Kovai school imposes bonds on parents, disowns students’ safety

While this has come up just days after the Kallakurichi incident where protesters vandalised a school after the death of a girl student, the principal of GRD Public School (GRDPS), Coimbatore, claimed that this was a common practice among schools in the district.
Representative Image
Representative Image

CHENNAI: A school in Coimbatore has courted controversy by allegedly forcing parents to sign an indemnity bond that states that the management or teachers would not be held responsible for whatever happens to the students inside the campus.

While this has come up just days after the Kallakurichi incident where protesters vandalised a school after the death of a girl student, the principal of GRD Public School (GRDPS), Coimbatore, claimed that this was a common practice among schools in the district.

“I undertake and agree that neither I nor my executor or administrators or other legal heirs, representatives will make any claim against the GRDPS or any person of the school, in respect of any loss or injury to property or the person (the minor student) including a fatal injury, which the said minor may suffer while in custody of the school. I understand and agree that no compensation will be paid by the school or any person or any employee of the school,” the bond reads.

A parent, requesting anonymity, alleged that the school management was forcing the parents to sign the bond. “If we refuse, we are asked to collect the transfer certificate (TC),” said the parent.

When contacted, school principal R Srimathy Naidu said that many schools in Coimbatore were following the practice. “When we started the school, we obtained the format of the bond from another CBSE school in Coimbatore,” she claimed, denying that parents were being forced to sign it. S Arumainathan, president, Tamil Nadu Students Parents’ Welfare Association, said issuing indemnity bonds was illegal as it is the school’s responsibility to take care of the students within its premises.

“Schools denying that responsibility is against natural justice,” said Arumainathan, adding that the State government has the necessary powers to take action against schools that impose such bonds on parents.

Promising to look into the issue, School Education Department Secretary Kakarla Usha said she has come across indemnity bonds that state that the parents would be held responsible for any damage of properties caused by their children but not one that says that the school management is not responsible for students. “If any parent gives complaint, necessary action will be taken,” she told DT Next.

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