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Jakarta school apologises to abused kid, family

Publication Date : 22-04-2014

 

A week after the rape of a kindergarten pupil at Jakarta International School (JIS) by cleaning workers became public knowledge, school representatives on Monday finally apologised formally to the pupil's family and the community.

JIS head Tim Carr, accompanied by a translator and JIS spokesperson Daniarti Wusono, apologised to the family of the victim and members of the community at a press conference at the Sultan Hotel in Central Jakarta.

“We want the family to know that we are with them and that we feel their pain. We are so sorry that this child was harmed,” Carr said.

During the press conference, Carr insisted that despite the evasive image that the school projected in response to the case, JIS was fully cooperating with the police investigation and the government.

JIS also denied allegations there were more cases of abuse at the school. Carr apologised for how the school had communicated with the parents and public in the case.

“JIS believes it could have handled communication with the community better than it has, and for that, we apologise to the surrounding community and the parents,” he said.

Carr considered everybody at the school accountable for this incident but insisted that no teachers would be held responsible.

When asked about accusations of crime scene tampering made by the victim’s family lawyer, OC Kaligis, on Sunday, Carr said renovations to the restrooms had been done on police recommendations.

“We showed the police the crime scene and we asked them for advice about altering its physical environment so we could enhance security there. We do not believe it has been altered in a way that could hinder the investigation,” Carr said.

He denied claims that the victim’s family was instructed by JIS to not speak to the media.

“They made their own decisions [in speaking to the media]. We will respect the privacy and human rights of the child, despite what the family chooses to do,” he said.

His words also contradicted the victim’s mother’s recent public statements stating that JIS had never contacted the family directly about the issue, or in person.

“We contacted the parents by telephone on March 21 and I personally met with the victim’s father the next day, discussing how the school could support the victim

medically and emotionally,” he said. He added that the father had requested the incident details to be confidential.

The school plans to launch its own independent investigation, which includes reevaluating its security practices, with help from the United States, Australian and UK embassies.

Jakarta Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Rikwanto said 28 cleaning staff from the external cleaning service company ISS were taken for blood tests at Kramat Jati Police Hospital in East Jakarta on Monday.


 

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