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Yamunanagar murder: 100 city schools to remain closed on Tuesday

gurgaon Updated: Jan 29, 2018 23:19 IST
HT Correspondent (Leena Dhankhar for online)
HT Correspondent (Leena Dhankhar for online)
Hindustan Times

A hundred private schools in the city, affiliated to the CBSE or the ICSE boards, will remain closed on Tuesday in support of the statewide protest against harassment allegedly meted out by the administration’s school safety committees, and to demand introduction and implementation of measures for safety of teachers, principals, members of the school management, other staff, and students.

The development follows the murder of 62-year-old Ritu Chhabra, principal of the Swami Vivekanand Public School, Yamunanagar. Chhabra was shot dead by a student of Class 12, who was outraged by her decision to expel him on disciplinary grounds.

The decision was taken by an association of private schools called the Haryana Progressive School’s Conference (HPSC). Nearly 1,500 schools in Haryana will remain closed on Tuesday. Of these, 350 are associated with the HPSC, and the remaining have extended support. Some schools would remain partially open on account of pre-boards.

“Schools will remain shut on Tuesday to protest against the lack of safety and security of members of the management, principals, staff and students. This was recently highlighted in the brutal killing of Chabbra,” Col Pratap Singh, senior vice-president of HPSC-Gurgaon and chairman of the Colonel’s Central Academy, said.

The Gurgaon schools participating in protest include Blue Bells Model, The Shri Ram, Amity, Shiv Nadar, Heritage, Shalom Hills International, Ridge Valley, Bal Bharti Public School, Mount Olympus School, Scottish High International School and DAV Public School, among others.

Read I Gurgaon schools to remain closed on Monday due to air pollution, smog

The association submitted a memorandum to the chief minister through the deputy commissioner on Monday.

Talking about issues affecting schools, and the teacher-student relationship, Singh said, “Some parents fail to groom their children who vent their angst and behave rudely and arrogantly in the society, with their parents and worst still with their teachers/gurus. The parents turn their frustration towards the very same teachers who are putting their heart and soul in mentoring such wards. Children thus grow imbibing negativity from an impressionable age.”

The HPSC said the Yamunanagar incident is not the first of its kind, and there have been numerous cases where students or parents have misbehaved and assaulted teachers and principals. Most recently, a staff member of the Rotary Public School in Gurgaon was allegedly murdered by a student’s parent.

Dipin Rao, secretary of HPSC-Gurgaon and vice-chairman of Sharda International School, said that schools often receive threats, face FIRs, de-recognition and takeover from regulators because the society rushes to place blame on schools without completely investigating the case at hand.

“We are, therefore, advocating regulation for the safety of the teaching fraternity to protect them against random arrests. I hope the administration understands that security of our staff is important,” he said, adding that the administration, instead of taking measures to enhance security at campuses, targets schools.

Niti Kaushik, principal Mount Olympus School, said, “We are not affiliated to the HPSC, but we will support them in whatever decision they take, as it is in support of the teachers, management and students.”

HPSC list of demands

There should be a legislation/law that no teacher, principal or school administrators shall be arrested until investigation is complete

There should be a tribunal to deal with all school-related issues, rather than being handled by the judiciary

Political leadership must not remark loosely against schools; respect the teaching fraternity

Cases of violence and rude behavior by any parent, activist or govt servant against educationists/schools must be investigated impartially and offenders dealt with promptly

All teachers, principals and the school management be indemnified against FIR’s and arrests

Police must not enter schools unless there is a reported case of criminality or for specific investigation

Autonomy of private schools must be respected

Govt taxes or charges levied on school expenses, property, passenger tax, commercial rates for electricity, etc. should end

All matters related to functioning of schools and education at ground-level be through a District Level Committee with representatives of independent schools and Educationists. No freelance activists/NGO’s be included in such committees. Parent reps of respective schools may form part of it.

First Published: Jan 29, 2018 23:19 IST