Fri, 05 Mar 1999

Sex calls scare students of junior high schools

JAKARTA (JP): A rash of bizarre obscene phone calls has targeted at least 60 students at two state junior high schools in the capital, an official said on Thursday.

Police and school authorities have been unable to identify the male and female callers who threatened students from SMP 49 in East Jakarta and SMP 68 in South Jakarta with demotion unless they mutilated their genitals and performed other dangerous acts, said Bahar Laut, head of the public order subdivision of the city's social and political affairs directorate.

"It's a totally new trend. We've been taken by surprise," Bahar told The Jakarta Post.

Callers claimed to be the students' teachers.

All of the students reporting the calls, he added, suffered minor injuries to their genitals from following the threats.

Bahar believed there were probably more victims because "we have yet to check with the other junior high schools here".

Jakarta is home to 1,083 state and private schools.

Similarities were noted in the calls.

Most occurred from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. early in February. Callers introduced themselves as the students' teachers and then instructed them to do "dangerous things to their bodies", or they would be demoted from their grade.

Bahar said callers appeared to be of both sexes.

"A male voice did not always speak to a schoolgirl, and vice versa."

He said authorities were unable to determine if it was one caller affecting different voices.

Different demands were made, Bahar said.

"Some schoolboys, for instance, were asked to tie rubber bands around their penises and then pinch certain parts of their bodies, or hurt themselves within a span of about 30 minutes before they were allowed to take off the bands," he said.

"Some were even ordered to put glue on their penises. Meanwhile, the girls were told to poke the outer parts of their vaginas with needles or pins."


Callers threatened to check the marks on the students' genitals and bodies later.

"If there were no marks, they would be demoted," Bahar quoted the students as saying.

He suspected the culprits knew the students well.

"The callers targeted introverts and timid students who care a lot about their grades," Bahar said.

Police are still investigating but "no clear motive has been found to why the calls were made"

Police officers in both precincts have been tight-lipped on the case.

Bahar said officials from the ministry of education and culture in the capital have been asked to hold meetings with principals and teachers in all junior high schools to discuss the matter.

"The meeting should be held within this month. During the meeting, all teachers will be asked to inform their students to beware of such dangerous calls and not to believe the callers," he said.

"I also ask parents to warn their children about such threatening calls."

The mother of a SMP 49 male student was the first to reveal the calls.

"The boy received calls from a woman who claimed to be his teacher," Bahar explained. "She kept on calling him, but the student never believed the caller because he knew his teacher was sick and could not even get out of bed." (ylt)