Are we failing our children? The psychopathic murder of a schoolboy and a girl’s rape on school premises, besides cruelty inflicted for minor infractions of rules, reveals a pattern of sadistic behaviour aimed at innocent, helpless young students who can’t retaliate. The murder in one school and the rape in another in the Delhi-NCR area left parents around the country dreading sending children to school in the morning — and having to worry all day till the kids return home. The very psychosis of a large number of Indians is suspect as they display thought disorder and action inconsistent with people living in a civilised nation. An entire generation of young people will suffer from the trauma of growing up hearing about these gory goings-on.
The Supreme Court is seized of the Gurgaon school murder and one hopes guidelines will soon be drafted to raise security levels in schools across India. The feckless way in which even basic background and security checks were ignored while hiring non-teaching staff and the inability to inculcate a sense of discipline in the teaching staff were apparent in these few incidents. We must consider ourselves a failed society if we can’t offer the minimum guarantee of safety in schools. A knee-jerk reaction will be to demand closure of schools in which such incidents take place, but the greater challenge is to make millions of schools nationwide more accountable. The authorities of the two NCR schools must face the legal consequences for their criminal culpability arising from sheer negligence in ensuring the basic security of children in their care.