Principal of LGS JT boys branch resigns over corporal punishment claims

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The principal of one of Lahore’s elite private schools, Lahore Grammar School Johar Town boys branch, Faiqa Afzal, has reportedly resigned over allegations of physical abuse.

Faiqa resigned alongside her senior administrative partner, Fareeha Muntazar, after a number of recently graduated students came forward with their stories of having been physically abused by the principal in the form of corporal punishment.

The movement to have the principal removed dubbed ‘#fixJT’, had started after a Facebook post made by recent graduate and the school’s batch topper and world distinction holder, Ammar Hammad Khan.

Khan had published a note on his facebook titled ‘What being a ‘Gentleman of JT’ really means.’

 

 

 

In the post, Khan brought up a number of personal grievances such as the discrimination he felt against him, and disrespect that had been given to his parents on more than one occasion.

“It is known within the culture of JT that those who do their best to assert the principal’s magnificence in delivering exceptional achievements are those who win.” the post read.

“Not only this, but it is a soft truth of JT that abuse is a key element in the workings of the principal. This ranges from tantrums to physical abuse,” it went on to say.

“I was abused. My best friend was abused. Do you want your son to be abused too? The school tried to shut me up by labelling me as ‘disturbed’ and ‘mentally ill’. I won’t stand for their labels anymore. And neither should you. #fixJT” Khan said in a post that soon followed.

 

This had been followed by the sharing of a video from the school, which shows the principal hitting a boy lined up among many outside a classroom, allegedly for having been a few minutes late to class.

 

LGS JT boys, considered to be one of the top schools in the country with arguably the best academic standing in the entire city, has had Faiqa Afzal under their employ for many years. While she has seen the school through many achievements and accolades, her methods have often been questioned, especially the use of physical force against her students. This marks the first time that any of her charges have come forward publically with these complaints.

Khan’s post resulted in the coming forward of a number of students who made similar allegations regarding the physically abusive behaviour of the administration.

 

 

One post, written by the school’s former headboy, Shaheer Malik, also spoke out against the corporal punishment that had apparently become common practice in the school.

“I think it is important for all of us to remember how inexcusable and blatantly immoral it is for adults to raise their hands against minors, in this case 15-17 year olds,” he wrote.

“I understand that ‘ulterior motives’ could have been at play when the social media furor first began (although that is not something any of us, being so disconnected from campus life today, could know) but I think we should all take a step back and consider if we are really going to defend the act of hitting minors” it added.

The school had also responded through its own Facebook post made by the administrator Fareeha Muntazar, who has also resigned from her post.

 

“You know what the truth is: acknowledge it and it will set you free. Continue on a path of destruction and you will only harm yourself. LGS JT zindabaad. JTites and Ma’am Faiqa Afzal: paindabaad!” the post ended.

While it addressed the many other issues brought up by the original post made by Khan, it failed to even mention the issue of corporal punishment that had become the rallying cry of the many students demanding that the principal step down.

Another former headboy of the school, Jazi Waris, pointed this out in the comments section, writing, “since this post is intended to clear up misconceptions, are there any arguments that you do agree with regarding a change to JT culture, for example making sure that students don’t face corporal punishment?”

While the news of the resignation has come from the students who have confirmed that the decision has come from the administrative duo themselves, there has still been no official notification. The director of the school, Samina Rehman, is also yet to speak up on the issue and accept the resignations publically.

When reached for comment, both the offices of the principal and the director were unresponsive.