Schools can’t force parents to buy accessories: Madras High Court

CHENNAI: Schools have been told by Madras High Court not to insist upon parents to buy accessories other than textbooks. Vacation judge CV Karthikeyan gave a direction to this effect while passing interim orders on a petition from M Hemalatha and S Vijayababu, parents of three students studying in a private school in Coimbatore, on May 17.

The school can sell only the books necessary for students. So far as the accessories are concerned, there cannot be compulsion of any sort on the parents to buy them, the judge said and posted the matter for further hearing on June 10.

According to the petitioner, the attitude of the private school had changed ever since it came under the management of the present correspondent. It became more and more profit-oriented, contrary to the avowed ideals.

The school is insisting that the parents buy accessories such as shoes, socks, sports dress, school bags and lunch bags, which most parents could not afford. Instead of the books prescribed by NCERT, which cost Rs 450, the school management distributed Oxford and Cambridge textbooks, which cost Rs 5,500, the petitioners alleged.