What Parents Must do to Stop Corporal Punishment in Schools
Parents in India dread this word ‘corporal punishment’ because it is so rampant in schools across the country. Whether it is a school for the children of the elite class or any category, it is a fact that children are beaten and punished mentally and physically by teachers in schools. More than physical pain, a student undergoes tremendous emotional abuse that affects self-esteem and confidence. An increasing number of students resort to suicides or attempts to do so because they are unable to cope with the emotional abuse and loss of face in front of their classmates. Indian law has never provided shelter to any one who has committed an offence whether by knowledge or without knowledge. For every offence committed by an individual, Indian law prescribes punishment. Therefore, schools should not attempt to save teachers who beat children in their protection.
Indian Law: Nothing Justifies Corporal Punishment in Schools
Section 23 of the Justice Juvenile Act 2000 prescribes punishment for teachers who subject the students in their care to considerable emotional and physical abuse. Let’s not forget, the basic function of schools is to nurture tender minds into a complete personality. After all, the children in school are very young. They have tender minds. By beating and punishing a small child, no one can groom them properly into becoming responsible citizens. Such students will grow more stubborn and rebellious, or turn into a criminal, taking law into his own hands as his legal right.
Indian Law: Parents should complain Against Corporal Punishment
In India, many High Courts and Supreme Court judgments have clearly banned corporal punishment. State governments in India have also passed strict rules to prevent and ban corporal punishment.
Many parents are aware that their children are beaten. They hesitate to complain because they feel that a teacher has the right to punish. It is a fact that education has become a business in India. Hefty donations are collected from parents in some form or the other. Therefore, parents should exercise their right and approach consumer courts for redressal of their grievance for deficient service or lack of service. Take the Delhi High Court judgment in Ganesh Chandra v Jinraj Somani. Now the teachers have no plea to save themselves and they say that they acted in good faith and so, they should be given protection from punishment.
Instead of beating a child and showing a bully’s attitude, a teacher should call an erring child’s parents to discuss anything relating to the child. Recent Indian laws for education make it mandatory for every school to have a child psychiatrist, who will be able to guide children professionally. Even the best schools may not be implementing this because they want to keep the big chunk of donations to themselves. If parents could question these issues and not keep silent about it, we can finally stop the blame game and many children will be saved.
[Gurmeet Singh, the author of this post, is a well-known advocate in the field of criminal law and an avid supporter of LIG.]