A number of girl students of the junior section of an English medium missionary school West Bengal's Bolpur were allegedly forced to take off their leggings on the pretext that their colours did not confirm to the school uniform, sparking off protests by parents.
The incident took place on Monday and came to light on Tuesday when a gathering of protesting parents was seen outside the school on Tuesday morning.
The parents alleged that the girls, who are aged between five and nine years, had worn the leggings to the school on Monday as the weather has turned cold in the mornings.
The father of a standard one girl student said "When my daughter returned home on Monday afternoon I found my minor daughter was without her leggings. On being asked she said that the class teacher had taken off her undergarments during tiffin time.
"I have heard that the principal had orderd the class teachers to do so ... My daughter has been wearing leggings to school for the last two years," he said.
Asked whether the parents had complained to the police, he said the school principal had apologised.
The school principal said it was not an incident of forcing the students to remove their leggings.
"The students were only asked to submit their leggings as they did not confirm to the school's dress code," she said.
A senior teacher of the school said the school has a dress code but the leggings that the students wore did not confirm to it. "They (students) were only asked to change their leggings, no one was forced to take them off".
In Kolkata, West Bengal Education Minister Partha Chatterjee said "We have taken a strong view of the alleged incident."
He said the district education department has asked for a report from the school authorities. "On receiving the report I will ensure appropriate measures are taken. We will also speak to the ICSE Board."