The Teachers Who Slapped!

Posted: April 2, 2019

A few days back while I was watching TV, there was a small advertisement where the crowd was asked to make a Human Bharat to show the unity of our country. The shape was just perfect! Watching that map of India I was dragged down memory lane to when I was in class 2. Then memories similar to that memory started popping up, and I felt the pain which that child would have gone through.

I was in class 3 and we had our drawing class. Our drawing teacher was a Sir who was extremely good with his art but was little arrogant about it. That day when he entered our class, he was already in a mood, and we had no idea who the lava of that volcano would gulp in. As soon as he entered the class, he announced that the students would be drawing the map of India on the blackboard.  One by one some students were asked to draw the map. Every time a map was drawn, the student was ridiculed for drawing a shabby map of our country. He was then asked to stand against the wall.

I was also amongst those students who had never before tried their hands at drawing the India map on the blackboard, and was equally ridiculed for my attempt and was then made to stand with those students who failed to impress our drawing teacher. One lucky guy who was a little sharp in art could make a better map of our country, and he somehow could manage to impress our teacher. We all thought that ‘Map of India’ would now be the topic of the day, but we were unaware that the teacher was in a mood to abuse the failed students in the most insulting manner and wanted to vomit out all his frustration over the Grade 3 students who were all hardly 7 years old.

He announced that the one student who was just ok with the map gets the delight of slapping those failed students in front of the classroom. The teacher then made it very clear that if he was unable to see the imprints of the slap on our faces, he would make that student learn exactly what a slap means by giving him one. That student in no case wanted to face the brunt of his teacher, so he slapped us so hard that our cheeks were burning and thumping and we could feel that our cheeks were having all his five fingers imprinted. The class was over and I am sure the audience (our classmates) were not so happy with what happened in front of them. In fact they dreaded the drawing teacher after that.

Now I wonder, what fun that drawing teacher must have derived by making such an abusive and untoward situation for hardly 7 year old kids. I call him a perpetrator, and really wish that some kid had guts to inform this to the school management to tale serious action against that act of insanity.

A second situation where I was physically and emotionally abused. Some months back through our old school friends’ WhatsApp group, I got some “sad news”, about the passing away of one particular teacher. I had studied in a different school till standard 7 and we had a female teacher who was the Vice President. There were condolence messages, but I could not bring myself to say anything – I remembered her for a very painful memory I had of her from my childhood. I was in class 5 and had very few friends who were close to me. I had no brother so wanted one of my friend to be my brother. Since we shared a very cute connect, he too wanted me to be his sister.

On the occasion of Raksha Bandhan, he requested me to tie a rakhi on his wrist, and he wanted to give me a small gift which generally brothers give to their sisters. Very excitedly, I purchased a rakhi and tied it to him during lunchtime. He gifted me a pen immediately and we shared sweets too. Our other good friend witnessed the small innocent act of Raksha Bandhan and I was extremely happy to have a brother in my school. After lunchtime, a peon came to our class and asked our teacher to send me and my friend-turned-brother to the Vice President’s room.

Unaware of what was in store for us, we went down and saw that the Vice President was out for a visit to the classrooms. We were told to wait for her outside her room. We waited for a long time, and then we could see her entering the reception area. We went to her to tell her that we have been waiting for her as we were informed that she had called us. The reception area had the receptionist, the peons, the caretakers and few parents seated. Without wasting any time and without considering the sensitivity of the occasion and where she was standing, she held my ear tight and asked me if I tied any rakhi to the boy standing next to me. The moment I nodded, she slapped me tight and pinched my ear once again.  She made me say sorry for the act and then slapped me again on the other cheek. She also slapped on my head forcing me to move forward and attend my class. The boy was asked not to repeat this act in future.

My friend-turned-my brother was disappointed to see why the teacher didn’t slap him because he felt that if this act was wrong, then he was equally responsible. I cried and went back to the class feeling terribly insulted. Though this was a pious occasion and had no element of vulgarity, this shouldn’t have been treated the way it was treated. Even if this was something to be discouraged, it could have been communicated in a better way rather hitting the self esteem of that child. I now wonder what made that mature lady be so harsh on us. If the management teachers were so ruthless , what example would they set for the junior teachers. I urge to the teachers, children can be source of positivity and a reason to smile.

Just in case you have some personal issues, please don’t target your students to pour your frustrations. Just in case the situation is not so conducive, avoid interacting with children for that day or that hour. Children in no case should not be made victims of your bitterness or discontent. I urge the parents and the school management that students should be strictly directed to inform such incidences to their parents/guardians or the school management to ensure no tolerance to the teacher’s hypocrisy. Its not that I never had good teachers. I still remember many of my best teachers but at times a small stimuli on the memory gland takes you back to those painful buried memories. I hope after putting my pain through words, I would be relieved from these worthless memories and could create space for good ones of past and many yet to come.

 

Image via Unsplash

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