“Write that you have put your hands in your friend’s blouse; that you’ve tickled them under their skirt, hugged them and held their hands.”
This was what was allegedly said to a group of twelve thirteen-year-old school girls in a south Kolkata school, who were threatened with expulsion because they were “suffering from homosexual behaviour”. The school in question, Kamala Girls’ High School, is one of the most reputed Bengali-medium schools in the city. [LINK]
To be very honest, this is not surprising at all.
In a country where education ministers do not believe in the theory of evolution, where good and informative sex education is not even made accessible to most, it really doesn’t come as a shock that these children were put through this ordeal.
We’re not sure what the school or the education system is trying to teach, what ‘values’ they are trying to instill in students who have never been talked to about sex and love- and you still expect them to fully comprehend their feelings and sexual urges towards someone. Schools are places the children spend most of their lives in, during the most malleable years of their lives. For the children and the world of today, it is necessary that schools take education beyond bookish knowledge and mental math. Children learn how to love and accept themselves and others from peer groups within the school and teachers they hold up as the closest other things to their parents. In the global world. when schools focus on teaching empathy, understanding and love for diverse people, cultures and life experiences, here we are still dwelling on age old ideas of right and wrong- something that is so, so subjective!
#Breaking: “Will not inculcate the idea of lesbianism in schools. It is against Bengal culture”, says State Education Minister Partha Chatterjee, on Kamala Girls’ School incident where 12 students were threatened with expulsion for displaying “lesbian behaviour” @TheQuint pic.twitter.com/FkTejloJPM
— Ishadrita Lahiri (@ishadrita) March 14, 2018
The fact that these students were forced to ‘own up’ to their feelings almost points out to the fact that instead of supporting and aiding the growth of the child, schools now focus on what is ‘moral’ and ‘immoral’. It’s appalling how they forcefully sexualise the slightest affection, even in between friends. What are the children supposed to learn? That hugging their friends and showing affection has a one-way road to sexual satisfaction? A person is a person no matter what age they are of. A school or an education system has nothing to do with the personal lives of these students and instead should try and concentrate on making the lives of children in school less of a hellish experience.