An entire class at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan has been suspended after some of the students burst a firecracker on the campus on Monday, the disciplinary action aimed at turning the young learners into responsible citizens.
The 283 Class XII students, who have been barred from entering the Salt Lake campus, had only two days of classes left and were to be accorded farewell on Wednesday. They will, however, be allowed to take the pre-board and board exams.
The students wrote a letter to the authorities, apologising for violating rules. They also verbally pleaded with the authorities to allow them to enter the campus on the last two days of their school life.
Principal Anindita Chatterjee accepted the apology but refused to withdraw the suspension.
“We can’t change our decision. The Class XII students are old enough to understand that they should not violate the rules of an institution. We will not withdraw the suspension for the sake of maintaining discipline at the school,” said Chatterjee.
“If students don’t learn to abide by rules, how will they grow up as responsible citizens? We hope the measure will instill discipline into the students,” said a teacher of the school.
The prospectus of Bharatiya Vidya clearly mentions that bringing any firecracker to school is prohibited. Apart from breaking the school regulation, the students had also violated a government order as the firecracker they had exploded belonged to a banned category.
“Class XII students are expected to be aware of the government ban and should refrain from bursting crackers that could result in injuries and expose them to police action,” the teacher said.
This was the third time that a firecracker was exploded in the school compound. “We have repeatedly asked students not to bring any firecracker to school. But a section of students keeps ignoring our order,” the principal said.
The principal said the Class XII students would be farewelled after the pre-board exams which start in the first week of December. “The students will not suffer academically as the entire syllabus has been covered. They will be allowed to write the exams,” said Chatterjee.
The “chocolate bomb” that was burst on Monday had been planted in a dustbin in the girls’ toilet. “A student had gone to wash her face when the bomb exploded. The dustbin caught fire. Hearing the sound, the teachers rushed to the toilet and doused the fire,” said a school representative.
Sources said the entire Class XII was hauled up on Monday and asked to confess. When the students refused to admit that they had planted the firecracker, the authorities decided to suspend the entire class comprising science, arts and humanities sections.
The suspension notice was hung on the school gate on Tuesday morning. As the Class XII students turned up one after another, they were told not to enter the compound.
The students, however, got to know about the order verbally the day before. “We were shocked when we were told that Monday was our last day in school. A number of programmes were scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday to mark our last two days in school. It’s sad that they can’t be held,” said a Class XII student.
A large number of Class XII students and their guardians gathered in front of the school on Tuesday morning, protesting the suspension order and requesting the authorities to withdraw it.
“We heard that some of our batchmates had burst a firecracker. They should not have done it. But why should the whole batch made to suffer because of some students. We had never imagined that our school life would end on such a sad note,” said another Class XII student.
The apology letter of the students reads: “We honestly regret our inappropriate conduct and are extremely sorry. We give you complete assurance and promise that… no form of cracker will be exploded within the school premises, students will behave properly and maintain the decorum of the school, the students of Class XII will seek the permission of the teachers in all kinds of activities.”
Do you think the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan authorities did the right thing by suspending an entire class for the conduct of a few? Tell firstname.lastname@example.org