CHENNAI: Parents and students arriving at the gates of St John’s Senior Secondary School in Mandaveli on Tuesday found themselves shut out, as the school had declared a holiday after a late party the previous evening.
While the school authorities claimed they had informed the parents through bulk SMS, parents alleged that they did not receive any such intimation. “Many of us arrived at the school in the morning as usual, but the watchman told us that the school is closed,” said a parent who did not wish to be named. “We were told that it was because the party that was going on in the school last evening ended only by 11 pm.” Some parents claimed that the school correspondent’s birthday was celebrated along with a Thanksgiving party the previous evening. “Only some parents were invited for this party and we are not sure on what basis. The holiday had been announced at this party, but how were the rest of us supposed to know that?” asked another parent.
She added that the school even took an undertaking from the parents that they would not go to the media and damage the school’s reputation or approach the management in groups.
“We are already putting up with many problems, like parents being treated rudely and increase of school fees. This was the last straw,” she said.
“The principal announced the holiday around 9 pm. We immediately began sending SMS to all parents, we don’t know why they still turned up,” said Uma, an administration representative of the school. While the school is allowed to declare a holiday on its own, it was the lack of communication that has ticked parents into planning a protest on Wednesday.
Matriculation schools are allowed three private holidays. St John’s, being a CBSE school, does not come under the State jurisdiction. However, DT Sudarshan Rao, Regional Officer for CBSE Chennai said that the CBSE schools were generally expected to follow the State government rules on school holidays.