THENI: A Class XI student of a government school in Allinagaram here attempted suicide by setting himself ablaze on Tuesday, allegedly due to mental harassment by his school headmistress.
According to Ravi, father of the boy Jeevananathan, headmistress Jesuwin Baby called his son for an enquiry after a minor quarrel between two groups of students at the school on December 9. “In the name of enquiry, the headmistress humiliated my son by asking him to collect the transfer certificate immediately. She had also threatened him saying she would inform all schools in the district asking them not to admit him,” Ravi, who works in a spinning mill, alleged.
On Tuesday, an upset Jeevanathan informed his sisters about the humiliation at school and attempted to set himself on fire at home. The girls informed Ravi, who rushed home from work immediately. As he was dousing the flames, Jeevanathan told Ravi about the incident at school. Ravi then lodged a police complaint, but alleged that no action had been taken against the headmistress yet. “My son gave an account of the entire incident that forced him to resort to the extreme step, to the police when he was at the Theni Government Medical College Hospital,” said Ravi.
As the boy’s condition worsened, he was admitted to the Government Rajaji Hospital in Madurai on Wednesday. Hospital sources said Jeevanathan had suffered 51 per cent burns.
Chief Educational Officer M Vasu told Express that the school students confirmed during an inquiry that the boy was indeed harassed by the headmistress.
“We have submitted a report to the government and are awaiting response,” Vasu said, adding that the headmistress had gone on leave following the allegation.