By Express News Service
On Teachers’ Day, students showed their love for a teacher by coming out in support of him after he was allegedly pulled up for unjust reasons. Over 100 students of Tharuvaikulam Government Higher Secondary School refused to attend class, demanding that the teacher, who was framed by the school headmistress, be let off.
Maripandi (33), who taught zoology at the school since 2008, said, since he was a Dalit, he was disliked by the headmistress and the panchayat president since he joined the school.
Maripandi claimed that he had been facing discrimination by the headmistress, Kalpana Devi, for the past one year and on several occasions had been scolded by her using his caste name. On Thursday morning, too, he had faced such scolding, he alleged. However, he asked her not to call him with his caste name, and had gone to class. The headmistress then called the panchayat president and some villagers and had told them that he had threatened her, Maripandi said. When police began investigations with Maripandi on the school campus, students came out of their classes and gathered in front of the headmistress’s room, where the inquiry was being held.
Requests from the headmistress and police officials to the students to disperse failed to deter them. The students demanded that their teacher be left alone. Many of the girls were in tears.
A class XI student, on request of anonymity, said, “Maripandi sir is the best teacher in the school and he has been teaching us with great passion. We too have started to learn well but this was not liked by the headmistress, who always cornered him.” The student also said their teacher should not be sent to another school. However, headmistress Kalpana Devi alleged that Maripandi was not cooperating with decisions taken by her and claimed that she had been threatened by him.
The collector, when contacted, said he would look into the issue.