A group of parents complained that they were not sending their children to a government-aided school in Keezha Kuthapanchan Village of Tenkasi district of Tamil Nadu as some teachers were putting pressure on the students to convert to Christianity. The Tamil Nadu educational department started a probe on Tuesday following the allegation against the school by a section of the parents.
On the very first day after the reopening of schools in Tamil Nadu on Monday, more than 75 students and their parents conducted a sit-in dharna in front of the Block Education Office (BEO). The parents of the children said that they don’t want their children to be taught in the government-aided school where several teachers are trying to convert their children to Christianity.
While speaking to IANS, M. Thenmozhi, a parent of a class 7 student said, “I will not send my son to that school as last year some of the teachers were putting pressure on him to disregard our religion and caste and to embrace Christianity.”
He said that they had raised a complaint with the education department of Tamil Nadu at that time also, but there was no action and hence there is public protest on the very first day after the reopening of the school.
The parents have also been making a demand for the past few years that a government school is allocated to the Alangun town area as there was no government school there. However, education department authorities of Tamil Nadu dismissed this request stating that a government-aided school was functioning in the town.
The parents said that until the education department conducts a probe and bring the culprits to justice, they will not send their wards to school. After that the district education department commenced the probe.
According to parents, around 165 students will not attend classes if the matter is not resolved.
Tamil Nadu has been witnessing allegations of conversion to Christianity in schools. A class 11 girl student committed suicide at Ariyalur in Tanjavur district of Tamil Nadu on January 19 this year. The girl who consumed poison had in her suicide note mentioned that the warden of the school, a Christian nun, was forcing her to convert to Christianity and when she resisted she was given corporal punishment and was forced to clean toilets. She had also in her suicide note said that the Sacred Heart School at Ariyalur where the incident took place was notorious as teachers used to beat up students if they don’t embrace Christianity.
In another incident at Kanniyakumari, local people conducted protest marches against a school after a lady teacher praised Christianity in class while demeaning Hindu gods and goddesses. Students alleged that she along with another teacher was forcing them to convert to Christianity.