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School Girls Allegedly Forced To Take Off Their Leggings In West Bengal

Bolpur: A number of girl students of the junior section of an English medium missionary school here were allegedly forced to take off their leggings on the pretext that their colours did not conform to the school uniform sparking off protests by parents.

The incident took place on Monday and came to light on Tuesday when a gathering of protesting parents was seen outside the school on Tuesday morning.

The school is located at Bolpur, near Santiniketan in West Bengal’s Birbhum district.

The parents alleged that the girls, who are aged between five and nine years, had worn leggings to the school on Monday as the weather has turned cool in the mornings.

The father of a standard one girl student said “When my daughter returned home on Monday afternoon I found she was without her leggings. When asked she said that the class teacher had taken it off during tiffin time.

“I have heard that the principal had orderd the class teachers to do so … My daughter has been wearing leggings to school during winters in the last two years,” he said.

Asked whether the parents had complained to the police, he said the school principal had apologised.

The school principal Sister Archana Fernandez defended the action saying it was not an incident of forcing the students to remove their leggings.

“The students were only asked to submit their leggings as they did not conform to the school’s dress code,” she said.

A senior teacher of the school, Jaher Ali Mondal said school has a dress code but the leggings that the students wore did not conform to it. “They (students) were only asked to change their leggings, none was forced to take them off”.

West Bengal Education Minister Partha Chatterjee said, “We have taken a strong view of the alleged incident.”

He said the district education department has asked for a report from the school authorities. “After receiving the report I will ensure appropriate measures are taken. We will also speak to the ICSE Board.”

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