State Child Rights Commission has taken suo motu case on the incident in which a student of St Thomas school Mukkolakkal was forced to change school, based on a story of TheNewsMinute.
TheNewsMinute in February had reported that a class 11 student of the school in Thiruvananthapuram had to change school after being threatened by the Secretary Dr Rajan Varghese.
State Child Rights Commission Chairman P Suresh, in an order issued on February 7, directed Higher Secondary Director and District Child Protection Officer to submit a report on the issue.
In November 2019, Nirmal* had a verbal fight with another student of the school. His mother Deepthi* days later got a call from the school asking her to meet the Principal Varghese Samuel. On the day she went to school, Secretary Rajan Varghese shouted at Nirmal and was about to even beat him after getting up from the seat, according to Deepthi, whom TNM had met.
Nirmal had a wheezing attack that day, he became mentally upset. He didn’t go to school for a week and was not willing to return.
Deepthi, after much desperation and effort, found another school for her son in the middle of the academic year. Deepthi had also told TNM that the entire management is scared of the secretary.
What Nirmal had to go through is contradictory to a circular issued by the CBSE in December 2019 which says that all CBSE affiliated schools and school authorities should make efforts to convert the schools into anger-free zones.
The Child Rights Commission in December 2019 had received a complaint regarding the mental harassment Nirmal had suffered at the hands of Rajan Varghese.
“It’s usual at the St Thomas school for the principal to send students of Class X1 and X11 to the room of the secretary who would threaten students using obscene language,” the complaint said.
Human Rights Watch Kerala, a people’s initiative for human rights, gender justice and child friendly schools, in January this year wrote to CBSE Secretary Anurag Tripathi on how Rajan Varghese was acting against the circular stipulating anger-free schools, and about the unfriendly policies and actions.