In a bizarre incident which looks more like the imposition of sanskaras, a Kerala school has expelled a boy and girl student after they hugged each other for having won a prize at an art competition.

The boy and girl who are a student class 11th and 12th respectively were studying at St Thomas Central School in Kerala’s capital Thiruvananthapuram. Their life took a dramatic turn in July, after the boy hugged the girl near a staircase in the school and the teacher “caught” them. The students described it as a congratulatory hug but it didn’t go down with the school authorities, reports TOI. The duo was then immediately taken to the vice-principal’s office for their action.The school refused to hear to any explanation offered by the students.

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“Apart from a friendly gesture shown to a friend, nothing more should have been attributed. The teacher didn’t even ask us for any explanation. She saw us hugging and started shouting at us. We were immediately taken to the vice-principal’s room. We waited there for half an hour, and on her arrival, I explained the incident to her,” the boy was quoted in a media report.

He further told that the principal was convinced with their explanation however the teacher looked determined to not forgive them.The boy’s father was summoned to secretary office and later both the students were expelled from the school for “indecent behavior”.

The Instagram scanning
Shockingly, the authorities scanned the personal Instagram account of the boy where he had posted pics with the same girl and claimed that the duo was in “compromising position” in the pics.The school used these pics as a proof for backing their claim that the duo broke the school’s code of conduct.

In October the boy’s parents approached the state Child Rights Commission. The commission passed an order giving the boy interim relief. The order allowed him to resume classes. To this, the school filed a Writ petition in the Kerala High Court.

The Court has now ruled in favor of the school, saying that the Rights Commission’s has no legal authority to intervene in the matter, while stating that there was no illegality in the actions taken by the school authorities.

The court has defended the school’s right to “maintain and sustain the standard and reputation of the school” but called on the principal and the teachers to have a broader outlook on the issue. “I find that various photographs were posted on Instagram in various compromising positions, and if it had the effect of publicity, the issue hampers the reputation of the school,” Justice Shaji P Chaly told India TV.

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Justice Chally added that the school management’s action was not illegal or unfair.
However, since the boy is to appear for his board exams in March the judgement appeals to the school to “re-consider” their decision to expel him.

Here is an excerpt from the judgment

The Principal and teachers of the school, definitely have a larger and broader outlook to these aspects, and nothing standing in the way of the school authorities rising to the occasion and re-considering the issue, bearing in mind, the 2 nd respondent is a XII standard student and particularly, he is to face the Board examination during the month of March/April. He has also to appear in the model examinations that are to take place immediately.”

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