Parveen Shaikh, Mumbai school head ousted for pro-Palestine stance, gets parents' support | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times
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Parveen Shaikh, Mumbai school head ousted for pro-Palestine stance, gets parents' support

May 01, 2024 08:45 PM IST

Shaikh is steadfast in her resolve. She said: “The news portal that published the article about me is known for its bias against secular constitutional ethos"

Five days after Parveen Shaikh, the principal of Somaiya School in Vidyavihar, was asked to resign after a news website published an article on her alleged pro-Palestine and anti-Modi views, a section of parents have rallied around her in support and urged the school management to reinstate her. The article accused Shaikh of liking and commenting on pro-Palestine, pro-Hamas, anti-Hindu and anti-Modi posts on X, formerly Twitter.

Parveen Shaikh is the principal of Somaiya School in Vidyavihar
Parveen Shaikh is the principal of Somaiya School in Vidyavihar

Shaikh, who has been the principal of the school for seven years, said, “The management has, subsequent to the publication of the article in a news portal, conveyed to me that this relationship is not tenable and asked me to resign.” She further added, “I am not planning to resign as I have done nothing wrong.”

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She elucidated, “The article was published on April 25, following which the management scheduled a meeting on April 26, to discuss the allegations made in the article. While they acknowledged my hard work and contribution to shaping the Somaiya School, they said they were under immense pressure to take action against me. The meeting concluded with the management asking for my resignation.”

Pointing out Shaikh’s contribution to the school, Vidya Nair, a parent of a grade 9 student, said, “She is a great educator and a progressive woman. She is a role model for my daughter. We don't want to lose her leadership for the betterment of our children. We met the management and expressed our thoughts. We are hoping for the best.”

Another parent, Shilpa Phadke, said, “She has been an outstanding principal and an exceptional educator, a progressive woman, and a compassionate educator. She is respected and trusted by students.”

Phadke pointed out, one of Shaikh’s reformative measures was spearheading the gender-neutral uniform policy, “which was implemented by the school”. “The principal, teachers and the school’s management have a wonderful professional partnership. We hope to see it continue,” she added.

After the article on Shaikh was published, Somaiya Trust issued a statement on X that read: “We were unaware of the sentiments expressed until it was brought to our notice. We do not agree with such sentiments. It is certainly concerning. We are looking into the matter.”

Meanwhile, Shaikh remains steadfast in her resolve to hold on to her position in the school. She said: “The news portal that published the article about me is known for its bias against secular constitutional ethos, as well as the Palestinian cause. Its followers, who have trolled me, would share the same bias.”

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