TIRUNELVELI:Parents, rights activists and political organizations staged a protest in front of a school in Kalakkad on Friday to condemn teachers who allegedly forced dalit students to clean toilets.
Nearly 500 students are studying in the government-aided high school at Keelapathai Pandithankurichi near Kalakkad. Recently, children studying in class VI to VIII were reportedly forced to clean the toilets after school hours. The students were allegedly threatened by teachers of severe punishment if they failed to clean toilets. Though the issue was going on for more than 20 days, the children informed their parents only recently.
“Though the issue was going on for four weeks, my son informed me today,” said the father of a class VIII student. One student refused to go to school. When the parents asked him, he revealed the incident. Only then parents of other children came to know,” he added. Following this, parents from Keelapathai and Keelavadakarai besieged the school on Friday. Cadre of Left parties, All India Youth Federation and some dalit welfare organizations also joined in the protest.
Cheranmahadevi district education officer Jacob visited the school and negotiated with the protesters. Further, the school correspondent apologised for the incident and assured those gathered that such incidents would not occur in future, said a source.
The parents have now decided to start a parent-teacher association and conduct a meeting once in a month to discuss grievances of children and also the school management.
When contacted, Tirunelveli Collector M Karunakaran told Express, “We will enquire into the issue and take necessary action against whoever is found guilty.” Meanwhile, a few political organizations lodged complaints with the Kalakkad police regardng the incident. ends