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School CP - February 2003, 18 February 2003

Cities: Ahmedabad

Student gets caned, files FIR against teachers

Express News Service

Vadodara, February 18: AFTER a Class XI student of New Era School, Makarpura, lodged a FIR against his teachers for allegedly beating him with a stick on Monday, the spotlight is now on the issue of corporal punishment in schools.

Though corporal punishment may sound like a dirty word in the school rule book, the unruly behaviour among students are on the rise thus making it a tightrope walk for teachers.

As per the complaint lodged by Vivek Shah, a Commerce student, he was allegedly beaten up by Indu Patel and Amit Kapadia, both school teachers, when his hand touched Indu's saree pallu while taking a book from her hand.

After the alleged incident, Vivek along with his friends went to the police station to file a complaint against Patel and Kapadia and then to the SSG hospital to get himself bandaged.

However, the teachers and some of Vivek's classmates have a different story to tell. The teachers complain that the boy's behaviour wasn't surprising as he used to break the rules.

Patel, a Mathematics and Economics teacher in the school, claims that Vivek has been involved in mischievous acts many a times, but the teachers had ignored his behaviour. Patel alleges that Vivek and some other boys would disrupt classes by singing songs and even making catcalls at the teacher.

"Many a times I have instructed him to behave, but to no avail. I have even complained to his class teacher, Kapadia, regarding his misbehaviour. Every time this kind of a complaint was made the issue would end with a warning but only to be repeated again. But on Monday, during my class, he snatched a book from my hand. When I resisted, he even picked up his hand to slap me. That really angered me and I went and complained to the class teacher. The class teacher then beat him with a stick."

The episode was confirmed by Richa Panchal, a fellow student, who says the boy was a mischief monger. He would often tease the teacher by calling names like 'sukhdi (lean)' or 'Sexy', Panchal claims.

While class students went on a mass strike on Tuesday demanding that the two teachers be removed, staffers on campus backed the teachers claiming that though the beating was unjustified, the teachers have no other way out.

A member of school administration S K Dubey says: "How can one expect a teacher be tolerate all the nasty comments?"

School principal Jitendrakumar Shah, who also confirms the student's misconduct, says: "When even parents refuse to take responsibility of their ward, teachers alone cannot change the system. We understand that the boy shouldn't have been beaten up, but what could the teachers possibly do?"

2002: Indian Express Newspapers (Bombay) Ltd. All rights reserved throughout the world.

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