Sports teacher shaves her hair off after kabaddi team ‘beaten up for wearing French braids’

She alleges the headmistress beat up the students for wearing a hairstyle that went against the institution’s code

Mintu ChowdhuryChattogram
Published : 23 Sept 2022, 06:58 PM
Updated : 23 Sept 2022, 06:58 PM

A sports teacher of a girls’ school in Chattogram has shaved off her head in protest against the “beating” of members of its kabaddi team allegedly by the headmistress for a hairstyle that went against the institution’s code.

Jahida Parvin, sports teacher and coach of the kabaddi team of Yakub Ali Dubash Girls High School in the port city’s Firingi Bazar, posted a photo with her hair shaved on Facebook on Thursday.

She alleged the headmistress, Nipa Chowdhury, beat up the students by holding their hair and scolded them for taking photos after wearing French braids and playing kabaddi. “I worked hard to teach them kabaddi for a month and this happened the day before we were supposed to play.”

“Do I look bad?” she wrote, adding that the organisers did not allow the girls to play finally for a delay in reaching the venue after tests on Sept 8.

Headmistress Nipa denied the allegation of roughing up the students, saying she wanted the girls to wear twin braids as per the code.

She also said the girls taking photos with her and Jahida with twin braids proves that the allegations made against her were wrong.

The district administration has formed a three-member committee to investigate the allegations at a time when Bangladesh is celebrating the national women’s football team’s victory in SAFF championship.

Jahida had tendered her resignation, but now she wants to withdraw it, demanding that the girls be allowed to play freely.

Speaking to on Friday, Jahida said she formed a kabaddi team of 13 and trained them for a month for the inter-school summer sports tournament. She asked the girls to wear French braids because hair clips or metal wearings are banned in kabaddi.

But on Sept 7, the eve of the first match with St Scholastica Girls’ School and College at Dr Khastagir Government Girls’ High School, Nipa scolded the students and beat up some of them for wearing french braids, Jahida alleged.

“I asked her not to beat them up and then made them wear twin braids before taking the photos.”

Jahida said she requested the organisers to delay the match as the students had their tests in the morning, but the organisers gave Scholastica walk-over before her team reached the venue.

She said she fell ill after the incident and shaved her hair on Sept 14 out of “sorrow, anger and pain” because the headmistress “punished the students for following Jahida’s orders”.

The school has 12 teachers, all under the government’s Monthly Pay Order or MPO programme, and around 300 students from class six to 10.

Nipa said the allegations made by Jahida were “baseless”. “Why would they smile while posing for the photo if I had beaten them. And it was Jahida Parvin who took the photo.”

She said she asked the girls to wear twin braids as per the school’s code because they were representing the institution. Jahida was in the washroom during the conversation, Nipa claimed.

The headmistress said Jahida left the school for the match venue around 10am, although the game was slated for 9am. “She did not receive my phone calls after leaving the school. Later I came to know from an office assistant that Scholastica school was given the walk-over.”

She alleged Jahida behaved roughly with Khastagir school’s game teacher for not allowing them to play.

In her Facebook post, Jahida appeared frustrated with the “inaction” of Zahirul Alam Dubash, chairman of Chattogram Development Authority and head of the school’s governing body.

Zahirul, however, claimed Jahida submitted the resignation letter because Khastagir school authorities complained about her.

Chattogram Deputy Commissioner Md Mominur Rahman said a committee was investigating the incident. “Firm steps will be taken against those responsible for the incident.”

Toufique Imrose Khalidi
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher