Fr G Fernandes Principal of St. Sebastian High School accused of molesting students

published on May 4, 2010


Principal accused of molesting students
http://www.mumbaimirror.com/article/2/20100502201005020206238467bc4bec1/Principal-accused-of-molesting-students.html

Parents of students, and teachers of St. Sebastian High School at Chembur protested in the campus on Saturday afternoon, demanding action against the principal.

They allege that Fr G Fernandes molested girl students and demanded bribes from teachers. The protest was threatening to take a violent turn when the Chembur police arrived at the scene and intervened.

The Archdiocesan Board of Education (ABE) issued a transfer order to Fr Fernandes on Saturday, citing problems at the school.

Teachers and parents stage a protest at the school’s campus on Saturday
Parents got to know of the order later in the evening. Fr Gregory Lobo, secretary of ABE, said, “We do not want students to suffer unnecessarily. If parents are alleging molestation, we will investigate and take appropriate action.”

Parents also alleged that their children were threatened by the principal with expulsion if they complained. A parent, who did not want to be named, said, “A few students also complained that he lifted the girls’ skirts and pinched them on their legs.”

Another parent, Sophie Vaz, said, “Parents did not lodge a police complaint out of fear. He favoured some teachers and wanted to promote them.” Some teachers alleged they were being harassed by the principal.

Manju Chhabra, a teacher, said, “We have written to the Education Department, the Archbishop of Bombay and the ABE about the problems we are facing. He had asked teachers to pay him Rs 2,000 each in order to get our salaries as per the recommendations of the Sixth Pay Commission.”

Fr Fernandes denied the allegations. He said, “I cannot appoint teachers as that is decided by the archbishop, I can only give my consent. If I have committed any of the crimes which the parents claim, why haven’t they reported this to the police?”

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