Ex-HM vandalises school in Tamil Nadu over dispute with teacher

Ragupathy and Gothandapani, a senior teacher working on deputation, had personal disagreements and hence the former did not allow the latter to work at the school.
The partially-damaged government aided school in Thethakudi
The partially-damaged government aided school in Thethakudi(Photo | Express)

NAGAPATTINAM: A former school headmaster vandalised a school near Vedaranyam on Tuesday after the district administration reopened it against his wishes. Earlier, he had shut down the school to prevent a fellow teacher, with whom he had a disagreement, from working.

According to sources, M Ragupathy recently retired as the headmaster of Saraswathi government aided school in Thethakudi (South) in Vedaranyam block. His elder brother Ashok was acting as correspondent of the school functioning for over 70 years.

The school, with 34 students and three teaching staff members, was under the direct management of the school education department since 2020 as the retired teachers were not receiving benefits regularly, sources added.

“Ragupathy and Gothandapani, a senior teacher working on deputation, had personal disagreements and hence the former did not allow the latter to work at the school. Then, we posted Gothandapani in a couple of other schools on deputation for two years. After Ragupathy retired on May 31, we moved him to the aided school as there was a vacancy,” a school education department official said.

Ragupathy, however, allegedly did not want Gothandapani to move back to the school and did not allow the senior teacher to visit the school on his last working day. While other schools reopened on June 10, Ragupathy locked down the Thethakudi school. Following this, Gothandapani and another teacher identified as Sudha started teaching students at a nearby community hall.

On Saturday, Ragupathy visited the houses of students and gave everyone transfer certificates. Things took a bizzare turn in the early hours of Tuesday when neighbours in Thethakudi heard the sound of an earthmover demolishing the school. Realising what was happening, the villagers along with police stopped the demolition.

Based on the block educational officer’s complaint, a case has been registered and police are on the lookout for Ragupathy and his brother Ashok.

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