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Gwalior ragging incident: Need to get back to basics of child-friendly residential schooling
The news about Bihar minister Jai Singh's son, a student of grade 8 at Scindia School in Gwalior being bullied and found unconscious in his hostel room, has shocked the nation. It is being suspected as a case sadistic bullying resulting into a suicide bid.
Also, an attempt by senior students to murder a junior fellow student is not being ruled out. The victim is reportedly battling for life at a Delhi hospital.

The case has once again brought to the forth the prevalent sadistic practices indulged in by the senior students in the elite boarding schools of the country which at times beat hollow the ragging by college students.

But it is unfortunate that ignoring the world-wide problem of bullying and violence by the school authorities is shocking. Many think that in some elite boarding schools bullying junior students, getting odd jobs done by them as well as sexually harassing or exploiting them has become a hallowed snobbish tradition.

To me, it seems that boarding schools, who tout the maxim of 'a home away from home' should prevent bullying to provide more time for learning tasks, often tend to ignore the very physical and psychological well being of students.

In fact, bullying affects junior students' sense of security through harassment and victimization within the school by the senior students. Bullying in all formats could be found such as physical, sexual, verbal or emotional in boarding schools that tend to function like black boxes.

It is also being felt that Indian penal laws should be applied to schools to stop pervasive form of explicit and implicit bullying and abuse in boarding schools. It is inappropriate on part of parents and the school management to ignore this issue. These schools indulge in excessive perceived power imbalance among students in the form of hierarchy like school captain and prefects wherein some children rule over others ruthlessly.

Many child psychologists say that the long-term effects of school bullying can be in the form of social insensitivity, aggression, anxiety, and depression. Therefore, both teachers and parents should understand and recognize the signs of bullying and should be equipped with strategies and tools to address school bullying.

Schools must understand the semiotics bullying and use strategies in preventing the menace before drastic measures are taken by the victims, such as suicide.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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