Parents of mistreated special needs children in a school in Kuala Lumpur kept silent for years so as not to aggravate the situation

KUALA LUMPUR: The abuse and mistreatment of 40 special needs children at the Sekolah Kebangsaan Sentul Utama has happened for four long years, claimed the school’s Parent-Teacher Association vice-chairman Adnan Yem.

According to Adnan, many parents have long realised the mistreatment but no one dared to complaint due to fear that the teachers might target their children in class.

“My son entered primary school in 2013; before that he was very okay. At the pre-school the teachers were very nice to him and others but things changed in the primary school.

“He would come back and smack his head complaining. He is not happy to go to school and is afraid each time we talk about school. I never felt anything amiss until some other parents shared the same sentiment – their kids are afraid of going to school.

“We saw what they did, but we kept quiet. We were afraid that they would do something bad to our children inside the classroom. Therefore many of us decided to just stay silent.

“However, when we realised that many of us felt the same way (about the mistreatment), we decided to take action and complain,” Adnan said.

Speaking further, Adnan said that even now there are still some parents who are afraid to come out despite being asked by other parents to join the cause.

“I hope other parents will realise that this problem is a very serious one. We are doing it for the sake of our children and I know some are still afraid but I hope they will soon realise that this is important,” Adnan added.

‘We were helpless’

Echoing Adnan’s sentiment was a father, who wished to be known only as Mohd Mohd, who told Berita Daily that the abuse had been happening for years without any effort by the teachers to change their ways.

“It has been going on for a long time. We saw it with our eyes but we did not say anything because we do not want them to be more cruel towards our kids. Back then we were helpless.

“We wanted to criticise the teachers but we had no one to help us. Then we realised that many of us shared the same sentiment and anger. That was when we decided that things have to change,” Mohd said.

On Tuesday, Berita Daily reported that the 40 special needs children are going through a terrible time at the primary school as they face daily abuse from their teachers.

It was reported that many of the special needs children are no longer happy to go to the 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.

Meanwhile, social activist Syed Azmi Alhabsi said all the 40 special needs children must undergo a rehabilitation process to help them recover from the trauma.

He also said that the ministry must immediately take action against the headmaster and the school teachers involved, including replacing the culprits.

“It is important that the kids receive enough support and rehabilitation in order for them to recover from the trauma. It has been years and I can’t imagine the trauma that they all had to go through year in and year out.

“They are special needs children; they should be protected at any cost. Therefore, it is important they receive the support and the right treatment to get them back on their feet. The ministry must act fast on this. They can’t have the headmaster and the teachers to continue teaching and administrating the school.

“They must be replaced immediately,” Syed Azmi said when contacted.

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