PETALING JAYA: The education ministry must take action against the teachers and school administrators involved in the practice of “period spot checks” which have been widely reported recently.
The Children’s Commissioner of the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam), Noor Aziah Mohd Awal, said teachers found guilty of conducting these checks should be charged under the Child Act 2001 or Sexual Offences against Children Act 2017.
“A clearer disciplinary guideline must be developed to ensure such acts are not repeated,” she said in a statement this evening.
Noor Aziah said period spot checks, physically-invasive spot checks for “forbidden items”, child grooming, molestation, slapping and pinching of nipples as forms of punishment and other invasive acts are prohibited under the law.
These acts also go against disciplinary directives published by the education ministry, she added.
“Pursuant to Article 28 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) which was ratified by Malaysia in 1995, a state party is obliged to ensure that schools implement discipline in accordance with the rights and dignity of children.
“Under the same Convention, Articles 16, 19 and 36 respectively state that a child has a right to privacy, protection from abuse, violence and neglect, and protection from other forms of exploitation that include sexual exploitation and harassment,” she said.
Noor Aziah said such demeaning acts towards children should be totally eliminated in line with Article 8 of the Federal Constitution, which prohibits discrimination based on religion, race, descent, place of birth or gender.
Yesterday, FMT reported the accounts of Malaysian students who revealed the torment they faced in public schools, including “period spot checks”, sexual harassment and public shaming.
The students reported how some religious teachers (ustazah), doubtful if they were on their period, felt them up to check for menstrual pads.
“She put her hand between my legs to feel if I had a menstrual pad. I was so shocked, but I was too afraid to speak up. There was a spot check another day too, but that time I had to take off my underwear and give it to her in front of everyone to prove that I was bleeding,” one student told FMT.