The Chandigarh Commission for Protection of Child Rights (CCPCR) on Tuesday ordered the management of Mount Carmel School, Sector 47, to submit a written undertaking that the “expelled” students, whose parents are protesting fee hike in previous session, should be allowed to attend school from April 11.
The parents, including the 10 the main petitioners in a court case against the school, had alleged that their wards were being discriminated against since the new session started on April 4. On April 5, they were summoned to the principal’s office and asked to submit a written statement that they will take the case back and not disturb peace. When they refused, the school allegedly told them that their children, including some in Kindergarten, were being expelled and that they should not send them to school till the matter was resolved. The school, however, denied mistreating any child.
“The CCPCR said it has taken a written undertaking from the school that it will not harass students, but we’ve only got verbal assurance from them. We have asked for a hard copy of the school’s undertaking, which we’ll get in a day or two. The CCPCR has also warned the school that if students are harassed in future, the management will have to face legal actions,” said Nidhi Goyal, a parent who was part of the hearing.
She added that the CCPCR also took a written undertaking from the parents stating that they will not carry out any “unlawful” activity inside the school premises.
According to the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights, fee is a financial matter between the school authorities and parents. Therefore, it is to be dealt with the parents and not the children.
Nitin Goyal, President, Chandigarh Parents’ Association, said he was not at all satisfied with the CCPCR’s decision. Though the CCPCR has managed to resolve the matter for now, it has not done anything regarding the allegations of discrimination against these students.
“What of the mental harassment that the children underwent? This is one way of resolving a matter where parents are made to feel that they did something wrong,” he said, adding that at least the students will now be allowed to attend school.
Denying the allegations of discrimination, new principal of Mount Carmel School Parveena John said they have not mistreated any child.
“All of them have been attending school. We have attendance records to prove that. We have given an undertaking reinforcing that all students are equal to us,” she said.
John added that parents also gave an undertaking that any communication with the school will be put on email and will be conducted peacefully without resorting to illegal activities.
Sources said a complaint against the school has also been lodged in Sector-31 police station. But, police were busy with security arrangements for the Bharat Bandh and the Station House Officer could not act on the complaint.
As many as 200 parents had moved a local court against the fee hike for the session 2017-18. The court had stayed the fee hike, but the school allegedly resorted to harassing their wards.
The alleged harassment started on February 22 when the school denied admit cards to four students of Classes 10 and 12, claiming that they had not paid the fee.
However, after a protest in front of the school, the matter was resolved by the CCPCR and the admit cards were released.