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Hyderabad boy uses Facebook to stand up to teacher torture

The status message on Siddhanth Totla’s Facebook page says “i AM MAD”. His friends have responded with a flurry of ‘likes’ and ‘y so angry with yourself?’

Written by Sreenivas Janyala | Hyderabad |
November 17, 2010 1:50:28 am

The status message on Siddhanth Totla’s Facebook page on Tuesday says “i AM MAD”. His friends have responded with a flurry of ‘likes’ and ‘y so angry with yourself?’ messages.

The 12-year-old,Class 8 student of St Paul’s High School may be angry because in spite of showing bruises on his body allegedly inflicted by his biology teacher,his father refused to file a police complaint against the teacher or the school.

On November 10,Siddhanth posted on Facebook photos of bruises on his cheeks and back after he was caned by his biology teacher. His status message that day read: “George Sir,a teacher or a monster.” His classmates responded by condemning the corporal punishment.

Siddhanth complained to his father Rajendra Totla who went to the school the next day and spoke with the teacher and principal Brother Sudhakar Reddy,but when they apologised,he preferred to let the matter rest.

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Siddhanth’s status message on November 12 read: “Some people don’t lie very well,they just hope that you are not smart enough to figure it out! Eg: george”. K George is his biology teacher.

Principal Brother Reddy said that after Siddhanth’s father complained,the school conducted an inquiry and suspended the teacher. “Neither the teacher nor the student was able to give satisfactory replies as to what happened that day. As the principal,I had already taken action when the matter was brought before me. In a meeting arranged with the student’s parents,the teacher gave them a written apology. This apology was accepted by the parents,who expressed that the issue had been resolved amicably to their satisfaction,” Brother Reddy said on Tuesday.

Siddhanth’s father Rajendranath Totla,a businessman,also says the same thing. “I went and confronted the teacher why he beat my son like that but he avoided giving a straight answer. He appeared to be disturbed to me. My son was also unable to explain what happened that day. I told the teacher as well as the principal that since I passed out from the same school and do not want to spoil its reputation,I am letting the matter go but warned that if such kind of punishment is meted out again to my son or any other student,I will take them to court,” Totla said.

“My son is disturbed right now. He says he posted the photos to let his school know about it but somehow ended up on TV channels,” Totla said.

While parents of several students were shocked to see the photos of the bruised face of Siddhanth,the school management was even more shocked by the reaction from his classmates and other schoolchildren. “Frankly,some of the messages on Facebook condemning the teacher were as disturbing as the photos themselves. Someone wrote that the teacher should be stoned in public,others called him a mad fellow. Someone even used invectives. Coming from 12- and 13-year-olds,such vitriolic language and feelings are disturbing,” Brother Reddy said.

Rajendranath Totla said the family was counselling Siddhanth and was trying to make him forget the incident and carry on. “We cannot even move him to another school at this juncture. I have never heard of such a thing happening in this school. I do not know why this happened with my son but we are trying to help him out of this,” Totla said.

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