Zimbabwe

16 Teachers Forced To Strip Naked To Check Who Was Menstruating

A senior teacher at Nkayi High School in Nkayi District, Matabeleland North Province, is accused of subjecting female teachers at the school to a disturbing and humiliating ordeal.

The teacher allegedly forced the female teachers to pose naked in front of an ancillary staff member, to determine which of them were menstruating, thereby violating their dignity and privacy.

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B-Metro reported sources as saying the senior staffer was angry after finding out that someone had messed up a toilet, with what was said to be menstrual blood.

The incident, which has destroyed morale among teachers at the school, occurred last week on Wednesday.

It is alleged that about 16 female teachers were summoned to the staffroom where the senior teacher demanded a confession from “the culprit.”

A teacher at the school who requested anonymity for fear of reprisal said some teachers blamed some learners who use the toilet. Said the teacher:

We were called to the staff room towards break time. The senior staffer was furious and insulted us with unprintable words accusing us of causing the mess in the female toilet.

They did not take any reasoning from us and ordered us to strip naked so that an ancillary staff member who does cleaning at the school could check who was on her period.

We tried to resist, but they would not take a no for an answer. They said only the culprit would refuse a physical inspection.

All the female teachers who were at the school were forced to endure the dehumanising act. We lined up after removing all the clothes from the lower half of our bodies and spread our legs so that the grounds lady could inspect us.

The teachers said they felt violated by one of their own and had no protection at the school. Added the teacher:

We removed our panties in the presence of the school cleaner. Some of the teachers are married people who are close to retirement but were violated by someone who is in their 40s in terms of age.

We were never given the results which confirms that this act (messing up the toilet) was probably done by a learner.

Our dignity was taken because if you are married you only take off your panties for your partner, not to be inspected under those circumstances.

We have been forced to use the learners’ toilets because imagine being recorded the time you enter the toilet and when you come out.

This is witchcraft, the environment is no longer conducive for us to perform our duties.

The handles of the toilet door in question were vandalized this week. Frustrated teachers have threatened to escalate the issue to the District Schools Inspector, as the school head has remained silent despite the attacks against female teachers.

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