the ministry has been responsive.
It was described in the letter that parents have witnessed their children being beaten by school teachers as well as describing how in one incident a teacher had dragged a special needs children out of the class in full view of the parents.
“We have tried talking to the school, we have lodged a formal complaint and many other ways to ensure that our children is happy and safe at school but none has been done to protect our kids,” Adnan said.
Berita Daily was also showed a Facebook conversation between the school teachers who had commented at a picture of an autistic children where one of the teachers had openly said that she would slap the boy if he was her son.
The teacher said: “This boy I hate the most, if he is my son I would slap him,”
Another teacher defended her colleague by saying that the first teacher had a soft heart despite what she had said on Facebook.
The excuse by the second teacher came after a mother of one of the children had seen the post and commented “If this is your son, how unlucky he would be. You must be ungrateful if you have a child. Sad”
Other teachers were quick to join in, saying that they would never harm the special needs children adding that they love them all.
The school is reported to have about 200 students in all, including the 40 special needs children.
Not true, says HM
Meanwhile when contacted SK Sentul Utama headmaster Roslan Jais denied all claims of abuse and the mistreatment of the special needs children.
Roslan slammed the complaining parents, saying that they should have requested for meeting between him and the parents instead of reporting it to the media.
“I don’t understand some parents. What do they want us to do? We have done our very best to make sure that their kids are safe and healthy.
“They should have contacted me and tell me what is going on so that we can talk and discuss how to improve the situation. But by talking to the media, trying to shame me, that is not right,” Roslan said.
The headmaster was also quick to dismiss the allegation of beatings by school teachers.
“There is no such thing. No one hit the children. That is a wild allegation,” he added.
He also said that the issue over the poor quality of the food served in the canteen had been sorted as well.
“About the food, we have taken care of it. Even the ministry department and the district education department have come to check on the school,” he said.
Activist: Look for solutions
Social activist Syed Azmi Alhabsi meanwhile blamed the school administrators for the abuse and mistreatment.
Syed Azmi, a prominent activist, earlier today met the parents whose children were affected by the school teachers’ behaviour.
“It is important that we do not blame the school but we should blame the administrators for failing to solve the problem and look for a better solution for the kids.
“God knows what the kids had been through. We hope there will be solution and justice for the children,” syed Azmi said when met.