A school in India has issued an apology after photographic proof of students rocking cardboard boxes on their head made rounds.

The photos, seen below, were taken during a chemistry test at Bhagat Pre-University College in Haveri, Karnataka state. According to BBC News, the boxes had been cut open to allow obscured viewing of the exam documents in an effort to curb cheating.

"There was no compulsion of any kind. You can see in the photograph that some students were not wearing it," MB Sateesh, a junior college administrator, told BBC of the incident. "Some who wore it removed it after 15 minutes, some after 20 minutes and we ourselves asked them to remove it after one hour."

The administrator claimed the box was instituted on a purely "experimental" basis and was inspired by seeing the peculiar method used elsewhere. 

S. Suresh Kumar, state education minister, had criticized the box-on-the-head method as "unacceptable" and said the students in question had been treated more "like animals."

Per a separate CNN report further detailing the reported "experimental" nature of the practice, participating students are said to have been instructed to bring their own boxes from home. Fifty-six of the 72 students taking midterm exams that day took part in the box-clad approach.