Thiruvananthapuram: A controversy has been raging over the incident in which a 12th standard boy aged 17 hugged an 11th grade girl, 16, of St. Thomas Central School, Mukkolakkal, on July 21 forcing the school to dismiss them. Principal Sebastian T. Joseph on Wednesday sent a letter to the boy’s parents asking them to meet him on January 3. Mr Rajan Varghese, secretary of the Marthoma Educational Society, told DC that the boy can write the model exams which start on January 4. However, the girl cannot attend the school as she has been removed from the school rolls as claimed by the school authorities.
Mr Rajan Varghese said, “the principal has asked the boy and his parent to report to the school before 11 a.m. on January 3. The next day the model exams are starting and in all likelihood, he would be allowed to write the model exam and CBSE board exams. The girl is no longer in our register as she has attended only 21 days’ classes so far,” he said. He denied that he had tried to prevent her from getting admission in another private school. The girl had told DC on Monday that Mr Rajan Varghese had played spoilsport, though she had got admission in another school.
The principal’s letter addressed to the boy says, “though the court had observed that the order is not compulsive in nature, the school has decided to have a look on the issue. Your co-operation is necessary for that. Hence you are requested to meet the principal with your parent on 03-01-2018 to discuss and find out a way to honour the judgment of the High Court of Kerala in W. P. (C). No. 32325/2017”. During the last few days the boy was being chased by the media and he had received hate messages from the public on social media sites.
The High Court’s single bench had stated that the 12th grader should be allowed to write CBSE board examination in March as well as the model exams. It asked the school to take a "balanced approach." Ms Indira Rajan, general secretary, Kerala CBSE school management association, told DC that all the students have to maintain discipline and protocol. She feels that the way in which the school dealt with the situation was not right.
“A similar hugging incident had happened in Malappuram a few months ago. The Child Rights Commission and Kerala CBSE School Management intervened and took appropriate action against the students and provided counselling. They were allowed to write the exams and they left the school after completing their course”, said Ms Indira Rajan. The St. Thomas school reacted violently and the issue snowballed into a major controversy which could have been avoided, she said....