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International school in Jakarta in trouble as family files lawsuit
Publication Date : 21-04-2014
The family of the six-year-old kindergarten student allegedly sexually abused by outsourced cleaners at Jakarta International School (JIS) in South Jakarta will file a civil lawsuit on Monday as the school ran its kindergarten without a license.
Head of the family’s legal team, OC Kaligis, said on Sunday that the lawsuit would be filed with the South Jakarta District Court and that it would also mention accusations of crime scene tampering.
“Aside from the lawsuit, I will also forward a letter to the Education and Culture Ministry recommending the evaluation of other international schools,” Kaligis told The Jakarta Post. He added that the intent of this civil lawsuit would be to ultimately close JIS’ kindergarten for good due to what he said was a serious legal breach.
Kaligis also explained earlier that JIS had tampered with the crime scene by renovating the toilet where the incident took place and installing CCTV cameras.
“The police should have cordoned the location off,” Kaligis said. He added that the school had risked jeopardising the investigation and the legal process.
Following the alleged rape case making headlines last week, JIS has born the brunt of criticism for its muted and standoffish reaction to the case.
The school has yet to make a public statement regarding the case. JIS also reportedly issued its security staff a notice forbidding interaction with the media.
In response to the allegations of sexual abuse, the Education and Culture Ministry has begun to scrutinize JIS’ operational practices.
Director general of early age education programs at the ministry Lydia Freyani Hawadi said the ministry would issue the school an official letter on Monday, which would temporarily close the kindergarten.
Lydia also criticised JIS’ perceived uncooperative behavior; she stated that JIS had failed to have all the necessary documents prepared and ready to submit to the ministry.
“Every time our ministry tries to enter the school for its evaluation, they seem to be very evasive, telling us to come back later or that they are holding a private meeting. They have been very uncooperative with the government,” Lydia said as quoted by tempo.co.
The first delegation from the ministry was allegedly turned away at the school gates last Wednesday due to a “closed meeting” held by the school’s management, which baffled ministry officials, including Education and Culture Minister Muhammad Nuh.
On the same day, the ministry and JIS held a closed meeting before a press conference at the Education and Culture Ministry in Senayan, Central Jakarta, where JIS head Tim Carr communicated the school’s concern and self-reflection after the incident. Carr took no questions from the media.
According to the mother of the victim, the school had not contacted the family directly or given a proper apology, aside from a text message sent to the victim’s father.
“My husband is furious that the school only sent a text message explaining themselves. If they wanted to explain themselves, they should have met us in person,” said the mother as quoted by tribunnews.com.