A Christian minority matriculation school in Tiruchi, Tamil Nadu has become embroiled in controversy after reports have claimed that its students were punished for bursting firecrackers during Diwali.
This incident has resulted in a complaint against the school’s headmaster and physical education teacher, which has been made at the Palakkarai police station, under whose jurisdiction the school falls. The complaint has been made by a certain S. Sethuraman, who has alleged that his son and a few students were punished for the aforementioned reason which caused them mental agony.
According to the report, police sources have claimed that an inquiry took place on Saturday which involved the headmaster and the physical education teacher. The report claimed that the school had during a prayer session, made the students who burst firecrackers bow their heads and seek forgiveness from nature. This incident had happened a day after the festival.
Apart from punishing these students, the school also rewarded students who had not burst these firecrackers, by giving them appreciation certificates. The school in its defence has claimed that it was simply following a circular given by Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board.
This isn’t the only such complaint which has been made against the school. As per the report, another complaint was made against the same school about a physical education teacher beating up a schoolgirl for applying mehendi.
This isn’t the only time schools have taken harsh action against students who have indulged in Hindu rituals.
It was reported in 2015 that a private school in Hyderabad had punished 6 girls for applying mehendi on the occasion of Dussehra. As per the report, the principle had thrown these girls out after the school had reopened.
Similarly a class 2 boy was fined Rs 500 by a Chennai school for applying henna on his hand during a family function. When the teacher noticed faint henna marks on the boy’s hand she immediately sent a note to the student’s parents, asking them to pay the fine.
Schools have also not shied away from taking action against teachers when it comes to such issues.
A 2012 report had claimed that a Chemistry teacher was suspended by a Chennai school after she recited a Hindu prayer to class XII students before they started their examinations. This act reportedly annoyed the teachers so much that they turned off the microphone while the prayer was being recited. As per a student of the school, usually a Christian prayer was sung on such days.