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Students appeal for peace

Bhubaneswar, Jan. 27: A group of students of DAV Public School, Chandrasekharpur, here today appealed for a peaceful and safe school environment in view of the alleged attack on the principal of DAV School, CDA, Cuttack, by some parents last week.

Nearly 160 students held placards requesting all to maintain security for school authorities as well as for themselves. They said that the Cuttack incident apart, a section of parents even otherwise have been creating a ruckus on the campus.

“Two weeks ago, some parents forcibly entered our campus and began abusing our teachers. They were very violent in approach and the episode left us shattered,” said Rajat Chandan Nayak, a Class XII student.

“The agitating parents forced our teachers to shun classes in all 42 DAV schools in the state for an indefinite period. This has affected our preparations for the board exams that would begin from March 1,” said Nayak.

The students said that even though they understood the sentiments of the parents who have been agitating against a three-fold fee hike, what they found objectionable was the mode of protest.

“They could have done it in a much more decent manner showing regard to teachers and the school authorities. They must understand that in such matters it is the students who suffer ultimately,” said Nilav Banerjee, another student of Class XII.

Some of the students also said that the parents were setting a bad example for their wards with their “unruly behaviour”. “If they cannot afford to educate their children in such institutions, they must look for other options at the end of this session. They must understand that even teachers need to manage their households in this era of inflation. Their plea for higher salaries is justified too,” said another student.

The DAV management and the parents have been at loggerheads over the issue of fee hike for the last four years now. The issue has even gone to the Supreme Court, but this has only added to the bitterness between the two sides. Matters came to a head recently when the school principal, Ipsita Das, was allegedly manhandled by a group of parents, who also confined her to a room for four hours.

“The schools are using our children against us in this war. They are trying to garner support for their cause in the most unfair manner,” said Bhikari Charan Mohanty, a member of the All Odisha Parents’ Coordination Committee.

On the other hand, the parents have planned to don the role of teachers if the latter do not join classes from Monday.