What does a teacher do to a student who bursts into laughter, when asked a question?
“You don’t give him a TC and ruin his life,” said a distraught Kala Elumalai, mother of Satish Kumar, a class IX student, as she fought with officials at Government Adi Dravida Welfare High School in Palavakkam.
Kala, along with her husband Elumalai have been fighting with the school’s officials for a week now, to revoke the TC they issued to her son, for ‘misbehaving in class.’ Satish Kumar, who suffers from polio, uses a wheelchair given to him by the State government.
“Until about two years ago, we used to carry him everywhere as we did not have money to buy a wheelchair. We want him to finish his class X at least,” said Kala. Both Kala and Elumalai are daily wage labourers.
Last week, Satish started laughing when his teacher asked him a question, after which he was made to stand for an hour, she said. “How could they do this to a child who is handicapped? When we went to meet them, they said he had hurled abuses at teachers and forced us to sign the TC,” Kala said.
She said Satish had later apologised to his teacher, but that this was not taken into consideration.
“My son doesn’t understand that he should not laugh unnecessarily and that he should listen to his teachers. Since he cannot play, we were not very strict with him. Teachers could have shown some sympathy as there is no other school nearby where he can go,” Kala said.
School officials refused to comment on the issue. One teacher said Satish constantly used profanities in class which made the other children upset. Another teacher however said the staff had been asked to sign a letter that said the student was a regular trouble maker in school.