Kerala woman teacher moves rights panel against 'dress code'

Last Updated: Wed, Oct 24, 2012 15:26 hrs

Thiruvananthapuram: A woman teacher, who was suspended for a fortnight from an aided higher secondary school in Malappuram district for allegedly refusing to fall in line with the management's diktat to wear a "light green" overcoat, has approached the State Human Rights Commission, seeking justice.

Authorities of Sullamssalam Oriental High School at Areekode in Malappuram in north Kerala, however, disputed the teacher's contention that the 'dress code' had been enforced by them.

On the contrary, it was a collective decision of the teachers of the school, school authorities claimed.

Jameela K, a mathematics teacher, was placed under suspension for 15 days last week for turning up at the school without wearing the overcoat in the prescribed colour.

Jameela alleged that though she wore a white over-coat, the management insisted she don the "green" outfit.

According to SHRC member Prof KE Gangadharan, the Deputy Director of Education had been asked to probe the matter and submit a report.

"Let us wait for the report. If it is true that the management had enforced the dress code, that would be an infringement on individual's freedom," Gangadharan said.

If the allegation is found true, the Government would be directed to take proper action, he said.

The management disputed Jameela's charge holding that the colour suggested was not "green" but "asparagus". Teachers had been given the choice to wear either a black pardha or "asparagus", which is light green, not the deep green which is associated with the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML), whose nominee is the education minister.

"This is an unnecessary controversy. Some people are trying to give a political colour to the whole issue", management sources said.

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