Bullying by teachers in schools and colleges

Bullying is now beheld as an offence of national prominence but as it was earlier alleged as a kid-to-kid delinquency, now it has gained multiplied attention in the foray because of teachers in schools or professors who misapply their power to intimidate students in exchange of either some favours or to mollify their ego. It is often an impression perceived too unlikely that a person with a position of responsibility can actually mentally harass an individual of not much private significance to him, but this is a grim veracity in India in today’s times. Having a blatant and ignorant attitude to such behaviour on parents’ part has been observed to aggravate the situation. So when it becomes too multifaceted to address or resolve a situation where the teacher’s approach turns from intimidation to harassment or insult, to the point that one abhors going to their institutions, its time parents identify what is troubling their children and support and counsel them correctly. The critically acclaimed movie ‘Stanley Ka Dabba’, directed and scripted by Amole Gupte, depicts the story of a schoolboy Stanley who is unable to bring lunch, which in the long run is discerned by a teacher who has the habit of coercing kids into sharing their food with him. He soon intimidates Stanley to get lunch every day to school, the failure of which shall prohibit Stanley from attending school at all. Although the film’s objective was to represent the issue of child labour in India, yet most part of it displayed how bullying by teachers can affect the day-to-day psychological health of a child.

So when the bully is none but your teacher from school/college, obviously closing your eyes to the situation or walking out on them is not a sustainable option. So what must a student do in that case? Here are few tips:

Try ways for sorting out

Don’t jump into indictments and blame-game right away. Try finding what could be the teacher’s problem with you and whether it can be resolved without involving a third person. Sometimes teachers are aggressive about discipline and specific about their work. Incase you are lacking in those areas, it is better to talk it out with the concerned teacher – ask them to help you in improving and not pertain to personal attacks. If you still get no cooperation, then it’s better to go forward with the matter in hands.

Document every action

Most likely a student will not be believed when he/she approaches the higher authority. Even parents sometimes confuse such situations as an outcome of their children’s misconduct. In such cases, it is always advisable to document all information – like records of conversation or dates and days when a significant situation happened, be it in textual or audio or any form possible. It is a plus point if the document reserved is as objective as possible and excludes personal interpretations but quotes the exact words of the parties involved in a situation.

Build your support-network

Just like documentation, situations like these also require support and witness. What better way to prove one’s claims when they have a group of people having their back with mental and emotional support. When people spot you being treated in biasness, discuss and gather their support by making them feel your situation. This will escalate the weightage of your chances of being heard of.

Communicate it to someone trustworthy

It is advisable to communicate such incidents to your parents which affect your mental or physical health. One who might look upon dealing with all of it alone then there are high chances of falling into depression or being harassed more. Inform it to your parents for a systematic and mature turn of events.

Be aware of bullying laws

Know all your rights and the laws that might or might not apply to your situation. Sometimes one wrong step could ruin your future and one right step could bloom the same. Know when it shall be feasible to call child welfare or when it is best to negotiate in the school itself. The rules or laws which can save you can also turn at you at some point.

Whatever the situation may be, the objective must be to take a stand for you instead of escaping. If you’re right, you won’t be having anything to worry about.

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