New avatar of punishment


Dr Narayanappa Rashmi (name changed), a Class III student of a reputed private school in the city, recently came home complaining of severe pain in legs. Upon enquiry by her parents, she initially refused to disclose the reason. Later, the little girl told that a teacher made her to sit up for 250 times. The crime that she committed was not doing homework.

Harsha (name changed), a Class IV student of another school. He was made to sit in the school bathroom for the whole day, for talking to his bench mate. These are the samples of punishment being given to the children by the private schools.

Unfortunately, these incidents go unnoticed as most of the parents hesitate to complain fearing the future of their wards. Without written complaint, even the department of education cannot initiate action against the guilty teachers. So it has become easy for some teachers to punish the students in their ‘own style’.

Ever since the government banned the corporal punishment in schools, the teachers are finding their own way to punish the little children for petty reasons.

According to teachers, the crimes often committed by students are not doing homework, talking to friends in classrooms and coming to schools in untidy uniforms. Strictly speaking, these are not even fit cases to receive punishment. But, there are teachers, in the name of discipline, are punishing children with or without the knowledge of their respective school managements.

After banning the corporal punishment, no teacher is supposed to cane or hit any student for any mistakes committed. If proved, the guilty teacher can be tried in court and is liable for punishment.

But these things are going on silently in at least some schools in the city. The impact of this, more than the physical pain, is insult that the child suffers. Some students, who have experienced such harsh punishment, either lose interest in studies or refuse to go to schools.


A few sensitive students don’t tell their parents fearing punishment from the latter for violating the school discipline. Is there is none to understand the child’s mentality is a million dollar question.

Recently, Vijay, a class VII student of another private school was asked to take 15 rounds of the school premises, for coming to school without polishing the shoes.

Although, it looks silly, the teachers try to impose discipline on the children who like to play pranks because of age factor. Instead of counselling them, the teachers give them harsh punishment which ultimately affects their psychology. It will also change their perception towards their teachers.

Teacher’s word

A teacher, who worked for a brief period, at a Central School, shared her experience in handling a student, who was branded as ‘brat’ by fellow teachers for his pranks. He was isolated by all the teachers and not make him part of any drama or dance held every year. One day, that teacher had an opportunity to interacting with him.

To her surprise, he was found to be good in academics and extra-curricular activities.

Later, he was taken in a drama and his performance was surprisingly better than his friends. Now, that boy passed out from an engineering college with flying colours and is working for a multinational company. “Had that boy been allowed to grow up in stifling situation, he would have been a different person today”, she says.

Children suffer silently

Dr D Narayanappa, a noted paediatrician opined that corporal punishment causes behavioural problems in children and forces them to tell lies. Bed wetting is a common reaction to it, and irregular bowel movement is another.

Recently, a student was brought to his clinic with bruises all over on his body as teacher beat him black and blue. Many children don’t share the punishments they were accorded in schools fearing scolding from their parents.

They suffer silently and to overcome depression, sometimes turning into drug addicts.

 “In my view children should not be punished; but make them understand their responsibility.

For any minor mistakes they should be pardoned and not punished. In the long run the severely punished students may become anti-social elements, he added.

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