The Maharashtra State Commission for Protection of Child Rights on Friday directed Ryan International School in Chembur issue an “appropriate” school leaving certificate to a former student. The document had called the 16-year-old a “problematic child”, which his parents claimed was the last straw in the school authorities’ relentless harassment.
It also told the school to respond to the other complaints of the parents by the next hearing, when it is expected to issue an order in the case.
At the last hearing on March 30, the commission had reprimanded the school for its choice of words on the school leaving certificate.
The parents had dragged the school before the commission, alleging that it had targeted the Std IX student for complaining against corporal punishment. The boy was suspended for over 20 days last December and then allegedly picked on repeatedly by the school. The family said it was forced to pull him out of school and admit him in another institution to escape the harassment.
The student’s father said the rap on the authorities’ knuckles was the first step towards the family’s vindication. “At every step, we have proved the school wrong because the truth is on our side.” He was glad that he had taken on the school management, instead of giving into its pressure.
The parents also alleged that the school reduced the student’s marks in an act of vengeance. “It was not possible for him to score so less in a subject like computer science. When we asked the school to show us a photocopy of the answer sheet, they refused to do so. But after the commission’s intervention, even that is possible now,” said the mother.
The parents have requested the commission to recommend a police investigation into the alleged harassment.
AN Tripathi, secretary of the commission who was hearing the case, said, “It was inappropriate on the school’s part to write such a remark. The school has agreed to correcting it and is going to issue a new school leaving certificate for the child.”
Neti Srinivasan, spokesperson for Ryan Group of Institutions, was unavailable for comments.
The student was suspended in December last year for unruly behaviour. But the parents alleged that he was targeted for complaining in October against a school teacher, who had slapped him six times for leaving the shirt collar button open. The school revoked the suspension after the parents took the issue up with the child rights commission.
The parents complained that the school then started picking on the boy — he returned home with reprimanding remarks by teachers on the school calendar each day, his projects were rejected and he was barred from taking part in extra-curricular activities. All of these began to take a toll on the student’s self-confidence and mental health. To prevent further alleged harassment, the child was shifted to a school in Airoli.