At the outset , I would like to clarify , that I am not connected in any way to Vagdevi Vilas School in Marathalli, Bangalore East. I am neither the parent/ relative of any student nor an employee. I just happened to witness an incident which shocked me and has haunted me ever since.
On Saturday ( 29-Aug-2009), assembly was in progress. A child was up on the stage, administering an oath to the school. He missed two lines. The principal reprimanded him severely in full view of the entire school. She used words like "Shame on you! You have missed line 3 and 4. You have repeated this so many times, yet you don't know." The public address system was on and her voice could be heard over quite a distance. Then a smaller child was called on th ... View Moree stage and he proceeded to read minister the oath. After this the principal addressed the children. All this while, the child who was admonished, stood on the stage.
It was quite obvious, that the child had forgotten the lines due to sheer nervousness as he was facing a large crowd. Because of this very human lapse, he was accorded this severe public humiliation. We hear and read a lot about child abuse nowadays but when physical abuse is meted out, the scars and bruises are visible. Though they are painful, they heal over time. Psychological abuse, the kind this child was subjected to, has, in all probability scarred this child for life and has undermined his confidence severely. Also, the impact of this incident on the children who witnessed it will not be a positive one. It would discourage them from public speaking.
Incidentally, the principal, Mrs Sridevi, who inflicted this this punishment on the hapless child has an entire wing named after her - Sridevi Block. I visited the website of the school. One of the objectives of the school mentioned there was that they "iron out the rough corners of a child". The method employed in this case was quite brutal. Rather than building the child's personality, it would have effectively demolished it.
I entreat all parents to take note of this incident and deal with school proactively so that it is not repeated.