“Tell me your name…are you a Muslim.....a terrorist?” the school manager asked the 17-year old student.

Kerala student harassed over Facebook post about school gets called a terroristImage for representation
news Child Welfare Wednesday, November 23, 2016 - 15:25

A 17-year old school student in Kerala found himself targeted by the school manager, after he posted what the latter termed ‘derogatory content’ against the school on social media. 

The boy -a student of Elippuram Higher Secondary School in Kollam- has since filed a complaint with Childline, stating that he was subject to emotional harassment by the school manager Ambika Padmanabhan. 

“Tell me your name…are you a Muslim….a terrorist?” she supposedly asked the student. 

A resident of Parippally in Kollam, the boy had not attended school on 15 November, following which the school management sent a text message to his father complaining about his absence. 

Two days later, the boy posted a screenshot of the said message on Facebook, saying that the school should not have done so. He had also tagged the school in the said post. 

According to officials at Kollam Childline, the boy had to face the music after the school manager Ambika came across the same on social media. He was asked to apologize before the whole class, and was made to kneel down for nearly half an hour.  

Though the boy went on to publicly apologize for posting the same and even promised in writing not to repeat the ‘offence’, the school manager refused to back down.

The student told Childline workers who recorded his statement on Tuesday that the manager had made insinuating remarks about his religion. 

A day after the formal apology, Ambika walked into the boy’s class to ask his name. Even before he could reply, she asked him whether he was a Muslim. Once she realized he was a Hindu, the manager reportedly remarked, "Oh, you are an Ezhava….I thought you were a Muslim." 

In his complaint, the boy mentions that more than the punishment that was doled out, it was the emotional harassment that caused him trauma. The boy’s family have also filed a police complaint and with the Higher Education Department.  

Speaking to The News Minute, Godvin -an official at Kollam Childline- said that punitive action against the student was taken by the school manager alone. The rest of the teaching and non-teaching staff did not seem as adamant as the manager in the matter. 

The Paripally police however said that they are yet to register a case against the school manager.


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