School defends punishment to child, says intent was positive

Mother agrees to settle case with written apology from class teacher

Mumbai | Published: February 14, 2014 4:50:19 am

In a  case where the mother of a Std V student of Holy Angels High School, Mulund, had complained that the child was scared to attend school as he was threatened and punished by the class teacher, the latter said he was punished but the ‘intention was positive’.

While the Maharashtra State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (MSCPCR) observed that it comes under corporal punishment and is criminal, the mother agreed to settle the case with a written apology.

“I am worried regarding my ward’s performance in your school. Due to threats given by the class teacher to my son, he is scared to attend your school regularly… Out of 20 days of absenteeism, in over 13 days, my child and me returned from the school’s gate as my son refused (to go in) and said he is scared of punishment by the class teacher… This is to request you to stop further abuse of my child from the class teacher and take appropriate action,” the mother wrote to the school principal. The letter was also submitted to MSCPCR and the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR). The NCPCR had forwarded the case to the state commission.

“The class teacher taunted and harassed my son in front of others. He was made to sit on the floor. During a reading session, when my son got stuck on difficult words, she didn’t help him with pronunciation. She would also tell my son to go home even if he was five minutes late,” said the mother.

The class teacher said  the punishment was for a lesser time period and the intention was positive. MSCPCR observed, “…whether it was for three days or three minutes, it amounted to victimisation and corporal punishment, and wasn’t permitted”.

“I have received a written apology from the class teacher. The school administration has given a separate apology letter,” said the mother.

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