'Smelly' pupil thrown out

Last updated 11:00 20/11/2012

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The father of a Bohally Intermediate School student is upset that a teacher told his daughter to leave her classroom because the girl smelt like "curry and spices" and was making the teacher feel sick. Jaswinder Paul, said his 13-year-old daughter, who is of Indian-Maori descent, was asked on Friday to move to another classroom.

The teacher was not her regular teacher, although she had taught the girl without any problems for one term last year.

The Year 8 girl said the teacher made the comment as she was leaving the room for morning tea. "She told me I smell like curry and spices," she said.

"When I came back from morning tea she told me she didn't want me in class. She said I was making her feel sick."

The girl spent the rest of the morning in a Year 7 class.

School principal Andrew Read said yesterday the school was working with the family to investigate and resolve the allegation.

"We do not discuss individual staff or students in the press and therefore have no further comment," he said.

Mr Paul said his daughter told him about the incident as they were driving home at lunchtime on Friday.

"She was a little bit upset because she said her teacher kicked her out of the class because she smelt like curry," Mr Paul said. "It really hurt me here," he said, indicating his chest.

He drove back to the school to speak to the principal.

Mr Read told him the girl's account upset him, too, but he needed to talk to the teacher and any witnesses before taking further action, Mr Paul said.

After meeting again yesterday, Mr Paul said Mr Read had told him the teacher accepted what had happened and said that she had a "nose problem".

Mr Read offered an apology but Mr Paul said it was not sufficient and planned to take the matter to the Education Ministry.

"I want proper justice for my daughter," he said. "Little things always happen, like being called ‘curry munchers' - just forget about it. But if the teacher starts saying this, how sad is that? So, no more. I can't take that."

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- The Marlborough Express

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