Published: 23rd July 2018
From builder donating house to alumni love letter, how SSM School is virtually battling their parent protest
The parents of the students in SSM School had previously staged a protest against the school hiking the caution deposit amount to Rs 2 lakh
A couple of days after the parents of students studying in Srimathi Sundaravalli Memorial (SSM) School in Perungalathur and Chrompet staged a protest about the school raising the caution deposit amount to a whopping 2 lakh — the school has taken a hit on social media. So how have they responded? By building a positive storyline via their own website. The school's authorities have uploaded three different articles on their website — An alumnus' note thanking the school for his bright future, an email from a builder who is ready to donate his property to the school and an SMS by a parent, asking the authorities not to shut the school down, as SSM is the 'best school' that she could find for her child.
Check this excerpt, laid out on a Gmail screen — ostensibly with some Photoshop work for the formatting — that they had uploaded.
"I am volunteering to hand over my house property documents 2 flats in SSM Nagar and one in Pallavaram in support for you. I know and our family knows that you are continuously tormented by corrupt officials and backstabbers in fulfilling this SSM Nagar project. In spite of surrendering to unethical means, you are fighting it single-handedly against all these odds," says K Balachandar in his email.
Or this from an alumnus. "I am in a happy place in my personal and professional life — and to this day I think that my schooling in SSM has played a major role in my successes," alumnus Arvind Ramana says in his email addressed to K Santhanam, the school's correspondent.
The protesting parents, on the other hand, calls this measure by the school as a 'propaganda' to save their face. On Thursday, the school has sent out a circular to the parents, asking them to pay Rs 2 lakh as the caution deposit for their children. "The school's owners have faced a heavy loss in a real estate business and they're trying to retrieve this through the hike in caution deposit. Most of the parents belong to the middle-class and this is a huge expense for us," claims a parent, who does not wish to be named. He also said that the school's authorities are not ready to talk to the parents or the government officials. "They only want us to read a letter that they have posted online," he says.
While the classes have resumed in the school right now, the students are reminded every day to pay the caution deposit by July 31, failing which, they'll be expelled from the school from the next academic year. This is likely to affect the Class IX students, as the school will not permit them to appear for the class X board exams. Meanwhile, the DEO and CEO for the district have apparently asked the parents not to pay the excessive amount till further notice.