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From the Journal of a School Administrator – Incident 2

Ms. Nithya Sundaram


This incident happened several years ago when I learnt that parental reaction to children’s activities determines the character of children in many cases. When parents hyperventilate about what the children go through, it can set the minds the progeny in a direction which may not be healthy.

Dhana was a chirpy and happy child, who liked to giggle and laugh for everything. She had good language skills and would do reasonably well in most subjects. When in class 10 she was caught reading a novel when she was supposed to be working on something. When investigated, it was found that though an acknowledged book, there were some passages that looked beyond the student’s age. The teacher decided to confiscate the novel.

A note then came from the parent that it was a good book and all staff must read it. The dutiful teacher took it and read it and found more than one passage that she felt was objectionable. After brainstorming the school decided to politely write a note to the parents that, if the parent finds it suitable, the school will not object, but the book should not be brought to school to be shared with other children. The school quietly closed the matter.

The incident had an immediate effect on the student. She started becoming tardy in her work. She broke almost every single norm the school believed in. The school had to warn her not to copy in exams.

The parent one day turned up in school only to accuse that the student’s life has been ruined because the principal and the staff have been talking to other parents and accusing that Dhana has been reading pornography. The school was left flabbergasted. Any amount of counterarguments did not convince the parent who said other parents were calling to ask about it.

She took objection to the fact that the school had accused her daughter of malpractice which was too strong a word, she said. She had something against every single teacher, even those who were her favorites earlier. The student ultimately fared poorly in her board examinations.  Had the parent supported the advice of the school, it would have sent a clear message to the student that she needs to conform and that would help her in every way.


About Yashaswini K

Controversy is the second name of Yashaswini. She goes where something is amiss and picks up the threads to make a clear story out of it. She has also written 2 books in the Radha Srinivasan Mystery Series.

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