October 21, 2015
Last week, Hemalatha B., a resident of Race Course Road, took her few-months-old infant girl in her pram, for her regular evening walk. A 10-year-old girl came to her and asked her if the child was born out of cutting or pushing? Hemalatha was stunned. She replied that the child was born the normal way and walked away, telling herself that she will never return to this place again.
Children these days have become unimaginably knowledgeable about everything that they should know about, and things far beyond their age. Probably as a result of it, they want to dress up like adults, talk like adults, and, behave like one. Are the kids of this generation growing faster that they should? Only time has the answer.
The present scenario leaves us with just two options – control the kids and ask them to be their age, or allow themselves to be what they are. While some teachers and parents feel that the former is harmful, others share the opinion that the latter is dangerous.
In the wake of the recent incident where a school forcibly cut the hair of their students short, Anju Rajendran, whose child studies in a city convent school, asks,” “Why do we have school uniforms in place? Why do we have a dress code? If school children are not able to follow the dress code and uniform guidelines, will they stick to dress code at their workplace? Children need to be taught discipline while they are young. If they do not obey rules, there is nothing wrong in enforcing it by forceful methods.”
A teacher of a private school, who does not wish to be named, says “School is a place where children from all walks of life come to learn. It is the second home for the child. Children spend most of their waking time in school. All kids must feel equal and they must be treated equally. I honestly do not think that the incident is wrong.”
Rhea Pillai, a student of Class V of a private higher secondary school in the city, feels that such strict dress codes in schools are totally uncalled for. “Whenever there is a family function or a wedding I am the only one who has short nails because my school wouldn’t let me grow my nails. My class teacher and the school management are very strict about girls having short nails. No flowers are allowed in school.”
R. Indushree, who is in her 30s, feels that media exposure is to be blamed. She recollects her school days, in the 1990s, when life was much simpler. She remembers using nail colours only when she was allowed to wear colour dresses to schools, on special occasions. Even using perfumes was considered unusual. Girls used talcum powder then, she recalls. Times have changed, she admits. “My neighbour’s son, who is in high school, recently got a tattoo done on his back. He chose to get it done on his back because his school does not allow permanent tattoos,” she says.