Mumbai: Parents upset as school gives their son a haircut

Oct 01, 2015, 07:41 IST | Shreya Bhandary

They say he was forced out of class and a barber was brought in to cut his hair, and he was also mocked in front of classmates; he was also made to pay Rs 150 for the trim

The parents of a 16-year-old student of a south Mumbai school have alleged that their son was humiliated by staff by forcing him to get a haircut on campus.

Activity High School where the boy studies. Pic/Bipin Kokate
Activity High School where the boy studies. Pic/Bipin Kokate

In a complaint yesterday to the Maharashtra State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (MSCPCR), the parents have stated how their son, a Std X student of Activity High School on Peddar Road, was forced out of his classroom and a barber was brought in to cut his hair short, and to top it all, he was also mocked in front of his classmates.

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The student whose hair was cut. His parents say that he feels humiliated and doesn’t want to go to school
The student whose hair was cut. His parents say that he feels humiliated and doesn’t want to go to school

The parents say that he feels so humiliated that he now refuses to go to school. The incident allegedly took place on the school campus on September 24, during school hours. The school principal, however, has refuted these allegations.

“My son had got a haircut on September 20, and still, only he was targeted in his class and forced to get his hair cut by a barber, who was called to the school campus in advance. To make matters worse, not only his classmates but also the staff make fun of him now,” said the student’s mother.

She added that the family has also approached the Mumbai division Education Department and are also planning to go to the police for investigations. “My son is preparing for his board exams and as if that stress was not enough, the school has added this humiliation to his mental pressure,” said the mother.

The incident
According to the complaint, the student was told to leave his class and asked to go to the ground floor where a barber was waiting to cut his hair. He was then asked to report to the principal but before he could do so, some staff members told him that his hair had to get shorter and sent him back to the barber for another trim.

The student’s mother said, “He was asked to pay Rs 150 for the haircut and when he was sent back for another trim, he was asked to pay another Rs 150. But he paid only Rs 150.” “This is a clear form of corporal punishment and the school should have known better. They could’ve informed the parents instead of humiliating a child like this,” said the student’s uncle.

Principal speak
Perin Bagli, the principal of Activity High School, said, “No such incident has happened, or at least I am not aware of any such incident on campus.” However, she added, “We call a professional barber from a salon, and not some roadside barber, to cut the hair of students in order to follow a uniform code.

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But no student is dragged out of the classroom and in case a student has to get his haircut in school, a teacher always supervises the same.” She, however, could not comment on the complaint made by this family, stating that she “will check with the class teachers for specific details.”

Meanwhile, on Wednesday evening, the student and his mother were called to the school to discuss this matter. “Why will we make up this story, knowing very well that our child is in Std X? While we are worried that the school might jeopardize his marks for board exams, we want to make sure that the culprits don’t go unpunished,” said the uncle.

A senior official from the Mumbai division education department said that he hasn’t yet received the complaint but will look into the matter. “Corporal punishment in any form is banned according to the law, and if the incident is true, we will inquire further to find out what exactly happened in school that day,” he said. The parents are waiting to hear from the authorities and the school management.

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