TIRUCHY: Family members of a 15-year-old HIV-positive boy have claimed that he was denied admission to a government school. Rajesh (name changed) had approached the government school in Alathur seeking admission to Class-X.
He had studied in the same school till Class 8. He moved to a different school following his mother’s death but wanted to return here this academic year. Sources said most people in the village knew that Rajesh and his parents were HIV positive. When he approached the headmaster K Kamaraj, who recently took charge, he was asked to attend classes for a week.
The boy was told that his admission would be based on an evaluation conducted at the end of the week. However, a couple of days into school, the headmaster found out that Rajesh was HIV positive.
It is alleged that the headmaster and PE teacher forced Rajesh to drop out of school. Though this happened last week, the boy’s family found out about it only now. They turned up at the school on Wednesday demanding an explanation.
Kamraj is alleged to have verbally abused the family members and threatened to call the police. As the matter had escalated, police rushed to the spot and asked the family to approach the Perambalur Chief Education Officer. They met CEO Arularangan, who, instead of taking action, offered to admit Rajesh to a government school in the neighbouring village. Relatives said they were told that other boys in the school might feel ‘uncomfortable’ and that the headmaster was an ‘adamant person’. The matter was escalated to the Collector who advised the CEO to help the family.
“We have assured the family that the boy would be admitted to the school of his choice,” the CEO told Express. “There won’t be any other problems.” Speaking to Express, Kamaraj denied the incident. “No one has approached us seeking admission for this boy,” he said. “Some relatives showed up today without prior information and created ruckus. We have no objections to admitting the boy in our school.”