The gruesome murder of a class II student at Gurugram’s Ryan International School has traumatized the entire country. Parents across the country are yet to come to terms with the horror of the spine-chilling crime, allegedly done by a bus conductor, employed by the School.
Reports said that the 42 years old accused had slit Pradyuman’s throat with a kitchen knife after his attempt to sexually abuse him was foiled as he protested vehemently and raised alarms. The incident took place inside the School’s washroom on September 8.
After extensive media reports, scores of furious parents started protesting and rallying against the School authorities questioning the security measures of the School which allowed the bus conductor to enter the washroom with a knife.
As per the latest reports, two top officials of the Ryan International School have been arrested and the acting principal detained for questioning. The State Government has ordered the Gurugram Police to book the owner of Ryan International School under the Juvenile Justice Act.
A recent survey by the Government on child abuse revealed that in India nearly 70 per cent children faced physical abuse and about 50 per cent were sexually abused.
While the Government and the Police are taking swift and appropriate actions in the wake of massive public outrage over the ghastly crime and utter callousness of the School management; all the parents out there should take a vow to critically analyze each and every aspect of child safety while choosing the right Schools for their children.
Your child is mostly defenseless
Children are among the most vulnerable groups world-wide. It’s is primarily assumed that a girl child is more vulnerable to sexual abuses but studies show that boys were at almost equal risk of abuse as girls.
Accepting this fact marks the beginning of the fight against child abuse at Schools and in general. Once you accept that there will always be a possibility that your child, girl or boy, may face sexual or other types of abuse at the School, you will be able to see things clearly and more diligently.
Check academic credentials and goodwill of a School but check for possible safety-lapses with more caution. Be strictly uncompromising in this matter if you want your child to always be safe and secured at School. At Ryan International School case there was a huge breach in the school wall; which should have been looked at long back. Talk to parents and locals before you zero down on a School to make sure that the institution enjoys a flawless reputation.
Background-check of all support staffs should be made mandatory in Schools; however, even some reputed Schools don’t take this seriously. But you should.
Check the transportation service as well. If your child travels by a School bus, make sure that you know who manages the operation. Check the agency’s credentials and keep a tab on the attendants on regular basis.
Talk to your child
The most important thing to do is to converse with your child on regular basis. Talk to him/her about their day at School on daily basis. Sometimes children won’t tell you upfront if they are having problems at school. Look for signs and symptoms. If your child’s behavior changes, probe thoroughly, probe hard. Leave no stone unturned till you are satisfied with the answers. Ask them if they are bullied, or if there’s something which is making them uncomfortable. Look for warning signs, such as a sudden drop in grades or loss of friends etc.
Make your child ready
We can avoid many untoward incidents if our children are properly trained to handle a crisis on their own; as it’s not possible to be with them round-the-clock. Teach them not to talk to strangers in your absence or accept gifts from them without your permission. Tell them that if they notice any suspicious person near to them, they should inform an adult immediately.
It’s high time that we take time out of our busy schedule and spend adequate time with our children to arrest and address any potential problem at their Schools. Time to log off your phones/computers and actually have face to face conversations with your children is the need of the hour. The more we listen the more we understand; the more we understand the better we are equipped to handle potential dangers. Parents and teachers, together we can make our Schools safer for our little ones.Authored: 9amstories editorial
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