A judge in India said there was a “general feeling” among parents that studying at co-ed Christian institutions is “highly unsafe for the future of their children.”

Madras High Court Justice S. Vaidyanathan on August 16 made the remark while talking about a case filed against a male professor at Madras Christian College (MCC).

A petition, signed by 34 students, accused assistant professor Samuel Tennyson of sexually harassing students while on an educational tour to Bengaluru, Mysuru and Coorg in January, reports India Today.

Christian institutions right from the beginning have never indulged in compulsory conversions. —Father L. Sahayaraj, Deputy secretary of the Tamil Nadu Bishops’ Council

The MCC is one of the most prestigious schools in India and is affiliated with the Protestant Church. It is one of the oldest colleges in Asia and consistently ranks in the top ten institutions in the country.

Justice Vaidyanathan explained that there are many negative issues raised against Christian missionaries, including forcing people to convert to Christianity. Many parents worried that their children, especially girls, would be at risk if they continue their education at Christian schools.

The judge refused to intervene with the Tennyson’s petition to quash the ongoing hearing against his case. In his order, Justice Vaidyanathan suggested the government to make the necessary changes in the country’s laws “to prevent its misuse, so as to safeguard the interest of the innocent masculinity.”

Further, he said while Christian schools “impart good education, their preaching of morality will be a million-dollar question.”

Meantime, in an interview with Crux, Father L. Sahayaraj, the deputy secretary of the Tamil Nadu Bishops’ Council, said Justice Vaidyanathan’s remarks were “unfortunate.”

The cleric pointed out that, “Christian institutions right from the beginning have never indulged in compulsory conversions.”

Fr. Sahayaraj said Christian schools in India have produced achievers in various fields, including in Hinduism and Islam. “At the time of admission in June every year, people of all faiths throng to the Christian institutions for the admission for their children with the only hope that discipline and quality of education will be available to them.”

Joyce has more than 15 years experience writing news, industry articles and blogs for the private and public sectors. Most of her career was spent writing technical documentation for a software company in the Philippines. She earned a B.A. in Communication Arts with a concentration in writing from the University of the Philippines, Los Baños. During her leisure time, Joyce pursues her interest in reading fiction and playing with her dogs. She can be contacted at Joyce@1cvm.com.