Schools are meant to be second homes to children, but the increasing number of cases of children being mistreated by school officials, contradicts this. The mother of a nine-year-old student of Jamnabai Narsee International School in Juhu has alleged that the school repeatedly violated her daughter’s rights and also used corporal punishment.
The zonal education inspector will visit the school and inquire about this matter. File pic
The school, however, has refused to comment on this issue altogether. In a complaint to the deputy director of education on Monday, the mother has highlighted how her daughter, who suffers from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) since birth, was allegedly denied basic rights by the school authorities.
The letter also highlights how the mother too was allegedly humiliated on campus. The letter states the incidents took place since her admission to the school this academic year. The first was the refusal of school authorities to allow home cooked food for the student, who is not allowed to eat outside food because of her condition.
“While the school reluctantly agreed to allow home cooked food for my daughter, the problem is that she barely gets 15 minutes to finish her lunch because the school seems to have some space problems at present and there is a fixed time for recess. This has made her condition worse,” said the mother.
Due to irregular eating, the child fell ill and was home for almost a week in the month of September. When she returned to school, she was allegedly made to stand outside her class for hours for not providing a medical certificate. She is under treatment from a homoeopath who gave a certificate the next day.
“On informing the school principal, I was shocked to find that she too, was not informed about the same, and the decision to keep my daughter standing outside class was taken by the class teacher and the coordinator, despite knowing her condition,” she added.
On asking the class teacher about her decision to punish the child, the mother was told that it is school policy that a child with a disease is not allowed in class, as she can be a threat to other children. School authorities were informed at the time of admission that IBS is not contagious.
The worst shocker came last week, on October 9, when the mother visited the school to check on her daughter’s status and also talk to the class teacher as well as the coordinator. The school coordinator allegedly called security personnel to usher the parent out. “I assured them that I will show myself out, but she followed me till the end and that’s when I broke down,” stated the mother.
The school released a statement on Monday evening, but authorities refused to speak on the issue. It said —“Children tend to see the school as a second home. Here, they have the love of their teachers and the support of their friends. We cannot make statements about our children, and have them read about it in newspapers. We have always maintained an open line of communication with our parents.”
The complaint to the deputy director of school education has been forwarded to the respective education inspector. “We have received the complaint and have informed the zonal education inspector to visit the school and inquire about this matter. A report will be submitted on the same and accordingly we will take action,” said B B Chavan, deputy director of school education, Mumbai region.