Parents approach High Court Bench seeking mercy

The Madras High Court Bench in Madurai will decide whether a school in Madurai is justified or not in issuing transfer certificates (TC) to a group of 12 boys and girls studying Class IX for having visited a shopping mall on March 25 to celebrate the end of the academic year.

Admitting writ petitions filed with respect to five of the 12 students, Justice Pushpa Sathyanarayana stayed the operation of an order passed by C.E.O.A. Matriculation Higher Secondary School at Kosakulam on April 17 directing the students’ parents to collect their transfer certificates forthwith.

Filing identical affidavits in the court, parents of the five students claimed that their children did not visit the mall in school uniforms. However, the order under challenge stated that some of the students wore uniforms to the mall and thus brought disrepute to the institution.

Petitioners’ counsel C. Arul Vadivel said 13 students had gone to the mall to buy gifts and spend time together before appearing for their annual examinations that started on March 28. However, photographs posted by them on their Facebook account played spoilsport.

The school principal called the students for an enquiry after they wrote their first examination and directed 12 of them not to attend the examinations from March 29. “A police officer’s son alone was exempted from the punishment for reasons best known to the respondents,” he claimed. Though the 12 students went to school on the second day of examination on March 29, the principal prevented them from writing the examination. The school secretary also refused to accept the apology tendered by the students and the regret expressed by their parents, he alleged.

Subsequently, on April 17, the principal issued a common order directing the parents of all 12 students to collect Transfer Certificates immediately on the ground that an in-house disciplinary committee had recommended stern action against the students.

Urging the court to quash the principal’s order, the petitioners said the school had neither framed charges nor conducted a proper enquiry before passing the order.

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