No action against SK Seri Pristana headmaster for meals in changing room, say authorities
The headmaster at the centre of the SK Seri Pristana controversy has been let off the hook as he "did not commit a crime" when he ordered his pupils to have their meals in the school's shower room.
This was decided at a meeting between Second Education Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh and Selangor education department officials on Wednesday night.
Selangor Education Department director Mahmud Karim told The Malaysian Insider that headmaster, Mohd Nasir Mohd Noor, was thinking of the pupils' safety when he ordered them to have the recess in the shower room.
He said the decision to open up the shower room was also conveyed to the school's parent teacher association (PTA) earlier.
However, he said, the mother who had blown the lid on the controversy had obviously not sought any clarification from the school or the PTA.
"The mother who had revealed it on Facebook should have obtained an explanation first from the school before going public," he said when met at his office.
Mahmud also refuted allegations that non-Muslim pupils had been photographed by the school authorities, adding that the department is yet to be informed of the incident.
"Claims that teachers in the school had also discriminated against non-Muslim pupils is also not true. It was all a misunderstanding."
On the recent complaints that police had sought the approval of the headmaster before questioning several pupils, Mahmud refused to comment, only saying, "that is a police matter".
Mahmud reminded teachers in Selangor not to discriminate against pupils based on their race but to treat them like "customers".
"The pupils are at an impressionable age," he said.
Mahmud said the department is arranging for several meetings between parents and teachers of the school to mend the soured relationship.
The Malaysian Insider had on Wednesday reported that police had admitted they questioned several pupils over the shower room canteen issue.
Sungai Buloh district police chief Supt Junaidi Bujang who had initially denied such claims, later admitted that police had "interviewed and not interrogated" the pupils.
Junaidi said that the police were given permission by the headmaster before entering the school and 30 minutes was allocated to speak to the pupils.
He said that the police could not afford to contact all the parents of the children to seek permission for the interview.
In a press conference on Tuesday, several parents claimed that their children were traumatised by the interview session, claiming that it was carried out without their knowledge.
To date, at least three non-Muslim pupils have been transferred out of the school by their parents, claiming that the school authorities had bullied and intimidated them.
The parents of 10 other pupils said they will also get their children transferred out of SK Seri Pristana. - August 30, 2013.