Kurunegala school principal speaks out after being released on bail

Kurunegala school principal speaks out after being released on bail

Written by Staff Writer

19 Feb, 2014 | 10:19 pm

Do not try to hurt or harm anyone. We should carry on with our work by letting the law handle this matter,  says the principal of the John Kothalawala College in Kurunegala.

He expressed these view while addressing students of the school, after he was released on bail.

The school principal who was arrested in connection with an incident where a female student had committed suicide after being reprimanded by him over a photograph posted on Facebook, was released on bail on Wednesday. The school principal was produced before the Kurunegala Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday.

The Principal of John Kothalawela College in Kurunegala is alleged to have reprimanded a female student over a photograph that had been posted on the social networking site facebook. She had then committed suicide.

The National Child Protection Authority arrested the Principal on Tuesday in connection with this incident. Police say that the Principal had been arrested on charges of reprimanding the student and causing her stress.

When the Principal was produced in court on Wednesday, a group,  including the parents of the girl who committed suicide, staged a silent protest opposite the Kurunegala Magistrate’s Court.

Talking to the media demonstrators said: “We urge that justice be served by taking action against this principal for the death of Venusha.”

“He convenes meetings and reprimands the children in an unnecessary manner.”

The principal was released on Wednesday on cash bail set at Rs.25,000 and two sureties of Rs.500,000  each.

The magistrate who ordered that the case be taken up again on March  3, also ordered that an investigation report be submitted by the 14th to court.

Meanwhile the lawyer representing the Principal said: “Charges have been filed against the principal section 308A of the penal code. The charge states that the actions of the principal caused mental stress to the child and this is why she committed this act.”

“We state that no such thing occurred. There is a separate teacher who is in charge of counseling children, she had written several reports on this child as well. We submitted to court the book used to file these reports. The teacher-in-charge had written clearly that she was a child who was facing significant amount of mental stress. The National Child Protection Authority states that they had obtained statements from other children. Bail was granted on a condition that he would not interfere or exert any pressure on the students who gave testimonies.”

Meanwhile, a group of teachers, students and parents staged a demonstration in support of the principal opposite the John Kothalawala College in Kurunegala on Wednesday.

The principal who was released on bail, addressed the students and parents upon returning to the school.

Speaking to the crowd principal said: “We can now continue our school work and proceed with the house meet.Do not try to hurt or harm anyone. We should carry on with our work by letting the law handle this matter. So remember, everything is back to normal, there is no issue now. So do not attempt to explain or blame anyone.”

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