mid-day editorial: Don't teach violence to children in school

Sep 25, 2017, 06:05 IST | mid-day correspondent

School should be a safe space for children to learn, and yet, reports still keep pouring in about atrocities against students. The principal of a Nalasopara school has been booked for allegedly beating a 15-year-old student with his belt and forcing him to announce on the mike that he had been caught masturbating. The principal also beat up two of the boy's Std IX classmates.

It is shocking that a student was humiliated in this manner. Teenagers are vulnerable, and it is nothing short of traumatising for them to be humiliated in front of their friends. These are scars that children may carry with them for a long time, and in some cases, for life.

This student must now receive counselling and proper care. We fear for his fragile and disturbed mental state. He needs access to a counsellor, as well as love and reassurance from his family and tremendous support from his friends and the school.

It is unacceptable that at a time when there is so much awareness about mental health and the importance of humane methods of teaching, the principal considered humiliation a fitting punishment.

It is equally inexcusable for a teacher to hit students with a belt for any supposed misdemeanor. There are other ways of disciplining children or punishing them, if they must be punished at all. Beatings are certainly not the way.

Parents need to come together to have a louder voice in school matters. Such cases have turned schools into hotbeds of controversy and crimes against children. Schools are the bedrock of society, much like the family unit. They form the first mould in which children form their impressions of the world.

Make our schools centres of great learning and happy memories. The onus is on the figures of power to do that.

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