Haldia, July 14: Teachers in our state do not seem to learn their lesson easily. Despite teachers and schools being in the eye of the storm several times recently over mistreating students, yet another horror story was reported on Friday, this time from a girls' school in Haldia.
Three Class VIII students of Doro Krishnanagar Banithirtha Vidyalaya in Sutahata, off Haldia, were allegedly beaten up by their headmistress and made to strip in front of their classmates on Thursday so that they could mop up with their uniforms the water they had allegedly dropped on their classroom floor.
While one of the girls fell ill and is not prepared to attend school after the nightmarish ordeal, headmistress Sandhya Rani Jana was unrepentant. In her opinion, "if students have to be educated, it is necessary to beat them up".
The incident happened while Jana was doing her rounds of the classes on Thursday. She was apparently furious to see water on the Class VIII floor. She inquired and learnt that three students were responsible for wetting the floor. She hauled them up and started thrashing them severely in front of the class. That was not all. The headmistress then made the three girls strip even as their classmates watched. The girls were then asked to mop up the water off the floor with their clothes.
The ordeal made one of the girls sick. On seeing her collapse, Jana panicked and immediately sent the trio home. The ill girl's friends helped her get up, dressed her and took her home. Once home, the girl narrated her ordeal to her parents and complained of fever, body ache and a swollen right hand.
Her parents came to the school on Friday and lodged a written complaint against the headmistress with the institution's managing committee. Her mother said she shuddered to even think how a woman could torture girls this way.
"My daughter doesn't want to attend school. She is too ashamed to face her classmates after having to strip in front of them. She has broken down mentally," she said. Jana, however, accused the parents of "exaggerating the incident".
School managing committee secretary Tushar Maity said he had heard of the incident on Thursday evening itself. "I received a written complaint against the headmistress from the girl's parents on Friday. A meeting will be convened soon. If the headmistress is found guilty, action will be taken against her. And all teachers will be warned to prevent such incidents. No complaint has, however, been lodged in Sutahata police station."
State education minister Bratya Basu said he "knew nothing about the incident".