Just a friendly hug, school made it 'sexual': expelled Kerala student

DECCAN CHRONICLE.
Published Dec 20, 2017, 10:30 am IST
Updated Dec 20, 2017, 4:30 pm IST
The Kerala HC quashed the interim order of child rights commission which held the school’s decision as illegal.
The class 12 student had hugged a girl of class 11 after she performed in an event on July 21. (Photo: File)
 The class 12 student had hugged a girl of class 11 after she performed in an event on July 21. (Photo: File)

Thiruvananthapuram: Four months after being expelled from school in Kerala for hugging a schoolmate, the class 12 student said on Tuesday that it was just a friendly hug but the teachers gave it a “sexual turn”.

The student of St Thomas Central School in Kerala's Thiruvananthapuram district said he wanted to appear for the board examination and not lose a year.

 

The school had expelled the boy and the girl, a class 11 student, who he had hugged after she performed in an event on July 21. The school also dismissed the girl.

The principal of the school, Sebastian Joseph on Tuesday said the hug was a prolonged one which lasted for five minutes, longer than a congratulatory hug and was witnessed by teachers.

"During inquiry it was found that he was guilty. His parents didn't co-operate... He had also posted some indecent pictures of both of them on Instagram," he added.

Defending the allegations against him, the boy said he just hugged the girl for three to five seconds and that they were not alone when this happened.

"A teacher walked past us, started shouting and took us to the Vice Principal. I was told to apologise and I did. The teachers gave the friendly hug a sexual turn. They called my parents for the Board meeting next day," he said.

He also claimed the school's secretary used sexual slurs in front of his parents while describing the situation.

"I was served a suspension letter of 50 days after the incident. They also forced the girl student to give false statements against me but she refused. I want to write exam and not lose a year," he added.

The parents of the boy have decided to challenge the single bench order of the High Court which upheld the decision of school authorities. The court had also quashed the interim order of the child rights commission which held the school’s decision to expel the two students illegal.

“We have decided to challenge the order before the division bench,” the student’s father, who has quit his job to provide emotional support to his son, told Deccan Chronicle.

The row over the expulsion erupted last week when reports of the high court judgment upholding the decision of the school based on a complaint by a teacher who reportedly witnessed the boy hugging the girl after she performed in a western music competition on July  21 appeared in the media last week. 

The school authorities had summoned the parents despite the students giving written apologies.

The boy's father claimed that the school secretary Rajan Verghese addressed his child as 'vithukala' meaning 'bull in heat'. 

“He even asked me to kill my son,” he told Deccan Chronicle.





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