15-year-old girl jumps from 10th floor apartments
BENGALURU: A 15-year-old girl allegedly jumped to her death from the window of her 10th floor flat in south-east Bengaluru on Monday afternoon.
… The girl had been suspended from her HSR Layout school over her ties with a male classmate. [link]
Reproduced below is Monali Mohala’s father Dr Mahala’s version of the events:
On Monday, Monali was allegedly seen talking closely with and exchanging a hug with a boy student in the field during lunchtime. The hug was a friendly gesture since the two thought they might not see each other as often after the exams. This was the ‘objectionable behaviour’ my daughter reportedly displayed.
How did that warrant such a stern punishment? My daughter and the boy were made to stand in the corridor for over two hours, and they had not even eaten lunch. She was hungry, angry, and depressed when she came home and read the letters left on the table just as my wife went inside the room to get ready to come meet me.
The language used in both letters is derogatory and shocking – as though Monali was some petty criminal! We are not living in the 16th century anymore; our attitude and outlook toward adolescents, especially in co-educational schools, needs to change.
Counselling sessions and gentle advice should be the order of the day, keeping in mind how sensitive and volatile teenagers are. Our daughter is gone, and we feel like we have nothing left to live for anymore, but instead of targeting the school, we want to try bringing a change in the system.
We seem to have a long, long way to go. Also, this was not how coed schools were in 70s and 80s.
Here are some questions I too would like to ask.
What’s the rule? What’s the norm for inter sex mingling in coed schools? This question has arisen after Monali’s death.
Bangalore University had, a few years ago, come out with a rule to stop boys and girls sitting next to each other and asked them to have only necessary interaction with each other. This rule fell into disuse due to widespread opposition to it from both within and outside the student community.
However, our information is that many co-ed schools do enforce it informally, and do not allow boys and girls to sit together in the higher classes. They even go so far as to regulate their movements and curtail dialogue between specific individuals if they suspect a growing closeness between them within the campus. The male teaching staff keep an eye on the boys and the female staff on the girls. First course of action is a warning, then counseling, next, the parents are informed and finally they are summoned and the child suspended. The use of CCTVs’ to monitor their activities on campus are not uncommon.
Schools both feel and are held responsible by parents and public for such untoward events.
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