After a two-week stand-off, Sreenidhi International School allowed the boy to join classes today.
A top school in Telangana did not allow a boy to attend classes for nearly two weeks after a stand-off with the parents that had started after the boy wore wrong footwear to school after a foot injury. The child was not allowed to attend his classes and was made to sit at the administration office all day.
The boy's mother complained to child rights activists, which upset the school.
From there, the matter snowballed and the Sreenidhi International School insisted that an investigation committee must first conclude its probe into what it called "inappropriate action" on part of the child and his parent.
Blaming the school for its hard stance, child rights activist Achyutha Rao said in most cases, the parents don't dare to stand up for the rights of their children. "If the police and the parents don't support the children, who will they turn to? Is it a surprise that every other day we come across a student who is stressed out and chooses to end his life?"
In a series of emails exchanged with the parents, Sreenidhi International School had accused the boy of "academic dishonesty" and said he would be kept in "in-house suspension" -- which meant he would not be allowed to attend classes for two days and made to sit in the library. In an oral communication, the management even said the parents should stop sending the boy and his younger sister, a student of Class 5, to school.
After much back and forth and complaints to the police, district education officials and child rights activists, the school got a notice from the District Education officer. "It blamed us for making the matter public," the boy's mother said.
When the child was finally allowed to go back to school yesterday, he was forced to stay in the library all day. "We all presumed he is in class... but just now my son returned and said he had been made to sit alone in the library all day," his mother told NDTV.
S Sunitha, the local police officer, said they had told the management that corporal punishment is not acceptable in the name of discipline and unless they allowed the boy back, it would be treated as a violation of child rights and the right to education.
The matter was resolved today after the principal apologised and gave in writing that the boy would be welcome in class and the matter would be treated closed. ''We will ensure that the boy is treated with the care and respect which we want to give each of our students,'' the principal said.
The school has asked the parents to withdraw the complaint to the police.
The mother is happy her son will go back to school. ''All I wanted was for my son to feel comfortable and welcome in class. Hopefully that would happen now,'' she said.