With the overwhelming volume of students coming out with their horrifying experiences of abuse and harassment carried out by staff members of various institutions, the general public is struggling to come to terms with the reality of exploitation being prevalent in all realms of life for children—even in establishments that are presumed to be the safest. Addressing the issue, Murad Rass’ press conference made apparent the gravity of the situation and steered the public’s attention towards solutions, rightfully so.

When confronted about the incident by the Education Minister, students broke down as they re-lived a disconcerting episode so that the perpetrators could be held responsible. The manipulative nature of the occurrences becomes evident from this since the power dynamic between a teacher and a pupil leaves the latter in a helpless state. Such is the system that the complaints filed were used to target the victims by attributing certain qualities that would ‘invite such behaviour’ or were either neglected or discarded. This proves that a serious need to reform procedures exists.

Urging parents to come forward and register complaints assumes that children are upfront about the event in the first place. More often than not, the anxiety that comes with such confessions is hard to overcome—a phenomenon which is never addressed. Preventing schools from hiring male teachers is another solution that does not seem practical—it’s not about removing an entire demographic, but instead about reestablishing the boundaries with each stakeholder and implementing strenuous consequences for violations.

It is essential for the administration, instructors, parents and children to have a comprehensive understanding about what harassment is, how to recognise and report it. Teacher training needs to improve just as much as the structure of organisations; transparency and urgency should be preserved by complaint receiving bodies—whether external or internal.