A group of ten girls studying at the Kamala Girls’ School in Kolkata were allegedly called to the principal’s office and were asked to write down they were lesbians and that they indulged in obscene, ‘uncivilised’ activities. The girls were told if they did not comply with this order, they’d face expulsion.
The school claimed that it acted on the basis of a complaint by a fellow student who complained that the group often ‘hold hands’, ‘hug’, ‘put their hands inside each other’s blouses’, and ‘feel up their skirts.’
On 12th March, the headmistress Sikha Sarkar, summoned their parents and described it as ‘lesbian behaviour’. She insisted that it must be ‘treated’ or the students would be suspended.
#Breaking: "Will not inculcate the idea of lesbianism in schools. It is against Bengal culture", says State Education Minister Partha Chatterjee, on Kamala Girls' School incident where 12 students were threatened with expulsion for displaying "lesbian behaviour" @TheQuint pic.twitter.com/FkTejloJPM— Ishadrita Lahiri (@ishadrita) March 14, 2018
West Bengal’s education minister Partha Chatterjee said that ‘he will not allow lesbianism in schools’, adding that it is against the culture of Bengal.
A school official, requesting anonymity told The Indian Express, “It was a simple act of disciplining the students. They were being naughty in class so they were called into the office of the headmistress and were made to sign a confession. The parents were called to sort out the matter and have a discussion but they overreacted saying their girls were forced to sign it.”
Malobika, the co-founder of a Kolkata based NGO called Sappho for Equality – The Activist Forum for Lesbian, Bisexual Woman and Transman Rights was quoted by The Indian Express saying, “What happened with those girls is abhorrent. Not only were they singled out on the basis of a few complaints, which could very well have been pranks, I don’t understand what purpose did the whole exercise serve? Are students in co-ed schools asked to write a confession about their heterosexuality when they are seen spending time together?”