What does the shocking video of a teacher’s slapping a boy 40 times tell us?

It’s only been a few weeks since we saw the video of a child being unnecessarily terrorised because she wasn’t able to remember her 1-2-3s. Everyone, including all of us at Zenparent, were completely outraged, and we put out our opinion about how hitting a child is no solution. The wave had barely died down when another video surfaced – a scarier one this time, of a child who was slapped some 40 times, pulled by his necktie and shoved against a desk for not saying “present” at the time of a roll call in school. 

I don’t know if you have seen the video, but it left me speechless. How is it that we adults believe it is okay to hit a child? A child, after all, is the abridged version of us, with rights that cannot be abridged. A child is a person – as much as we are – and he is as observant and as reactive of situations as we are. 

In our previous post, we had talked about how irresponsible and dissatisfied mothers make for angry parents. Does it also apply to teachers? Speaking to a gathering once, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam had said, “Teaching is a very noble profession that shapes the character, caliber, and future of an individual.” Teachers have the responsibility of awakening the joy of discovery in children; teachers are supposed to build hope. Teachers are supposed to ignite a passion for learning in our children. 

But how do you deal with a teacher who brings a child to tears with physical assault? How do you deal with a teacher who is unable to leave their personal frustrations outside the classroom? What was evident from the teacher’s actions in this case is that she had some sort of deep-seated frustration – or perhaps stress, for all you know – that she vented on the little boy. There is no way that she would have imagined it was okay to do what she did, for something as trivial as not answering during roll call. Is sacking the teacher enough? Should she have been sent for some kind of court-ordered therapy? 

We know this incident happened because there was a CCTV in the classroom. How many schools have CCTV? Using excessive force and punishing a child for a cause that is not justifiable is prohibited under the section 89 of the IPC. Yet, the same IPC, vide section 88, allows the headmaster or a guardian the freedom to inflict pain through corporal punishment in schools in India as long as the reason is justifiable. We need mature laws if we are to stop this kind of behaviour in classrooms – we need laws that leave no loopholes if we are to ensure our children grow up without being traumatised. 

We get that it is no longer easy being a teacher. As much as we’d like to believe in ideals, it isn’t always possible to remain patient. But does that give teachers a right to inflict corporal punishment? Does that give a teacher to vent on a child for any reason whatsoever? 

We think not. We have to understand that individuals who act the way the teacher did in this video, or the mother did in the other, are angry people. They need help. They must have accountability. They need to be told that they have to channel that inner rage elsewhere. Every time they use a child to do this, they create a Frankenstein – a monster in the making who grows up with rage and a belief that it is no big deal to act deviant. Every time we allow this to happen, we are breeding monsters, and this time, it really must be stopped. 

Watch the video here!

Feature Image Source:India Today

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