If You Wont, Who Will?

 The case of the 6 year old raped in a prestigious school in Bangalore, left me shaken. Very badly. I have a 6 year old at home, and I cant imagine anyone doing anything to her. It just gives me goosebumps, the very thought.
I can imagine what the parents of the child will be undergoing.
Surprisingly, there are news reports that the school doesn’t claim any responsibility for safety. How on earth can a school say that? I send my child to school for 6 to 7 hours. School is called our second home. That’s what we learnt when we were kids. I remember writing essays on school, when I was a kid, saying the school is our second home and teachers are like our parents.
I have always been taught to bow down to my teachers, that they are the final authority in everything they teach us.
And then this?
I am so shattered as I read it, that I feel numb. How can a school say its not responsible for the safety of the child. I can understand the school saying its not responsible for the property/things which the child brings to school – you know – pencil, eraser, scale, and in some higher classes, perhaps mobile phones or something. (Which actually shouldn’t even be allowed in school, but that’s a different post in itself)
But, not responsible for safety?? What sort of a logic is that?
Again, I can understand if the school says that once the child leaves the school premises or the school bus, they are not responsible for the safety. You know, once you get down the school bus, its your parents who are responsible for your safety. But inside the school isn’t it the school’s responsibility. If they are not responsible, who is?
Whom will you trust your 5 years and 6 year olds? Who will take care of them? Who will be careful about them, when they go for picnics or field trips or just stay inside the school and attend gym period?
I don’t know if there is any logic in the school not claiming responsibility at all?
I honestly tried thinking about this safety thing from a school administrator’s point of view. But I still cant think of a single argument on why schools can say they are NOT responsible for a child’s safety!
For parents, on what basis do you send your child to school? Whom do you believe? How do you know that your child is safe?
For a mother who is not in touch with her child for nearly 10-12 hours a day, I am shuddering this moment, wondering how safe is my child? Whom shall I trust? Its really sad that at this moment, I trust no one. The nice bus conductor who puts her on the bus whenever she falters, or the driver of the bus who waits for her to climb before starting the bus. The Sanskrit sir of hers who gave a wonderful speech on the birth of language, or her gym sir who taught her how to do ‘gulantis’ in an easy way? Can I trust her class teacher to keep an eye on her and figure out where she is all the time, or can I trust the computer teacher to ensure that every child is back to the class after coming from the computer class? Can I believe the aunty who makes her sit in the bus or can I believe the aunty who sits near the toilets to ensure that the kids don’t fumble and fall?
I don’t know whom to trust and who not to!
If schools don’t accept responsibility for the safety of the child, who will? Can we really send our children to school at all?

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41 Responses to If You Wont, Who Will?

  1. I am reading this past midnight here and just so upset and unable to sleep.Your links obviously led to more links on the case and googling. This is one of the few schools in Blore I know the names of as a lot of my colleagues who have returned to India send their kids here.Like you, I have the same questions and am scared and confused. I actually gave my sleeping little one a big hug and woke up my husband to talk about how disturbed I was.Sigh.

  2. srividhya says:

    I was shaken too. I am not able to express myself here. I am totally taken aback and shocked. We do believe in school and send kids but this incident?????
    You are correct RM, there is no logic behind school not taking responsibility.

  3. Unfortunately, school education is the only activity which is still a ‘seller’s market’. Hence, the school managements think they can get away with anything. They do get away with some really unreasonable stands simply because parents do not protest due to the genuine fear that their child may be victimised. Unfortunately, whenever a few parents protest, there are many other parents who are willing, maybe eager, to support the management. However, if the protesting parents persist, things can be changed. I say this on the basis of personal experience.

    If all parents refuse to sign the declaration that the school is not responsible for the child’s safety, the school can do nothing.

    Actually ensuring safety of children in schools is something that needs to be worked on jointly by the schools, parents (through the PTAs) and the government.

    I hope that more citizens have your attitude: “It could be my child.”

    • R's Mom says:

      you are right..and often parents dont speak up because they are scared that later it will affect their child and the school will take it ‘out’ on their child!

  4. Santulan says:

    What’s scarier is that this, was not done by another visitor to the school but the staff who are supposed to look out for the children

  5. Sapna says:

    Appalling! That school needs a lesson!

  6. Rachna says:

    Yes, the incident is sickening! And this school is prestigious. They charge through the nose and this is what they do. Every single thing about how they handled this incident has been terrible. Parents and Bangaloreans are up in arms. Let’s see if any action gets taken again the schools. More importantly how can the government step in and ensure that our schools take responsibility and that our children are safe in schools :/.

  7. Jyoti says:

    i totally agree with what you just said.. i’ve been saying the same thing since i heard about it.. it is so frustrating to be in this situation.. i want to do something about it.. but i’ve no idea what to do.. there’s a demonstration/ dharna planned from the school .. anyone can attend and give support to the cause.. but is that enough????

    i need to some solid action :((((

  8. simple girl says:

    so shocking with the schools claiming any they do not have any responsibility for the students’ safety …

  9. HereandNow says:

    This is so disturbing. I cannot believe the attitude these schools have towards safety of children.
    If this is the case with prominent and reputed institutions, then it is time we stress more on educating children on safety and security.

  10. Bikramjit says:

    This is atrocious. .I totally understand the fear.. what the hell..
    What ia this world coming to..and a school which is supposed to be a place where w learn the most and grow up to be whatvwe are now is where such an act happened .. very shameful. .
    The school is saying this to get away feom be8ng held responsible. .for thie heinous crime.. I am sure no police or law will let them get away with this stupid logic…

    I hope yhe parents take action and make sure their wards are taken away from the school and put in a school which is at least a bit more responsible.
    Its business these days and thw idea is to earn money.. schools are not the schools I or you went to..and for teachers its a job for which thwy are paid.. simple..They are not bothered about anything else..

    • R's Mom says:

      yep..schools have become pretty commercial…I dont think, I will agree to what you say about teachers..I know of some teachers who are really dedicated..but after this incident, I dont know..I really dont know

      • Bikramjit says:

        I am sorry you dont agree ..

        but then the school is made up of teachers, without them school loses the meaning. .

        exceptions are always there , some teachers yeah.. but I am sure in the good old days it was All teachers were dedicated .. at least when i was in school i had lovely teachers ..
        I am what I am today because of their hard work .. whatever or whereever I have reached its because of them who worked hard to teach me ..

  11. Mukund says:

    Let us not generalize. Speak to your school and R’s class teacher on this topic. IMO, just bringing this topic on their radar will be helpful. Regarding school buses; am a lot less confident.

    Most importantly, “listen” to everything that your daughter says. I understand a lot of whats happening in her life by “listening” to her play and how she constructs her play world.

    I have a 5 year old daughter too and my initial reaction was exactly the same as your 😦

  12. Little Swan says:

    Yday when i heard this news , i was literally blasting the 2 persons..security watchman and gym instructor..I was shouting at my high spirits…I was literally arguing with my hubby ..saying the best punishment would be “Just put both Sick Minded persons kneel down NUDEEEEEEE before all parents n public….And their Reproductive organ should be CUT Down brutelessly without concern or mercy…How merciless , they think of a 6 year old kid in that way…IDIOTIC SICK MINDED PEOPLE…THEY MUST BE ALL BE CUT DOWN TO DEATH IMMEDIATELY WITHOUT ANY COURT PROCEEDINGS……..i was telling 2 solutions to my hubby for this….Why do ever these SICK MINDED people ever have that kind of feeeling when they see even little small kids of 6 years old…Here in Belgium and Amsterdam , Sex is legalised R,s Mom..I never see any man watching a lady dressed up short or even dressless..A man never ever cares about the short or NO dress code of women..The Reason of “”Scarce Dress ” is not all a reason for RApes in India..The mind of man in India is corrupted and sick..How could they have such a feeling seeing a Well dressed uniformed 6 year old kid……….Nasty,,,,idiotic….I Plead NaMO to legalise SEX in India , so whichever IDIOT SICK MINDED men wants to have sex other than ur woman , Go DIE in this SEX HOUSES…NEVER EVER DARE TO TURN ur reporductive system towards my KID….As a MOM , i will never dare to STAB UR REPRODUCTIVE ORGAN TO DEATH….SO Beware SICK MINDED MEN of INDIA…..Pls NAMO DO somethin rude or brutal to this kind of MEN , and never ever they must escape through the illegal roads of INDIAN LAW……………………Huh…………..i have never beeen so rageous R s MOM…But today i outbursted ….Thanks for space to express my views …And daily i wait literally to read ur blogss ;))

  13. Mrs B says:

    The same thoughts have been going through my mind since yesterday RM! I am basically from Bangalore. And it was always been safe laid-back place. So this came as a shocker. Especially the fact that this issue has snow-balled and other schools have asked parents to sign declaration which absolves schools from all responsibilities concerning the safety of the children. Apparently parents are threatened that their kids would be expelled if they go to the media about the said form. I am craving to get back to Bangalore and India. But such things have got me all worked up…

  14. mahabore says:

    I just wonder when this regressive mindset of Indian men towards women and girls in general will improve. Hopefully, Gen Next, ie, kids who are 8-9 yrs old today learn from all these incidents that are reported in the media and go on to become more sensitive towards women in general. That probably is the only long term solution to this issue.

    As regards the immediate case, am just hoping that politicians don’t use this as yet another incident to grab some eyeballs and then conveniently forget all about it in a week’s time. That being said, being the cynic that I am, I am not too hopeful of any solution coming out from the Govt or the school, as they probably just don’t care.

    It is only when more and more parents of all schools in Bangalore get together will something more permanent come from this incident.

    • R's Mom says:

      I wonder too Jairam..I am praying and hoping the generation which we are bringing up do understand that men and women are pretty much the same…

      I really hope some concrete steps are taken to ensure safety of our kids

  15. Deepa says:

    I’n sure you’ve given your daughter the good touch, bad touch talk umpteen times but give it again to her every now and then and let her know anytime she even slightly feels uncomfortable about and adult’s or even fellow student’s touch she should that very day inform you and you will never, ever be judgmental of her or shame her in anyways. Why I haven’t recommended that my son first tell his teacher or an authority at school because many a times teachers have a tendency to gloss over an incident the child reports and can make the child change his or her own version of what happened. So my exhortation to V is that he must always come home and tell me or his Dad first and we will discuss it together and then decide what is to be done. Now of course, if he’s in some kind of grave physical or emotional danger outside he must yell it out to any adult who can help.

    I’m totally shaken by this incident given that I have a few RTI friends who have kids enrolled in that school. And what on earth is the world coming to if even six year olds are the target of men’s godawful lust? And schools that bully parents into signing forms that allow them to wash their hands of taking care of our kids whilst they are actually “in their care” whether they believe that or not is downright ridiculous and outrageous. But only collective and firm boycott of signing of forms will work. One lone parent or a minority of them refusing to do so will not.

    • R's Mom says:

      yes definitely speak to R about the good touch and bad touch..and keep talking about it casually once in a while to keep it in her mind…

      gosh, it must be scary for your friends…Its just that we feel…’what if it were my kid’!

  16. Kavs says:

    I am just filled with anger and disgust – I didn’t know about this news… Have we reached the end of hope? How can little children be safe anywhere if even schools are not safe anymore? I just can’t express myself R’s Mom… This is beyond my comprehension. 😦

  17. Chai says:

  18. Veens says:

    I just don’t see how this could have happened!!!!! I cannot tell you how many times I have fretted about Aarya being in school… and I keep telling him about bad touch and good touch etc… but what does a 4- 6 yr old understand really? How can i tell him.. please do not trust your teachers… when I keep chanting day in and day out..listen to them… listen to your teachers!!!!!

    How is a kid that age know what really is happening? So so so so so scared R. you have no idea, I cried so much just thinking about the poor girl who had to go thru it, and then she goes and tells a teacher who doesn’t do anything to protect that precious little girl.

    I cannot imagine what the poor parents are going through. How do they talk to their baby about what happened? how do you talk to anyone at all? How will they ever send her to any school ever again?

    I do not know, seriously how i am going to forget this incident and send my little precious babies to school.

    How how how can we rest in peace without knowing whats happening?

    I almost wrote a letter to the principal here asking her, what measures where they taking for my kids safety?

    i feel just so helplesssss

    • R's Mom says:

      hugs hugs hugs..I can totally understand where you are coming from..I am in the same boat..hugs hugs hugs..and like some commenters said…listen to your child..always

  19. Mini Nair says:

    I think the school’s principal has to be held accountable. f he is held by authorities then it will be a lesson for other schools. Also, the child was punished by her teacher for misbeaving and she was sent to a empty gym room. Which idiot would do that for a 6 year old? How can you call this school prestigious when it punishes a 6 year old for misbehaving. The teacher who sent her there should also be charged with a crime.

  20. anisnest says:

    at loss of words RM.. atrocious.. those criminals should be shot in public..

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