February 13, 2018
“I say we live in a different world now, simply because there was a time when doctors and teachers were most respected, to the extent that they were on a pedestal that no one could question or doubt them. But now, doctors are seeking protection from agitated patients who take matters in hand when angry. Similarly, student-teacher relationship has gone through a major change. Now students don’t think twice before acting aggressively against a teacher,” says Munmun Chakraborty, A government School teacher who was discussing the recent incident in Tamil Nadu that shook many teachers. As reported, the headmaster of a school in Tirupattur, Tamil Nadu, was stabbed reportedly by a 11th standard student for being hauled up by the teacher.
Not to forget the recent photo that has gone viral across Tamil Nadu, which shows G Ballu, the Headmaster of a Government school in Villupuram literally begging his students to attend classes. This video was taken in January. “Look at the back-to-back incidents that are happening all over the country. In Haryana, a Class 2 student pumped bullets into his school principal with his father’s licensed .32 bore revolver, for restricting him. The injured 47-year-old principal of Swami Vivekanand School, Ritu Chhabra was rushed to a hospital where she succumbed to her injuries,” says Manjari G, a Grade 11th Sociology teacher in a Private School. She adds, “We are scared of reprimanding students now, for their good, we think twice before discipling them, lest they take out their angst against us in an inappropriate manner. Also reported was an incident of student hitting a female teacher in the school premises under the alleged influence of alcohol. This has raised several questions about our security in the campus.” Echoing similar concerns, Subhamita T says, “Students misbehaving with teachers has become a common practice. We lay a lot of importance on children’s safety, which is completely justified but what about our safety? Doctors have gone on dharna to voice their insecurity, but we haven’t done that yet. We are an integral part of the education system,and it is the responsibility of the school to protect the teacher. Many a times, incidents are brushed under the carpet or the school reaches a compromise, and therefore we don’t hear many incidents.”
Teachers union has raised many valid demands after repeated incidents of assault on teachers. Some of which are : to take strict action against the culprit, to take suitable steps for safety of the teachers, exemplary punishment should be given to the defaulters by registering FIR against him and deputing the PCRs outside schools.