Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Gurgaon School Shooting - – Kids Say The Meanest Things

Gurgaon School Shooting – Kids Say The Meanest Things

December 12 - Two eight graders of Euro International School located in Gurgaon, near Delhi shot dead a classmate with a licensed revolver belonging to the father of one of them. The reason given was payback for continuous bullying.

December 14 – A grade 10 student of Kala Vidyamandir School in Goregaon, Mumbai stabbed a classmate in the eye with a ballpoint pen seriously injuring him. The reason given was teasing.

Most people blame television, parents, video games and modernity in general for violence in schools. I beg to differ. Parents have absolutely no inkling of what is happening in school. This is not because they are too busy with their career but because kids simply won’t tell. Television, videogames are not the reason either. Many kids watch television and play games – all don’t kill. The problem and solution cannot be found outside the schools - it lies within.
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Kindergarten was clearly the worst year of my life, which is why the images are still so clear. I’d either get beaten everyday or face ridicule of some kind from certain students in my class. The teacher would never notice my tears. I was too afraid and ashamed to tell my parents what was happening when they questioned me about why I did not want to go to school. Fortunately, one day my grandma (who had arrived from Mumbai on vacation) managed to get the truth out of me. That was the day my Dad stomped into the classroom and blasted the teacher.

This was a top school for girls in New Delhi. The fear of losing her job fresh in her mind, the teacher took care to prevent such incidents and I continued with school. From then on, things went fine until the seventh grade. In the eight standard, the name calling and bullying began once again. No one would speak to me in class. I never dared tell my parents thinking that they would think me weak and laugh. Many times I would fantasize about stabbing my tormentors with a compass/divider and setting the school on fire…if only an opportunity presented itself.

Until, one day, a teacher noticed the hate building up in my eyes. She sent me on an errand and lectured the class to stop their bullying behaviour. This happened many times till the teasing and intimidation finally stopped. At that time I was in the tenth grade.

The point I am trying to make here is that bullying in school has existed since time immemorial. Most children are born with no sense of diplomacy and go to school to learn manners and good behaviour. Teachers being the only grown ups in the vicinity are responsible in ensuring that kids learn appropriate decorum.

Today, teaching is seen as any other job. Parents and friends usually advise young women to take up a career in teaching, as it is a ‘cushy’ job. The pay is good, work hours are less and holidays are a plenty. Many teachers once employed, do nothing except walk into a class, give out homework and ask kids to tell their private tutors to help them out.

Don't try to fix the students, fix ourselves first. The good teacher makes the poor student good and the good student superior. When our students fail, we, as teachers, too, have failed.” ~Marva Collins, Teacher.

A teacher is a second parent to every child he or she teaches. As a good human being, it is the responsibility of the teacher to notice and redress any wrongs or unfairness to a child regardless of the background of the child. This includes bullying and teasing. After all, only a person who is present at the scene of action can help prevent it. It is only when teachers ignore such happenings that students end up having to take things into their own hands.

What say you??


  1. agree, agree. I did not face any bullying in school, thank god, but my brother did. Being a Sikh and a child at the same time is not easy. I would find his hair pulled out, his "jooda" ruffled almost everyday. Pity the teachers do nothing.

  2. Well, I would say it has to be a combination of factors, all of which contribute to a certain extent. These would include apathy on the part of the teachers, the parents not having sufficient time to build up a strong relationship with children, among others.

    My parents had to get me admitted to a different school, after 1984, since I was facing problems.

  3. Can't put all the responsibility on the teachers. They can be held responsible to only control the situation in the class. I have noticed that mean parents have mean children. So humanity and selflessness and love and kindness etc. are qualities that have to be really inculcated at home.

  4. school shooting!? omg!!
    i had desire to kill my teacher coz she always made someone cry and enjoyed bullying.
    teachers here are worse than students sometimes.
    one girl was stabbed by a male teacher.
    that was a very nice of your dad to stand for u, kitty-chan!


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