Road romeos harassing students a major concern for school principals

Prajakta Joshi
Sunday, 10 February 2019

Teresa David, Principal of Laxmanrao Apte Prashala on Apte Road, said while it is easy for the teachers to control the students, it is the issue of outsiders, who trouble the students, that needs handling. “Many times, we observe that the girl students are being eyed at or troubled by older boys, who wait or stroll outside the school campus."

PUNE: While the principals are happy with the increasing involvement of Pune Police in schools in the form of Police Kaka and Buddy Cop, more measures to ensure safety of students from outsiders remains one of their major expectations.

Teresa David, Principal of Laxmanrao Apte Prashala on Apte Road, said while it is easy for the teachers to control the students, it is the issue of outsiders, who trouble the students, that needs handling. “Many times, we observe that the girl students are being eyed at or troubled by older boys, who wait or stroll outside the school campus. As a school, we cannot take any action against them. Hence, we sincerely recommend that if there is some kind of police watch over the areas around school premises, especially at the times of the start and end of the school hours, many of the problems faced by our girl students could be resolved,” David said.

Satish Gavli, Principal, Modern School, Shivajinagar, expressed a similar concern for the girl students. He said the boys also face bullying from outsiders. “We see many of the younger male students being bullied by older children who are not from the school. However, many of these students, girls as well as boys, are not open to complaining due to the lack of trust resulting from fear of police. If the police visit the schools more often, it will be easier for the children to be comfortable with them,” he stated.

School principals, overall, are happy with initiatives like Buddy Cop and Police Kaka that build a connect with the school children, however, they expect this exposure to expand its reach as well as frequency.

“A few months ago, police visited our school, gave a complaint box, and appealed to the children to voice their grievances through this, anonymously as well, if the student is shy. We could see this did have a huge impact on the students and their attitude about the police,” Gavli said.

David added, “The exposure to social media sometimes inculcates bad habits and behaviour among children. While we try to address these issues on our level as well, with teachers and counsellors constantly guiding the students, a motivational message from a person in ‘uniform’, here and there, will certainly be of much more influence on young minds.”

WHAT THE SCHOOLS EXPECT
- Police Kaka should visit the schools at regular intervals to interact with the students.
- The police should guide youngsters about staying away from any kind of addictions.
- Police patrolling around schools and colleges should increase.
- Beat Marshalls and women police should increase rounds around schools at the start and end of classes.
- Seminars and counselling sessions to create awareness about ragging and bullying should be conducted by the police.

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