Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Father fails to pay fees, school ‘brands boy gay’

BANGALORE: A Bangalore school has been directed to return a special student's fees and pay him compensation for mental agony as its principal had alleged that "he imposed homosexuality" on hostel mates after the child's father moved a consumer forum demanding his fees refund.   Earlier, Phillip (name changed) was not allowed to write his class test and his father, Peter Prasad (name changed), asked to meet St George High School principal Rev Fr Paulose a week after the child was admitted there in June 2011 and paid Rs 15,000 fee. Prasad was told that his son had fought with some hostel students and that the warden had put him in a dark room and locked it.   Prasad took Phillip home and sent him back a day later. But the school refused to readmit Phillip after his father expressed his inability to pay an additional Rs 7,000 tuition fee for a separate teacher. The school also declined to issue the transfer certificate unless Prasad paid the amount. Prasad then moved the consumer forum demanding the fees refund and compensation for causing mental agony to his child.   The 4th additional consumer disputes redressal forum finally directed the principal to return the tuition fees within 15 days and pay him Rs 5,000 compensation in its May 24 order. It also directed the school to pay Rs 2,000 as the cost of litigation to the father.   "The said act of the principal and his staff is totally uncalled for, unwarranted and inhuman in nature in any civilized society," the forum, comprising president JN Havanur and member Anita Shivakumar, observed. "The principal has spoiled one academic year of the boy without any reason and put him under mental and physical torture. There is a total deficiency on the part of the school."   The bench noted that instead of handling the child with love and affection, the principal and school staff, particularly the warden, began torturing the child by branding him poor in studies and a troublemaker.   The forum noted that the child was confined to a separate room in the hostel through the night without informing his parents.   But the principal maintained that the child was troublesome. "In consultation with the principal, the warden gave him a single room to save other hostel inmates. The child was trying to subject other students to homosexuality. He has not been terminated from the school, but he remained continuously absent from October 10, 2011," he said. "Neither the student nor his parents have demanded the transfer certificate nor the management denied giving it." He said Prasad did not want to pay the additional fees for the special teacher hired for the child.   The father alleged that his son, a special student, was locked up by school hostel authorities in a dark room on the grounds that he was a 'troublemaker and forced homosexuality on other students'.

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