Don’t Hit Me Teacher

July 19, 2010
It is not possible that you grew up without getting spanked or punished ever in your childhood. But in those days, we had ways to laugh it off and may be sometimes we thought we deserved it somehow, so took it lightly.
But now, with the innocence of children getting lost so early in their lives, with exposure of media, the social network bullying, with excessive stress of studies, games, extra activities, and mounting parental expectation, a child is no more the same free spirit. He not just carries the burden of his heavy bag; he also bears on his shoulders the responsibility to be a good student, a good sportsperson, a guitarist, a skating or chess enthusiast. He not just deals with (and some times succumb to the peer pressure), he also bears the brunt of a hassled, irritated and stress laden teacher.

Corporal punishment in educational institutions has been banned by Supreme Court in the year 2000. But how does that matter? Schools are still professing physical and/or mental punishments to students.

         Just to elaborate :
Physical punishment such as hitting with a scale on the palms, or with a pencil stuck between fingers and a scale hit over the hand, or caning or twisting ears or slapping or standing with hands up or a chair position or even worse the arms crossed through legs holding ears, making a child stand in the sun for hours etc.

Mental punishment like getting slapped by the opposite sex, scolding abusing and humiliating, labeling a child for misbehaviour and parading him around the school or making a child stand at the back of the class, or sit on the floor of the class are very severe but still exist. If you went to a public school or your child studies in a public school, then you might think its done in Govt schools. Partly, yes, socioeconomic status determines a lot in this.

Every other day, the newspapers are full of incidents where a child got fractured by teacher’s beatings, or committed suicide either due to insult and embarrassment meted out to him in school. As if Rouvanjit Rowla’s death was not enough, still children are being disciplined by way of physical punishments. It is unfortunate. Being a mother, it breaks my heart each time I read a news like that. It scares me.

While searching on Internet about the article, I came across two more such cases from south of India. Horrifying they were :

While searching on Internet about the article, I came across two more such cases from south of India. Horrifying they were :

      A 6 year old girl was talking in the class. And the next moment, a lungi clad male teacher barges in the class, picks up the girl, takes her to science lab and sexually assaults her, in the presence of a lady teacher, for being indisciplined in the class. Moreover, when she cries out in pain, cloth is stuffed in her mouth and she is threatened not to tell anyone.

     A 16 year old boy commits suicide after he is thrashed in the class by his teacher for missing his school on his birthday.

Now, the question is what do we do as parents? Yes, true, we all are educated, we can fight for our children. But what if, your child gets too scared to talk? Its really important to keep the communication channel open with our kids, always. Also, if the child is scared or nervous about going to school, his fears should not be laughed away.

In fact what I feel is that when we can hit back in self defense as a grown up, why can’t a child hit back, if he feels enough is enough. As it is no body, not even one’s parents have any right to hit a child, then why a teacher? (By the way, draft Prevention of Offences Against Child Bill, if passed, will ban domestic corporal punishment to a child also. I so very welcome this move!)

Who is a teacher or a principal of a staff member to take away a child’s dignity? If a teacher hits a child and thereby violating the child’s Right to Life, then a child also has the right to hit back to save himself for any further harm, and then no disciplinary action should be there against him. Because, it’s the teacher who started it all. Why do we have to believe “jo bade karte hain, woh hamare bhale ke liye hota hai” (whatever elders do is for our betterment). Its much better than another child dying first mentally, emotionally and then physically that he learns to give back to such demonish, cruel and heartless teachers.

Dear reader, what is your say about it? To some, it would be revolting, hitting one’s teacher….. whatever you think, please let me know….

A Restless Mind with
A Sensitive Heart


The Restless Souldier said...

Hi Restless,

with you on this.

my only concern is where to draw the line...

I guess the line should be to punish the crime and not the student...something like that.

Anonymous said...

I know of schools and even some parents who somehow are still convinced that a little humiliation and violence could benefit the child. When parents do complain the schools threaten to harass them by punishing the child or throwing the child out of school on some other pretext.

Also see the unlimited power schools seem to have on children - if Ruchika Girhotra had not been thrown out of her school for being a victim of sexual molestation, she might have been alive today.

Much needed post. Voting for you on Indiblogger.

Addy said...

Had a lump in my throat while reading this. Hitting back at teachers? Pretty strong statement to make! Well, you are right in your argument, but "guru ka sthan mata pita se ucchya hota hai" thats what we have been taught since forever. Quiet a controversial and debatable topic!
But true, the teacher has no right to hit or abuse a child in anyway.

Unknown said...

Hi restless, I know there are miles to go before us, but I would like to add here that lots of things have changed since we were kids, I remember being hit on my knuckles and then being made to stand on the table, this too in the best Indian School in Dubai, but today, I've noticed that parents come to schools at the drop of a hat!
Being a teacher it’s a difficult job; when kids use this weapon against innocent teachers.
I think the kids need to be told to behave and actions also need to be taken and by adopting the right methods kids can be molded in the right direction.

A Restless Mind With A Sensitive Heart! said...

Hi restless souldier! Well u r right, the point is where to draw the line and how to draw the line?


A Restless Mind With A Sensitive Heart! said...

@ Indian homemaker. You have a very very valid point. Schools of course have immense power, it can work for or against the child to drive a point home. thanks you so much for your valuable comments and also promoting my post in Indiblogger!

A Restless Mind With A Sensitive Heart! said...

@ Pooja. Hi! True the situation is better now as compared to 20 yrs back. But the change is mostly in urban areas, where the parents are educated and aware and well off too. But in rural India and urban poor, the state is terrible. I appreciate ur point that it can be used as a weapon against the teacher.

Same point, how to draw the line? thanks for commmenting dear!

A Restless Mind With A Sensitive Heart! said...

@ Addy, Hi! I absolutely agree with u that we r taught to respect our teachers and gurus, and I am a fan of my school teachers and love them. I have all the respect for them. But, but, if a teacher forgets that he is a teacher and not a butcher, then why should an innocent child get trampled under him? why should he not defend himself and save his life? that's my question?

thanks so much for sharing ur view Addy!

Bhargavi said...

thats a sensitive+sensible post .. you were asking me abt blogadda rite , not much sweat there. register at blogadda and submit ur blog , that gets goin .. hv fun .. cheers ...

A Restless Mind With A Sensitive Heart! said...

looking for maya. thanks BEE !

Niket said...

This was worth a read! :)

A Restless Mind With A Sensitive Heart! said...

Hey niket - thanks!

"just a pen in my hand" said...

ahem ! hitting back at teachers...r u by any chance a fan of pink floyd ? haha...jokes apart , tats a nice topic u brought up....n ya , no teacher has te rite to take away te dignity of a child...such harassment cn lead to abnormal psychological impact on te child...but , te question stil comes to mind...isnt punishment an useful tool for teachn te child wat is right n wat is wrong ? wel , we hv to draw te line sumwhr as to wat deserves punishment n wat doesnt , but hitting a child is absolutely a no-no ...i mean , its jus a small child , whch idiot shud hit such small children !!!! parents shud play a positive role in tis matter....

Karthik P said...

Hi Restless,

I agree with what you have said.
Even though incident like beating, sexual harassment to children appears in News every now and then, still these cases are not on the decline. The government should take strict action against those teachers/schools where such incident happens (or) if possible pass a law, so that these incidents does not occur at all

A Restless Mind With A Sensitive Heart! said...

@ Just a pen inmy hand- hope people understand this.

@ Karthik P - law already exists against corporal punishment. awareness is coming very slowly. Now even, the law against domestic corporal punishment is coming, which means, parents also cannot hit children. will be writing about it too! thanks for commenting karthik.

Bhavana Rao said...

Nice topic you have taken here.. if parents are supportive then things can be far better..

Lobo said...

Though I never felt good as a kid when I being punished, I feel it was kind of necessary. Of course not one of those gruesome punishment I got as a child in the hands of my teachers as well as my parents. It's okay if it's at certain extent. It should never lead to mental, sexual harassment, or affect ones dignity.

I have a friend here who is a teacher(in US) and she never believed me about the punishments I got as a child or the kids in India are subjected to even now. She told me that anything more than a gentle tap on the shoulder can lead to legal complications in this country!

animesh said...

Hitting back your teacher is obviously not a good idea for it may bounce back in even more stronger form this time. What concerns me is kids dying because of this humiliation and we still seem to be neutral. It calls for entire renovation of the society. Will these teachers like this had it to happen with their own kids. Certainly not... then why not to treat other's kid as your own. And most important, how can you hit a kid yaar... come on, they're so sweet and innocent. There are other ways to make them understand.
I was also shocked of one such news somewhere in Nov 2010 and one of my posts was based on that...
Shocking! Kids becoming handicapped at schools!! They are dying!!!
Nice post buddy... keep it up

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