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School near Mumbai sends students home for not getting hair cut

Mumbai city news: The school’s principal said he had disciplined students as they had flouted the school’s strict rule that hair had to be cut very short

mumbai Updated: Jun 06, 2017 20:51 IST
Megha Pol
Megha Pol
Hindustan Times
Mumbai city news,school punishment,Ramzan
The school where the incident took place.(HT)

Parents of some 20 students of a school in Mumbra on the outskirts of Mumbra are alleging that their children, who were on a Ramzan fast, were made to stand in the sun for an hour and then sent home on foot as punishment for not cutting their hair.

The school’s principal said he had disciplined students as they had flouted the school’s strict rule that hair had to be cut very short and that he did not know which of the students were observing the Ramzan fast. The parents said their children didn’t get haircuts because it was Ramzan and criticised the principal for making the students walk home. They said he should have provided them the school bus or asked the parents to pick them up.

The incident took place on Tuesday when the Symbiosis Convent High School re-opened for the new academic year.

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A mother of a ninth class student, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said, “As it is Ramzan, most parents do not wish to cut their children’s hair. We know the rule, however since it was first day and Ramzan we thought of waiting till Eid. However the school principal shortlisted the students who did not cut their hair, made them stand outside the school for one hour. Later he took their bags and told them to go home.”

She said her son, who takes uses the school bus, was forced to walk three to four kilometres on an empty stomach. “He was so tired that he slept the whole day. Like him most students were fasting and had to walk home.”

Another parent said the school appeared more concerned about the length of the students hair than their academic capabilities. “The students in ninth class cannot speak in English or Marathi, however the management is not bothered about their progress. We agree it was our mistake, however the school could have given a warning or issued z milder punishment. After seeing my son today I called the school and inquired as to why didn’t they provide the school bus or at least call the parents instead of putting the students to such ordeal?”

Speaking to Hindustan Times, the school’s principal, Kamalraj Dev, asked: “How will I know which student was fasting and who wasn’t? The students and parents know the school rule very well, but still did not follow it. There were around 20 students who did not cut their hair and my only aim was to discipline them. I did not punish them seeing their religion. Moreover I did not tell them to go home, but told them to find a salon, get a haircut and come to school. We haven’t done anything wrong.”

Parents argued that the students had no money as they travelled by school bus and thus had to no option but to walk home instead of going to a salon.

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First Published: Jun 06, 2017 20:51 IST