Ganug Nugroho Adi, Wonogiri – Hundreds of students at a state junior high school in Wonogiri, Central Java, staged a protest on Monday to demand the ousting of an English teacher, HA, who allegedly harassed a student.
The protest was the second one to hit SMPN 1 Slogohimo after they also rallied on Saturday.
Martono, the school's acting principal, said after the protest that the school's management would investigate the case, adding that the school would first try to seek clarification from the student and the teacher.
HA has been suspended from all activities at the school during the probe. "We have yet to clarify the matter but the students have already staged the protest," said Martono.
According to a number of students, HA allegedly harassed the student on Saturday. They said they saw him allegedly holding a female student's breast in front of others in a classroom as punishment for not doing her homework.
"There were many students who saw it, prompting students to stage the protest," said a student who requested anonymity.
Martono said he would need to investigate the matter carefully before he could decide on anything. "It is not clear what transpired, so it's impossible for the school to punish [HA]."
Martono added that the school had reported the case to the Wonogiri Education and Culture Agency. He said the agency had the authority to decide on the teacher's fate, adding that HA's tenure at SMPN 1 Slogohimo was also at the agency's discretion.
"We will settle the case [internally] at the school first. I will ask for written reports from the accused teacher, students and other teachers," he said.
The head of the regency's education and culture agency's teacher division, Retno Puspitorini, said the agency had issued a letter of assignment and at the same time set up a team to investigate the accusations against HA.
"We will start the investigation on Tuesday," said Retno, adding that HA and the student would be summoned to the agency's office to be questioned. During the investigation, HA will temporarily placed at the agency office.
Slogohimo Police chief Adj. Comr. Kukuh Wiyono confirmed that the students had staged a protest at the school but said the police have yet to investigate the case because no report had been filed yet.