What does a teacher do when a six-year-old child in her class is naughty? She scolds him, admonishes him, perhaps gives him a “time out”. But at St Antonio D’Silva school in Dadar when three six-year-old boys did not , a teacher decided that the proper punishment would be to tie their hands with steel chains, make them walk all across the school and then force them to clean the school lavatories.
The incident took place on March 13, but the incident came to light on Saturday when an FIR was filed by the father of one of the boys with the Shivaji Nagar police station. The boy in question has been so traumatised by the incident that he has refused to go to school since that day.
According to the victim’s father, the boy was playing with two of his class mates even after the recess bell rang. This was noticed by a teacher. Angry that the children lacked discipline, she punished the students by chaining their hands.
“The same teacher had called me to school on several occasions and warned me that she would detain my son in the first standard for another year. In fact I had a few altercations with her on the matter too,” the child’s father told SUNDAY MiD DAY. The child apparently told his father that he had even pleaded with the teacher to forgive him but the angry teacher, instead, forced him and his friends to wash the bathroom of the school and then locked them up in the bathroom for some time.
According to the FIR, the boy initially didn’t confide in his mother who had come to pick him up from school. When his friends told his mother about the incident, she was initially hesitant to believe the children.It was only when the child broke down and told everything to his father when he returned from work in the evening that the truth came to light.
But worse was to follow. When, on March 14, the boy’s father went to the school to inquire about the incident, the school authorities denied everything and even accused the boy of making up stories. “I went to the school but the teachers avoided giving me direct answers. They said nothing of this sort had happened. But I know when my son is telling the truth. No child can make up such an incident. So I filed an FIR with the Shivaji Park police station on Saturday,” he told SMD.
When contacted, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Dhananjay Kulkarni (zone 5) said, “a complaint has been registered by the child’s father. We are inquiring with all witnesses to check what exactly transpired. Two other boys were apparently punished too. No arrests have been made so far but investigations are on against class teacher Cinderella Pareira and the school’s head mistress C Pareira.