A class IX student of a government school in Thiruvottiyur attempted suicide after she was humiliated by her teacher on Tuesday evening. She was battling for life at the Government Kilpauk Medical College Hospital after sustaining 50 per cent burns.
Family sources said Pavithra (14) of Jaigopal Garodia Government Higher Secondary School, was reportedly ridiculed by her social studies teacher Rani for socialising with boys of her class. The teacher allegedly spat on the girl’s face in full view of the class.
“She came home and locked herself in a room where she used to change her clothes and set herself ablaze around 5 pm on Tuesday,” her brother Parthiban told Express. “She appeared dull but did not complain to us about anything. But, she told me that she was upset about the humiliation by her teacher, who spat on her face,” he added. “My sister does not interact that much with boys, as claimed by the teacher. In fact, she is good at studies,” he said.
But, Thiruvottiyur inspector G Prabhu gave a different version of the incident, citing a visit by Pavithra’s mother Shoba to the school because of the girl’s adamant character.
He said Shoba, who was employed at an Amma Unavagam, could not meet the class teacher and scolded the child in front of all the students. She advised the girl’s classmates not to speak with her.
He also pointed out that the family had not made the charge against the teacher when they lodged the complaint yesterday. “We requested a magistrate to record the girl’s dying declaration (DD), and it was done. We are awaiting a copy of the DD after which we will decide the next course of action,” he added.