Hugging row: School to reinstate expelled students

Hugging row: School to reinstate expelled students

The management of the school in Thiruvananthapuram that courted controversy over the expulsion of two students after they shared a hug has decided to reinstate them.

Administrators at the St Thomas Central School have been in talks with the families of both the students  - a Class  XII boy student and a Class  XI girl  - over the past week.

Thiruvananthapuram MP Shashi Tharoor had intervened seeking the withdrawal of their expulsion. A formal agreement in this connection was reached on Sunday.

The students were expelled after the boy hugged the girl following a singing performance of hers on July 21.

The school authorities were in the line of fire after the boy stated that he was verbally abused for what was a friendly, congratulatory hug and photographs from his Instagram account were accessed and circulated in an attempt to establish his "indecent" behaviour.

The boy had earlier told DH that he was denied his right to education and privacy.

A member of the expelled girl student's family told reporters on Sunday that the girl would start attending classes from Wednesday.

The expelled boy student has also been cleared to appear for an examination scheduled this week.

It  has been reported that, as part of the agreement, the boy would withdraw a petition filed against his expulsion with the Kerala State Commission for Protection of Child Rights.

The commission had backed the students' right to continue his education but the school successfully challenged its order at the high court.

Negotiations involving the families commenced amid outrage over the expulsion and after the boy student stated that he would approach the division bench of the high court against its earlier order.

The alumni of the school had also launched an online petition demanding that the expulsion be revoked.

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