Ponytail issue: Stalemate continues as school, parents refuse to compromise

Ponytail issue: Stalemate continues as school, parents refuse to compromise

Submitted by alvin on Sat, 2016-06-11 20:38 Bengaluru: The public fight over a ponytail between St. Vincent Pallotti School in Babusapalya and parents of the boy, whose ponytail led to his expulsion, is showing no signs any resolution with both the school management and the parents sticking to their guns.The only forward movement in this ‘hair-raising’ saga has been the notice issued to the school by the Karnataka Commission for the Protection of Child Rights (KCPCR).The boy’s parents justified their act once more by taking refuge in tradition, saying that as per their community rules, they “cannot cut the boy’s hair for the next one-and-a- half years”.  “In our community, a boy’s hair is cut only after he attains the age of five years,” said the father of the kid.The boy’s father said he had informed the principal about this. “But he is not even ready to wait for a day," he said adding that the school had returned the amount paid at the time of admission. Legal angleSupreme Court advocate KV Dhananjaya said private unaided schools had the constitutional freedom to devise their own admission policies. But such policies needed to be reasonable, should adhere to community standards, and enforced uniformly. The advocate said the school was entitled to ask every student to trim his/her hair in the interest of discipline. The school was legally entitled to refuse any exemption on religious grounds as well.He said that parents should also be told in advance about the disciplinary policies of the school.In the present case, Dhanajaya felt the school management should ask itself whether it had informed this parent about its disciplinary policies. If the parent was made aware of what is permitted and what is not permitted, and if the parent on hearing the conditions still chose to enrol his child in the school, he cannot complain, said the advocate.