KOCHI:Does the minor change in dimensions of a stitched school uniform got anything to do with discipline?
The answer is yes for atleast one city school, says the parent of a child who allegedly had to face humiliation because the width of his pant cuff was less than what was specified. The city school, where this incident occured has a rule that stipulates a width of eight inches for the uniform pant worn by boys. Students who came to the school wearing pants with cuff width less than eight inches were allegedly sent out of class or asked to stay at home until they get them altered.
A student of the school said he was humiliated in front of the entire class when a non-teaching staff measured the cuff width and then removed the stitches to make it wide enough to fit the rules. While the teacher told the student to get it altered by the next day, another staff intervened and told the student that he had to go to the bathroom and set it right immediately and then enter the class.
Another student of the same class was asked to remain out the whole day. Both these students were unable to attend classes as they failed to get it altered by tailors who are currently busy with work orders of school-reopening season. Sources said some students of this class carry an extra pant in their bags which they change to after the checking is done.
“It is very important to acknowledge the highs and lows of students of this age. At the same time there has to be a standard where they are educated about the purpose behind the implementation of certain rules. Although the students’ desire to exhibit fashion affects the class decorum, which is why there are dress codes, it has to be sensitively implemented. Hurting them publicly or humiliating them will only do harm. They must be called in person and talked to in confidence” said C J John, Consultant Psychiatrist, Medical Trust hospital, Ernakulam. The Principal of the school denied the allegation that students were being harassed for not wearing uniforms that are stitched in a manner that differs from what has been prescribed. “Rules are rules. We have not resorted to any extreme measures in implementing them. When a student violates rules we call their parents,” the school principal said.
“We understand that rules are set for a reason and we don’t mind if the students are punished when these rules are not followed, but humiliating students publicly should be avoided. It hurts their self-confidence,” said a parent. The parents alleged that while the school has appointed a counsellor, no counselling takes place in institution.
“The extreme measures that the teachers of several schools in the city take show they are panicking about teenage instincts. Students of this age who are peer-driven rather than parent or teacher driven, do not understand the purpose behind the rules set for them,” a school counsellor said.