A private school teacher in Ludhiana allegedly put a stamp on a child’s arm to ‘remind’ his parents about his pending fees. The district education officer (DEO) has ordered an enquiry and assured stringent action against those found guilty. The Punjab State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (PSCPCR) too said it will summon the principal.
The incident took place on Friday when Harshdeep Singh, a Class VII student at PSEB affiliated SDN School in Mundian Kalan area, appeared at an exam. Harshdeep’s father, Kuldeep Singh, who is an autorickshaw driver, alleged harassment and humiliation by the school after his son returned home and showed him the stamp. Kuldeep said the teacher should have used a piece of paper instead to send the reminder.
“He was having an exam, so he wasn’t carrying a bag, notebook or a diary. But the teacher shouldn’t have put a stamp on his arm. They cannot do this to my son, he said.
However, school principal Shama Duggal claimed that the child had insisted for a “tattoo” on his arm in a lighter vein, to which the teacher obliged and put the stamp. Teachers also alleged that the child’s father had misbehaved with the school staff. “The teacher had told the kid earlier that she had written a note in his diary but he did not show it to his parents. To this, the student asked the teacher to make a tattoo on his arm so that he can show it at home. The child is naughty but teachers love him. His teacher also told him that he should wash it as soon as he reaches home but his parents took it the other way,” Duggal said.
She added, “Harshdeep’s older sister has passed Class X from our school, her fees were also pending but we never told her anything. Even now, more than Rs 6,000 are pending. Their father stormed into our school and misbehaved. He used unacceptable words and the teacher was also manhandled”.
Ludhiana DEO Swaranjit Kaur said, “We have received information regarding this incident. It is a serious matter. Action will be taken against the school authorities after a probe.”
Sukesh Kalia, chairman, PSCPCR said, “We will be summoning the school prinicipal. As per law, no school can even discuss fee matter with students but only with parents. Stamping arm for being fee defaulter is a gross violation of child rights,” he said.
The commission is yet to issue any written orders to the school and has also not received any complaint from the parents.