WHEN A SCHOOL teacher in Punjab allegedly slapped two female students, hit them with a stick and pulled one of them by the hair, the newspapers wasted no time in naming
the Government High School, Immamgarh.
When students of government schools were found cleaning their classrooms and toilets in Gangerua, Pahasu and Thujapur villages of Bulandshahar district in 2013, the newspapers and TV channels splashed the names of these schools and videos of children doing what they called "menial" jobs. The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) of India took suo moto cognizance
of these news reports
and held the schools to task.
Apparently, asking a child to sweep the classroom floor with a broom is a much serious crime than beating the child to death, if it happens to be a private boarding school, because then the media is extremely shy of publishing the name of the school or of the teacher involved.
Two students of a boarding school in Dehradun killed a little boy, a 12-year-old student, because they thought a mischief he committed was the reason their hostel outing was cancelled. The school authorities hid the crime and destroyed evidence.
The media, almost without exception, worked overtime to omit the name of the school and of the alleged culprits.
"It is not Doon school, as some are saying...It is a school in a very remote area...In fact, it is an unknown school," a senior police officer told the NDTV on March 29, with the anchor making no further effort to know the name of the school. (See video) All that the channel found fit to declare was the crucial fact that it was not the reputed school whose name we are familiar with since it produces rulers for our country, and also that the school where this gory act took place was an "unknown school."
Well, we are determined to make sure it is known.
Some school boys watched the two students beating up the little kid with a cricket bat and a stump for hours, drenching him with cold water and making him drink dirty water. They later left the boy in a room and he was declared brought dead on arrival by hospital authorities.
School authorities hid the heinous crime, told lies to the parents, body was buried, everybody remained mum. The newspapers decided to withhold the name of the school, shielded the principal by refusing to name him. There's no explanation why fellow students who witnessed this incident did not report it at the time. That a boarding school is bringing up children who have no qualms about not reporting even such a blatant case of abuse and can live with it for days is something too sad.
Both alleged culprits are 19 years old, and belong to Dehradun.
The name of the school is Home Academy Senior Secondary School, Bhogpur, Dehradun. It has downed its website now. When the website worked, it carried on the homepage the vision statement that said the sole purpose of the Home Academy was _"to serve the nation and mankind through education and impart moral values to the children."_
School manager is called Praveen Messi, the PTI teacher's name is Ashok Solomon, and the hostel warden was Ajay Kumar.
They have been arrested. NDTV and other channels avoided revealing the names of these worthies even after they were arrested.
The school principal is Man Mohan Chandiwal. He also goes by the name of MM Chandiwal. He has point blank refused to take responsibility for the incident and said since it all happened in the hostel and not in school, so he is not responsible.
We should hail Usha Negi, the Chairperson of the Uttarakhand State Commission for Protection of Child Rights, who, after being tipped off by some locals, confronted the school management along with the dead boy's parents.
We are also surprised that sections of the media that rush to publish the names of a government school and names of teachers in case of something as minor as the teachers asking the students to clean the classrooms or sweep the school courtyard are hyper-sensitive when it comes to putting out the name of a school where the management can hide the killing of a small boy for days.
Punjab Today is choosing to not name the two allegedly guilty students, or the deceased boy.
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