School fines class II boy Rs. 500 for applying henna

Updated - October 10, 2015 05:33 am IST

Published - October 10, 2015 12:00 am IST - CHENNAI:

The traditional Indian practice of applying mehendi on the palm during festivities resulted in class II child having to pay a fine of Rs. 500.

The child’s parent, D. Jayakumar, a government servant, said the henna colour was applied during a family function on September 23, when the school was closed after quarterly exams. By the time the school reopened on October 5, most of it had already faded.

“It is the practice of the school to check every child on reopening day. The teacher saw the faint henna marks on my son’s palm and immediately sent a note through my son to pay a fine,” Mr. Jayakumar recalled.

After repeated reminders, he met the school officials and tried to explain that henna had been applied during the holidays.

“I pointed out that the mehendi had been applied during holidays and had already faded. But they insisted that it was the rule that the child should not apply mehendi . When I refused to pay the fine they told me to take my son home,” Mr. Jayakumar added. He then paid the fine and insisted on a receipt for it.

K.R. Nandakumar, General Secretary of Tamil Nadu Nursery, Primary Matriculation Higher Secondary Schools Association, said the parents were unhappy that the school cited rules for its action.

The correspondent of Doveton Girls’ and Boys’ Higher Secondary School H.E. Wilkins said the aim of rules was to ensure uniformity among students.

He said the school does not punish students but only the parents who do not abide by its rules.

“We are child-friendly and do not punish our students. From next year, we plan to remove the word ‘fine’. The money collected will be sent to the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund,” he added.

When the child’s father D. Jayakumar refused to pay the fine, the school authorities told him to take his son home. He then paid the fine and insisted on a receipt for it

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