An 11-year-old girl was sent to the boys’ washroom as a punishment for not wearing the school uniform by a teacher at a private school in Hyderabad.
The Telangana government ordered an inquiry into the incident on Monday after the Andhra Pradesh Child Rights Association lodged a complaint with the State Human Rights Commission and also the police.
Child rights association president P Achyuta Rao said he has sought action against the insensitive staff and the school management. He said confining a girl to the boys’ washroom was nothing short of sexual abuse of a child.
Rao said he received a complaint from the girl’s father, A Ramakrishna, on Sunday, saying his daughter, studying in Class 5 in Rao’s High School inside BHEL premises, Ramachandrapuram on the city outskirts, went to the school on Saturday without wearing the uniform.
As she was entering her class, her physical education teacher Priyanka stopped her and asked her the reason she was not wearing her uniform. The girl told the teacher she had given the uniform for being washed. Enraged at this, Priyanka dragged her to the boys’ washroom on the first floor of the school building and made her stand there for some time.
“Some students from Class 4 saw me in the washroom and laughed at me. I felt very bad and ashamed,” she said in the video clipping that her father sent to the child rights association along with his complaint.
Though the girl was finally allowed into the class with a warning, she felt humiliated as the teacher proudly told three other teachers the punishment she had given to her.
Telangana IT minister KT Rama Rao, son of chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, also tweeted about the incident after a video clipping of the girl narrating the episode went viral on social media in Hyderabad.
“Ridiculous and absolutely inhuman. Will take it up with Hon’ble Deputy CM education (Kadiyam Srihari) for appropriate action on the school,” Rao tweeted.
Students’ unions staged a protest at the school on Monday morning. Protesters entered inside the school and ransacked the furniture demanding action against the staff who meted out the alleged punishment.
Corporal punishment is prohibited in schools in India but it is still seen as an accepted way of disciplining children in the country.
Under the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009, physical as well “mental harassment” of students is prohibited and a punishable offence.
A private school teacher in Lucknow allegedly slapped a Class 3 student 40 times and dragged him for not responding to roll call in August, following which she was booked by the police.