The Trinity Lyceum School at Thangassery in Kollam district has run into trouble with the Education Department. This after it hosted a ‘welcome back party’ for two of its teachers, who are accused in the Gauri Neha suicide case.
On Monday, Sindhu and Crescent, the two teachers, who had been suspended by the school, were not only reinstated, but their "home-coming" was celebrated with cakes and flowers. The two have been booked under section 305 of IPC (abetment to suicide).
Days after the controversy broke out, the Education Department is set to take action against the school for reinstating the two accused teachers, the way they did.
Speaking to TNM, Sreekala KS, Deputy Director of Education (DDE) said that while the management was well within its limits to reinstate a suspended staff, the way the school had welcomed Sindhu and Crescent were objectionable.
"By conducting a celebration, they have in effect, mocked all of us. That will not be tolerated. The case is still going on, even if the school can take them back after two months, it is not morally right to have done so in this manner. After all they are still accused of a crime," DDE Sreekala said.
The department had issued a notice to the school seeking an explanation. Replying to the notice, school Principal S John said that while the teachers were reinstated, he did not have any involvement in the celebrations that were held.
"The Principal said that he had no knowledge of the celebration. He happened to walk past the room where this was happening and was forced to take part in it, the Principal has told us. Teachers Sindhu and Crecent have gone on leave, citing medical reasons," Sreekala said.
The official said that a number of actions have been recommended against the school.
"According to rules, the age limit of the Principal is 60 years. The current Principal is above the age of 60 and so we have asked for him to be removed from the post. Disciplinary action will be taken against staff members who took part in the celebration. In case of any other violations, the No-Objection Certificate (NOC) of the school will be cancelled," DDE Sreekala said.
The school management had faced flak from various quarters after photographs of the celebration began to circulate on social media. Gauri's father had come down heavily on the school management, even accusing it of taking the side of the accused teachers to sabotage the investigation.
Meanwhile, Gauri's father Prasanna Kumar visited the Chief Minister's office on Friday. After the meeting, he told TNM that although he was unable to meet the CM in person, he has given a complaint to CMO.
"There should be action against the school and those teachers, that's my main demand this time. The officials at the office have assured me that they will do the needful," Prasanna Kumar said
On October 20, Gauri Neha, a Class 10 student had jumped from the third floor of her school building and succumbed to her injuries three days later.
Gauri’s parents and relatives had alleged that she took the extreme step following harassment by the two teachers. Gauri Neha had allegedly been verbally abused by one of the teachers after she raised questions over why her younger sister had been shamed in school.
In November, Sindhu and Crescent surrendered before the Kollam district magistrate court after the Kerala High Court ordered them to surrender. The two were granted anticipatory bail and have been appearing before the investigation team every week.