A six-year-old student was allegedly molested by a teacher at a government-aided girls’ school in south Kolkata. The incident led to a major protest by parents of students outside the school on Tuesday. The protesters threw stones at the police team which reached the spot for investigation, forcing the police to resort to baton charge to disperse them. The accused teacher was arrested and four persons were taken into custody for throwing stones at the police. The school authorities could not be reached for comments.Two separate casesJoint Commissioner of Kolkata Police (Headquarters) Supratim Sarkar said two separate cases were lodged regarding the alleged molestation and assault on police. “We have lodged a case against the accused teacher under Sections 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty) and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act,” he said.A brawl broke out in front of the school between the police and the guardians when the latter tried to break open the school gate. Both sides allegedly traded blows and a section of the protesters tried to pull off the helmets of the police personnel who retaliated with baton charge. Several guardians and police personnel were injured in the clash. “Eight police personnel, including two officers incharge, were injured,” said Mr. Sarkar. He denied allegations that there was not adequate deployment of women police personnel to deal with the situation.A section of guardians eventually broke open the main gate of the school and ransacked several rooms inside the premises. They also allegedly heckled other teachers when they tried to leave the premises. The situation was such that some of the teachers had to be taken out of the area in police vehicles.West Bengal Commission for Protection of Child Rights chairperson said that the commission will monitor the probe and seek the CCTV footages of the school from the police if required.
The police have arrested a Group D staffer of the Tripura Raj Bhavan on the charge of raping a minor girl. An officer of the West Agartala women police station said they had arrested Dilip Kumar Das, 50, on the basis of a complaint lodged by a woman, who alleged that Das had raped her 8-year-old daughter.
A memory from a young Baltimore woman whose life was changed radically by the landmark Brown v Board decision of 1954. May 17, 1954 marked a defining moment in the history of the United States. The Supreme Court declared the doctrine of “separate but equal” unconstitutional and handed The NAACP’s Legal Defense Fund the most celebrated victory in its storied history. Reversing the 1896 the Supreme Court’s decision that separate but equal educational facilities for Negroes were legal. I’m sure you’ve seen the film and pictures of all of the White women upset about their children going to school with Black children. On that evening in May, like everyone in America who had a TV, I was watching the 10 inch black and white television; witnessing the drama being played out. In New York I had gone to Catholic School with a little redhead boy named Greenberg. At Holy Providence for Negros and Indians in Cornwells Heights, Pa., the convent where I was a boarding student; we were taught the Great Books and nothing about being a Negro or an Indian. In Saipan I was in school with children who looked like me and spoke a different language. Together we learned to eat Spam. Therefore, I could not imagine why these women did not want their children to go to school with me. To be perfectly honest I was more interested in the events of Baltimore than going to school. In the fall of 1953 Baltimore came alive. The electricity in the air was palpable. The Baltimore Colts had moved to town. Everyone, Black and white, welcomed the Colts with open arms. Baltimore was the Colts and the Colts were Baltimore. The great Buddy Young became my neighbor. Imagine, I could babysit for his family. One of the first Blacks to play pro football (after the “unofficial” ban from 1934 to 1945) Buddy Young #22, experienced the humiliations of prejudice. But Buddy Young always insisted that the worst prejudice he encountered was against his size being the shortest NLF player. He said his size was not a disadvantage and delighted in outsmarting larger opponents who attempted to tackle him. ”They hate to miss the little man, who can make them look foolish, so they hesitate,” he once said. ”That’s beautiful.” With Buddy Young being only a few inches taller than me, I learned to love my short genes. April 15, 1954, one month before the Brown v. BOE, big-league baseball came to town when the St. Louis Browns arrived with the new name The Baltimore Orioles for the 1954 season. The 1954 Opening Day Parade made its way through downtown. I love a parade. At the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Camden Station, the Orioles – having traveled from Detroit, stepped off the train and into Baltimore’s version of wonderland. Other than the traditional “Animal Walk” Circus Parade coming to town with the a herd of 18 elephants, trunk to tail in chain gang style, leading the way from the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus trains pulling the tents and the roustabouts dressed up as clowns, offered a dose of magic not obtainable anywhere else. The 1954 Opening Day Parade was the biggest parade I could remember. Baltimore had no Beltway, no Harbor Tunnel, and no Jones Falls Expressway. Working farms prospered inside the city; Howard Street was rows of beautiful bustling segregated department stores. Banana boats offloaded their bushels onto wharves where the Inner Harbor now stands. I loved the sight of the ships in the harbor, the sounds of streetcar trolleys on the cobblestone streets, the taste of the juicy red plug from the watermelon man (A-rabbers) with his horse-drawn cart. People took such pride in their white marble steps, and oh, how I hated polishing the brass railing lining those white steps. Mrs. Johnson, our next-door neighbor, was out to see that I did it right. The character of each neighborhood was on display. The descendants from Eastern European neighborhoods painted beautiful religious scenes on the front window screen. Anyway, that 17th day in May, when the decision was handed down, in that same TV news broadcast with the White women screaming and yelling, there was the very gracious, calm Mrs. Mildred Coughlin the principal of Western High School, beautifully styled white hair and dressed in a soft pink suit. I was taken aback by her comment, and I quote, “I will never see a colored girl graduate from my school.” Her school, Western High School, was one of the high class schools in Baltimore. At that time, some schools in Baltimore were not only segregated by race and they were also segregated by gender. The top schools in Baltimore were all that way, male and female. Western High School was the best, of all girl schools. Baltimore became the first City in the United States to integrate public schools.Baltimore Polytechnic Institute (BPI) had an unusually advanced and difficult college engineering “A” preparatory curriculum. After a law suit by the Baltimore Urban League and the NAACP on behalf of 16 Black male students, a settlement was reached. In the fall of 1952, Elmer (Buddy) W. German Jr. and his lifelong friend Victor Dates were among the first Black males to attend BPI. One cold day in winter of 1954 Buddy walked away. His mother was stunned, she was so proud of her oldest son. “Mom, yes my grades are good, yes I can keep up and no I cannot not tolerate the harassment any longer. He transferred to Douglass High School to graduate in 1956. In complete candor Buddy German was my best friend’s brother and my “starter husband.” May 1954, Walter Sondheim Jr. became president of the Board of School Commissioners of Baltimore City immediately after the Brown vs. Board decision and instantaneously implemented desegregation throughout the city. The NAACP, along with CORE, the Urban League, other civil rights organizations and the AFRO had actively pushed Maryland into being the first state south of the Mason-Dixon Line to accept the Brown decision. As the gateway to the south, Maryland and especially Baltimore needed to be seen by the world as being able to implement civil rights objectives before the south would even give it a try. Gov. Theodore McKeldin, on May 17, refused an invitation by Southern governors to consider plans for circumventing the Supreme Court’s decision. June 1954, Dr. John H. Fisher, superintendent of schools for Baltimore, detailed a four point program of integration for all public schools. The Board of Education approved unanimously. By the end of August, I was told we would go to “her school,” Western High School. There were five of us and we were hand-picked to start September 7, 1954, in the 11th grade, which was the junior year. Western High School was on Center Street a half block away from the AFRO building on Eutaw Street where my, Elizabeth Murphy Oliver, was firmly ensconced; this made perfect sense to pick me. However, on the other side of town, things did not go so smoothly. Oct. 4, 1954, near City Hall, a group of white students from Baltimore schools demonstrated against integration. Police held back white students at Southern High. Three days earlier, many students, led by their parents, boycotted classes in protest. Mayor Thomas D’Alesandro, who had the city build 87 new schools, providing new facilities for Black students who had been relegated to inferior segregated buildings, prior to Brown v. BOE, appealed for “cool heads” to prevail. The administration of Baltimore held to their commitment of school integration. At Western High School students and teachers were very nice; at least no one was ugly. No one was overt, it was covert racism. No one spoke to me. I suppose their parents had taught them if you cannot say something nice, do not say anything at all. The five of us were in different classes, different curriculums, so we weren’t together. No shared class notes, no social activities, none of the things that go along with high school. The entire time in school was spent very quiet. I guess in retrospect that was good because I learned a lot. I didn’t have anything else to do. And even if I had told my mother no one would speak to me, her first comment would have been, “You’re not supposed to be talking in school, and you’re supposed to be learning.” As you may suspect, I love to talk. Anyway we got through. May of 1956, just before graduation, we had done all we were supposed to do. Mrs. Coughlin, the principal, had been courteous to us; she had never been unkind or anything like that. However, just before graduation, Mrs. Coughlin turned her face to the wall and died. She never saw a colored girl graduate from her school. Now, I took it very personal, and as you can see it’s been 58 years and I will get over it- just not today. “Although the Supreme Court’s decision in Brown was ultimately unanimous, it occurred only after a hard-fought, multi-year campaign to persuade all nine justices to overturn the “separate but equal” doctrine that their predecessors had endorsed in the Court’s infamous 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson decision,” explains the NAACP’s Legal Defense profile of the historic ruling that redefined the history of the United States. “This campaign was conceived in the 1930s by Charles Hamilton Houston, then Dean of Howard Law School, and brilliantly executed in a series of cases over the next two decades by his star pupil, Thurgood Marshall, who became LDF’s first Director-Counsel.” The drama took place in the towns and cities across the South, to the greater woe of the white bigots, but it will pass into history as something that has happened to us all, children of this age, and it will remain in our lives forever. Read more on Afro.com and the AFRO’s Facebook page.