In recent years, the safety of teachers in schools has become a major concern. Recently, three students in a government school in West Delhi’s Inderpuri stabbed their Physical Education teacher when he reprimanded them for not wearing the proper school uniform. The incident took place on January 19 around 12:20 p.m. on the school premises. The teacher was immediately rushed to the hospital and is currently stable. A case has been filed against the accused under Section 307 (attempt to murder) of the IPC.

India is the land where great and erudite teachers such as Guru Dronacharya, Chanakya, Savitribai Phule, and Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan were born. Teachers are the major stakeholders in deciding the future of society. However, it is unfortunate that the safety of teachers in school is daunting. In the last few years, there has been a rapid increase in the aggressive behavior of students. Thus, leading to grave concern regarding their safety.

Why such violent incidents?

Crime against teachers is not normal. The rise in such incidents regarding the safety of teachers is not sudden but has been driven by many factors.

Social media plays a central role in deciding how a student thinks and acts about people around him/her. The content on various social media platforms is toxic and misleading. It does not consider the safety of the users. It does not take into account the moral and ethical principles of life. Due to this, school-going children are unable to differentiate between what is right and what is wrong. Gradually, they start committing crimes against teachers which risks their safety. They have become intolerant of any criticism or denial. Due to this, the safety of teachers is highly undermined.

Basic education starts at home. Our parents are our first teachers and lay the foundation for the most eminent lessons of life. Even their small opinions affect the psychology and behavior of children. Many times, they don’t object to verbal abuse and disrespectful attitude towards teachers which happen to cause safety risks to them. Their decisions have a significant impact on the behavior of children outside of their homes. Furthermore, parents nowadays do not place a high value on moral values, which is reflected in their children’s behavior.

Actions taken by the government 

Due to the rise in safety violations against teachers on school premises, certain steps have been taken by the government to look into the matter and curb such incidents. The Directorate of Education (DoE) recommends forming a committee comprising the Principal of the school, the teacher, and some members of the administration. This committee will look into incidents concerning the safety of the teachers and the school as a whole. Hence, it will decide about the expulsion or rustication of a student from the concerned school. Also, the Government School Teachers Association (GSTA), Delhi, has further put forth their recommendations and concerns in a letter addressed to Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal. The GSTA asks the government to provide police assistance and security guards inside the premises. In addition to this, it also suggests regulating parents’ visits to manage any unruly incident if one occurs.

What’s next?

Teaching is the greatest occupation of all because, without it, no other occupation can exist. Since time immemorial, in India,  teachers have been valued above everyone. However, the safety-violating crimes occurring against teachers not only put their lives at stake but also lowers the dignity of teachers. As a result, the country’s future is jeopardized. The government should establish regulatory bodies to monitor the content uploaded on various online platforms. Some urgent modifications are also needed in the education system. Special classes where a code of conduct would be taught should be incorporated into the school curriculum. In these classes, special emphasis should be placed on basic ethical and moral foundations.

A child’s behavior is often influenced by the way his/her parents behave. Therefore, the parents should also be vigilant about their actions at home and in their surroundings. Crime against teachers and their safety can’t be stopped only by formulating stringent measures, as this can make the situation more adverse. We need to curb this problem at its roots. Children these days easily succumb to pressure and get frustrated. It is necessary to teach students how to maintain their calm and peace of mind even in the most difficult circumstances. Yoga and, in particular, meditation should be encouraged among them. Ultimately, teaching and learning go hand in hand. Thus, the safety of teachers and the student-teacher relationship are of utmost importance.