Tuesday, January 17, 2012

School suspends student for calling classmate "a senior"

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Raju; name changed to withhold identity; was by all accounts an exemplary student. Aged 11, he was bright in his studies, with History and Science as his favorite subjects. His interests were well rounded with Raju showing a keen interest in the performing arts and sports. What's more, he was captain of his school's cricket team.

His proud parents had high hopes from him.

However their hopes and dreams for Raju came crashing down, last week as Raju was handed down an indefinite suspension from his school by the principal.

"The school has very strict policies against the use of abusive and foul language and Raju's inappropriate use of words while venting his anger against a fellow student violates the school's zero tolerance policy against verbal abuse", said Mr. Patil (real name) who is the Principal at the school.

According to accounts by witnesses the altercation between Raju and the victim Jay (real name withheld), occurred during a friendly cricket match with a neighboring school. By most accounts Jay was having an ordinary match and at almost 13 years of age insisted on playing the game which was meant for kids under 12 years of age.

While fielding Jay was lethargic on the field and had dropped an allegedly easy chance at slip. While batting he was adjudged LBW but bullied the umpire into reversing the decision and the very next ball was clean bowled through the gate.

It is at that point, Raju, who was at the non striker's end allegedly vented his anger via a series of age inappropriate expletives, hurling abuses at the hapless Jay.

"Why are you playing like the seniors in the Indian team?" Raju is alleged to have said

It is learnt that the school had instituted an awareness program imposing a ban on ridiculing anyone under the name of India's seniors and Raju had attended and evaluated well on the program. 

When we interviewed the victim's mother for this story, she told us that Raju was not always like that but over the last few days her son, Jay used to come home with frequent complaints against Raju. Initially the abuse words were harmless.

"Mostly, at the beginning Raju's bad words were confined to disrespecting mothers and sisters and I told my son that he needs to toughen up because as a cricketer he needs to learn these swear words himself", said Jay's mother.

Then last week, she said her son complained that Raju had shown her son the middle finger, which too she said is something her son needs to toughen up to.

"I just told him, next time just tell Raju Teri Ma Ki" said Jay's mother adding that "after all the term is approved by Sachin Tendulkar himself"

But after Raju's latest allegation that Jay "plays like a senior", the entire family is devastated. "Who will give my Jay a job now. Every one wants a senior to retire. No one wants to have a senior on the team. There will be a talk of phasing him out even if he does land a job. My Jay's life is ruined.  No one will even want to marry him. Tell me will you give your daughter's hand in marriage to a senior? Jay's mother said inconsolably.

Most of Raju's teachers have expressed shock at his suspension and are divided over whether such a harsh sentence should have been handed to him, given that this was his first offence. However, Mr. Pawar, the school's cricket coach said that he is not surprised that this has happened.

"Raju has shown certain developmental problems ever since August last year and I had brought this up with the school's special needs consultant" said the coach.

Describing a discussion he had with Raju after India lost to England 0-4, Mr. Pawar described how delusional Raju was. "He kept saying that India should ask the seniors to leave and rebuild with a young team of Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Cheteshwar Pujara and Badrinath in the middle order" said an exasperated Pawar.

Mr. Pawar added, "A normally intelligent Raju did not realize the simple fact that India's youngsters do not have even half the number of centuries that the seniors have and some of them even don't have a Test average. How can he suggest that we should give juniors a chance. I think he needs to get his head examined"

However Raju's parents were most devastated and broken. "Where did we fall short on our parenting? We were very diligent about sharing with him every individual milestone of Sachin, Rahul and VVS and this is how he responds? We are ashamed that he is our son"

The school has instituted a special rehabilitation program for Raju. It involves Raju learning by rote every individual record of each of the 3 seniors and start every discussion about them after paying rich tributes to the stellar performances of the 3 over the last decade and more...in Sachin's case almost quarter of a century. 

"Are baba even bollywood does 7 khoon maaf, and Raju cannot ignore 7 Test losses", said his distraught father

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