Govt. gets tough on anti-ragging rules after 15-year-old student is beaten up in hostel

After a 15-year-old American student was allegedly ragged by three of his classmates in the hostel of an international school on the outskirts of the city earlier this month, the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) has decided to send strict instructions to schools to follow the rules pertaining to anti-ragging.

Speaking to The Hindu, Commissioner for Public Instruction, K.G. Jagadeesha said school managements will again be directed to set up anti-ragging committees, as mandated in the rules. They will also have to create awareness on the role of these committees.

“The rules, stipulated against ragging, are stringent and are also mandated as part of the safety and security guidelines issued by the department. This committee must have the involvement of the local police and should focus on preventing ragging and bullying,” said department officials.

The move has been welcomed by parents who feel some students get bullied by their peers and that the incidents go unchecked. Sujaya S., a parent of a class 10 student said, “Unfortunately, schools tend to brush bullying under the carpet by terming it as a fight among students. There is a need to ensure that principals and teachers treat this issue more seriously,” she said.

Departmental inquiry

Mr Jagadeesha also said the DPI officials would conduct a detailed inquiry regarding the incident and ensure that suitable action is taken against the school management if lapses were found on its part.

The victim, a class 9 student, was allegedly beaten up by three boys in his hostel room. He suffered multiple injuries and the case has been referred to a Juvenile Justice Board. The three boys have been suspended, along with another minor who kept guard and ensured that the hostel warden did not enter the room.

The police, who initially refused to file an FIR against the school management, have now filed a case naming the founder-chairman and other officials as accused. However, the school management has refused to call it ragging and has termed it a “boys fight”.

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