School authorities embarrassing children in public is an offence, says Kerala State Child Rights Commission. Such instances are a gross violation of child rights and can be penalised through a police case, the panel said in an order. The order was issued on Thursday on a complaint filed against a school in Wayanad district for allegedly humiliating a nine-year-old boy in front of the school assembly for sporting a particular hairstyle.
According to reports, the incident took place earlier this year in January where the boy was allegedly forced to display his haircut during the assembly. He was then suspended from school for three days. As per reports, the boy’s mother has stated that the incident deeply affected the child and that he skipped meals in the following days.
Considering the case, the rights panel directed the Director of General Education, Regional Director of the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and the Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE) Secretaries to ensure that such incidents are not repeated in any schools. The panel said in case a child was humiliated in front of other kids, the police should register a case against the perpetrators.
"Embarrassing a child in public will cause mental agony and lower the self-esteem of the child and is a gross violation of the child’s rights and is an offence," a division bench of the panel comprising K Nazeer and B Babitha said.
"The complaint said that the third standard student was suspended for three days after being scolded in front of an 800-member strong school assembly by showing his hairstyle," the commission said in a release.
It observed that even though the school principal has the authority to maintain the discipline of the institution, the action should be taken in proportion to the gravity of the indiscipline.
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