Friday, December 3, 2010

Humiliation: The Teachers way: Why do they do this?

I was driving the other day through outskirts of Bangalore. I happened to see a school, a very mediocre one, compared to the high end Bangalore schools. In the verandah I saw a kid, kneeling on the ground. He for sure was ousted from the class and made to stand out, probably a punishment for a “gross crime” he has committed. I could not stand the sight and felt really furious. The thought of a tiny kid being humiliated in front of a whole school and passing public made me very restless.

I was an average kid all through my childhood. Schooling wasn’t something I liked, though I never hated it. That was till my 4th standard. I don’t remember what was the sin I did, but for some apparent reason I was punished and then taken to the headmistress (HM) one day. I remember panicking as I was being made to walk like a criminal to the judge. I was caned by the HM and then I was taken back to the class. The whole of that day I was made to stand outside my class room. I would sit down when my legs would tire, and when I heard the teacher or any passerby coming close, I would stand up again. I do remember having wept a lot that day.

The next day I went inside my class and sat as usual. The teacher came during the second period, and seeing me in the class got infuriated. She took me to the HM again, and this time I was made to stand outside the HM’s room. Three humiliating days were to follow. I stood there the whole day, and had to go in and ask permission to go to the loo during the break. She would nod, not even looking up at me. Other kids would walk past and laugh at me standing there, few made fun of me, and few sympathized with me. But I was a laughing stock for all to see. Some parents who came into the school would come and ask me what happened, and I would sob seeing them. By evening, I felt like garbage, not even wanting to go back home.

I did not know what to do the next day, so I went kept the bag in the class and went to the staff room to ask my teacher. Thinking of it now, I feel, she thought I was sarcastic or maybe I was showing attitude, what ever it may be, she got furious and asked me to stand in front of the HM’s room. Surprisingly, I did not feel bad, nor did I cry. I remember telling one senior that, I have been made the watchman for the HM. I would see kids being brought in like sheep to the butcher. There was fear in their eyes as they would go in, then they would be caned and they would go out crying. We would exchange looks as if to say, I understand buddy!! Later that day, a senior came with a box of sweets. She distributed it inside the office and then gave to HM. On the way out, she came to me, and offered me one. I heard the HM shouting from inside, “not to him”. I was a culprit who wasn’t eligible for any pleasures. I had started hating the HM and the school as such by then. There was some rage inside me that was burning.

Day Three, I didn’t even go to the class. I don’t know what had transpired in me, but I went straight to the HM’s room and stood outside with my bag kept beside me. I started wishing all the teachers who would pass by with a smile. I sat there and ate my lunch. During the break I would have kids around me, watching me, as if I was a joker out of a circus tent. I wished I could vanish. I wished I fell so ill that someone would take me away and I could hide. Nothing happened. I was humiliated more and felt more depressed.

Though I changed to a new school next year, those four days had a major impact on me. I fell so low on my self confidence. I did not want to go to school anymore. I didn’t want to see any of my friends. I stopped looking at schoolmates, was worried that they may be laughing at me. I started running away from everything.

This may have happened to many, and so many would have brushed it aside and not let it affect them. But it affected me to no ends, and continued harassing me till my tenth, when I finally could move on.

I still don’t know what they were trying to achieve by doing that to me. Whatever it was, all they managed to do ,was to kill the self respect of a student and make him feel rotten. I have never been able to pardon them for what they have done to me, and I won’t ever. I hate them from the core of my heart and wish no kid goes through this again.


Soup said...

"Whatever it was, all they managed to do ,was to kill the self respect of a student and make him feel rotten." That is one bit, and the other thing they achieved was losing any respect that one would have had for them otherwise, isn't it? For some strange reason, these are the people who demand respect as opposed to those who command respect.

Saborni said...

My heart goes out to console you... I remember mine too

Vishnu Agnihotri said...

So sad to read about this... Adults abusing their power over children is horrifying