Iran: Schoolgirls Flogged for Failing to Pay Fees to PrincipalPublished by International Liberty Association on October 18, 2016
In Mokhtarabad village in South Roodbar, school authorities gave at least eight lashes of the whip to 10 schoolgirls, and expelled them from school, because their parents did not pay 30,000 toumans (approx. $8.5) to the school’s principal, in an attempt to force impoverished families to pay money demanded by the school.
Officials of the regime in the Education Department also threatened the students’ families with permanent expulsion of their children if they do not deny the flogging of the students, after news of the inhuman flogging became widespread.
The Ministry of Education extorts money from the students’ parents in different ways, such as such as demanding compensation for the stationary expenses, the cost of taking census, or giving a gift to school. This pressure on the students and their families leads to tragic consequences, especially in deprived regions where the students quit school or, in tragic cases, commit suicide. For example, in November 2015, a 12 year old, in sixth grade, in Urumiah, West Azerbaijan Province, committed suicide because he could not pay to give a gift to the school.
After widespread coverage on social networks of the flogging of the schoolgirls in central Iran province, as well as the revelations of the Iranian regime’s repressive measures against the students, the officials of the Ministry of Education threatened students and their families that unless they deny the flogging news, the children will be permanently expelled from school, This intimidation caused some of them to deny their previous allegations.
Tabnak website, run by the state, reported, “There are schools across the country where school officials severely punish the students for their inability to pay tuition fee. For example, the principal of a school in ‘Mokhtar Abad’ village in ‘Roudbar Jonoub (South Roudbar)’ county in Kerman province flogged the students for the ‘crime!’ of poverty and expelled them from school.”
“After reminding the students several times to pay 300,000 rials to help the school and the students’ inability to pay [extortion] money, the school principal ‘M.M.’ punished the students who were unable to pay the tuition fee by flogging them 8 times and expelling them from the school,” the state-run news agency wrote.
Confirming that their children were “punished”, some of the families “protested against the pressure imposed by the schools to receive money.” These parents said that their “poor economic condition does not allow them to help schools meet the costs.”
A video clip published on the internet on October 8, shows several schoolgirls, who first introduce themselves, and then reveal that they were “flogged” by the school principal.
Families of students who do not have money to buy stationery and school supplies for their children are forced to sell their household or borrow money to provide the 300 thousand rials to the school principal, according to state-run media. The unprecedented flogging of students whose parents are financially unable pay “tuition fee” money, is inhuman treatment unseen anywhere else in the world.