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A 12th standard student, who was suspended by his school for hugging a girl, is planning to appeal against a high court order upholding the suspension as he hopes to appear for his board exams next year. The incident took place during a cultural programme organised by the St Thomas Central School in Makkolakkal near here on July 21. The girl had performed in an event following which the boy had hugged her. According to the boy's father, the congratulatory hug was "blown out of proportion" by the school authorities and it completely "demoralised" his son. The school suspended the boy after the incident.
The girl also was not attending classes, with the school maintaining that she had not submitted the requisite documents for admission. Soon after his suspension, the family had moved the Kerala State Commission for Protection of Child Rights challenging the decision. The panel then directed the school authorities to permit him to attend classes. Opposing it, the church-run school management, however, moved the Kerala High court which upheld the institution's decision. The school authorities maintained that the boy was suspended in order to discipline him and it was upto the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) to take a call on the matter. "We have no problem if the CBSE allows him to take the exam," School Principal Sebastian Joseph said. He, however, said that the student did not have the requisite attendance. "Our intention is to reform the child, not to break him, but to make him," the principal told PTI. Joseph said the girl was not a regular student and had not taken formal admission in the school. She had also not submitted the requisite documents for admission and had attended classes for only 20 days, he said. While the boy claimed that he had written at least three letters to the school authorities apologising for his behaviour, the principal said it was only a "lip service" and "the apology was not from his heart". Joseph claimed that the student was allowed to appear for an examination in September even after an inquiry panel of teachers had found that the "five minute-long hug" was "intentional" and "with bad intentions". Meanwhile, the father said that they were planning to appeal against the single bench's order and alleged that his child was subjected to humiliation. "The trauma and mental agony suffered by him is still lingering," he told PTI. The alumuni of the school have launched an online petition demanding that the management reconsider the student's suspension.