Agency says Depok rape victim can still attend school
Yuli Tri Suwarni
The Jakarta Post
Depok Education Agency gave assurances on Tuesday that rape victim, SAS, could continue studying at the school that reportedly expelled her following media reports that she had been held captive and raped by a man she met via the social networking website Facebook.
“We will monitor this case and make sure that SAS is allowed to come to school. We will also check on her psychological state. For the time being, as she is still refusing to go to school, teachers will come to her house,” said the agency’s interim head Muhammad Nurdin.
He made the statement after mediation with the principal of the private junior high school in Depok, which was observed by councilor Lilis Latifah, the deputy speaker of Depok Council’s Commission D overseeing educational affairs, and Yobelni Batubara, an advocate at the National Commission on Child Protection.
The 14-year-old girl reportedly came to school on Monday to sit the mid-semester examination after a one-month absence following her traumatic ordeal.
School began with a flag-hoisting ceremony in which a member of staff of the school foundation mentioned the case in a speech and said that the school “could no longer accept a student that has tarnished the school’s image”.
When SAS entered the classroom, a teacher told her to pack her things and leave the school.
Meanwhile, her mother received a call from the school telling her to come and meet the principal. But when she arrived, the mother claimed, the principal ignored her and left the room.
The teenager refused to return to school as of Tuesday.
The principal said that the incident on Monday was “a misunderstanding”.
She said that the school called the girl’s parents so she could meet with the teacher and gave a formal explanation of why the third-year student could not attend class for a month.
“Since she went missing, the parents never said anything to the school. There was no coordination whatsoever. We heard that she had returned home and yesterday she showed up at school. It is natural for us to ask some questions,” the principal said.
During the mediation she insisted that there was no expulsion.
Yobelni, however, suggested the school should take responsibility for providing advocacy for SAS if she returned to school.
She also made the principal sign an agreement that the school would not discriminate against any student and expel them from the premises.
“There should be a written agreement to make sure that similar incidents don’t happen again,”
The mother of the girl said that the mediation helped to alleviate her concerns about her daughter’s future.
“Thank you for keeping my daughter at school. But she was humiliated in front of her schoolmates when she was told to pack her things and leave. She said she couldn’t see them again after what happened.
“I was thinking about moving her to another school to help her get peace of mind,” she told reporters.
SAS had been reported missing following meeting up with Den Gilang, alias Yugi, who befriended mostly minors on Facebook, on Sept. 23. In her statement to the police, she said she was raped by Yugi who forced her to have sex with other men under the influence of alcohol. She said Yugi told her that she was about to be sold to someone in Batam, Riau Islands. She was dropped off at Depok terminal after media reports of her disappearance.
Bogor Police suspect the man, who is a repeat offender, belongs to a human trafficking syndicate. The suspect and his accomplices are still at large.
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