School in the dock over ‘inhuman discipline’

School in the dock over ‘inhuman discipline’

The father of a six-year-old student has alleged that the principal and eight staffers of the Baldwin Boys’ High School, Hosur Road, “threatened, abused and manhandled” him and his wife after he complained to the police about the institution’s “inhuman” discipline. 

Sandeep B C, a resident of Koramangala, has written to Primary and Secondary Education Minister N Mahesh seeking action against the school management. 

Antony D’Souza, the principal, however, dismissed the accusations. “We did not assault anyone. I don’t know why he is making these baseless allegations against our institution,” he said. 

Sandeep said it all began on July 26 when he came to drop off his son at school around 8.10 am. He realised he had forgotten the lunch box and went home to get it.

When he returned to the school around 9.15 am, he saw schoolchildren, aged 4-10, standing outside the gate, crying and pleading with the guards to let them in. But the gates didn’t oblige them, citing instructions from the principal. 

Sandeep said the school authorities didn’t accept his requests either. Fearing for the children’s safety, he called the police.

A police patrol car drove up around 9.50 am. Police persuaded the school authorities to take the children in.  But things didn’t end there. Sandeep and his wife were called to the principal’s chamber where they were “abused, threatened and manhandled” for interfering with the school’s rules.

The principal also threatened to rusticate Sandeep’s son by issuing him an immediate TC (Transfer Certificate). The school also called the jurisdictional Ashoknagar police. Police personnel also threatened Sandeep and his wife. 

D’Souza said: “We have clearly conveyed to all the parents to ensure their children are inside the school gate by 8.15 am. We will close the back door at 8.20 am and the front door at 8.25 am. We have still given five minutes of relaxation and ensure a guard will be at the gate to bring the children who come late. There is no compromise on the safety of students.” 

The minister has promised to look into the issue by reviewing the CCTV footage of the principal’s chamber. 

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