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.
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??