India school stamps child's arm over fee delay

Indian schoolboys clutch water bottles as they stand in line as part of an earthquake drill taking place at their school in Port Blair, 06 January 2005. Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Education officials say the incident is 'unacceptable'

Education officials in the north Indian state of Punjab are investigating a school that stamped a student's arm with a notice of non-payment of fees.

The 13-year-old boy's family says he has been refusing to go to school after the "humiliating" incident.

The principal of the private school in Ludhiana city admitted to the action, but said the child's arm was stamped because he "forgot his notebook".

He said the teacher's action was wrong though the stamp was "washable".

The school said the family had not paid fee for two months and had ignored several reminders to pay.

Image copyright BBC Punjabi
Image caption The school said the child's arm was stamped because he had forgotten his notebook

But the family said the behaviour was "inappropriate".

"This is an absolutely inappropriate way to ask for fees," the child's father, who drives an auto-rickshaw for a living, told BBC Punjabi. He said he had asked the school for more time to pay and added that the whole family was feeling "humiliated" by the incident.

Swarnjeet Kaur, the district education officer, said the school was "absolutely wrong" and vowed to take action against those found responsible.

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