Sharing an email from Priya.
I was wondering if you would be interested in doing a post on this recent event:http://www.bangaloremirror.com/bangalore/cover-story/With-Baby-gone-our-lives-have-been-destroyed/articleshow/45972495.cms
This girl (and her mother) were shamed for befriending/giving a male student a hug and the girl committed suicide. My heart goes out to her and her family for suffering such a sudden and unforeseen tragedy!
Articles such as this describe the school’s apathy towards this tragedy:
What are the thoughts of the IHM blog community on this?
Some questions in particular:
1. Are schools right in enforcing such strict boundaries between interactions between girl and boy students?
2. Is it even the school’s perogative to tell someone who to be friends with and who they shouldn’t be friends with? Should it be left to the student and the parents (in case of minors) to determine what level of ‘freedom’ and ‘openness’ they’re comfortable with.
3. Are teachers/principals in the Indian school system bullies? Unlike the West where bullying is a problem among students, I feel that in the Indian system the teachers themselves are emotionally detached disciplinarians who sometimes pick more on the weaker kids with complete disregard for their feelings and self-worth.
4. Has the notion of ‘counselling students’ in Indian schools progressed beyond yelling/hitting/humiliating and punishing kids?
5. Why is it that repeatedly in cases like this (and others of sexual abuse etc) that the school is more concerned about ‘being right’ than ‘being human’?
6. Just so we examine both sides of the coin, do parents actually expect schools to take strict disciplinary action if their kids are seen getting too friendly with the opposite sex? If this school didn’t report incidents like these and ‘nip them in the bud’, would parents (not of the girl in question, but in general) consider the school (staff) irresponsible? Are schools like this merely pandering to Indian parents with seriously backward ideas? If that is the case, can schools even realistically be expected to follow a different approach?
7. And lastly, an open-ended question – thoughts on how best to handle situations like these, both at school and at home?