Socrates stated "Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel." (Goodreads.com, 2015)
Our society in general comprises of varied age groups and strata of people. For the smoother and healthier functioning of society, it's important that the entire sector flourishes. Across all demography, children are most crucial as they grow up and shape the future. Hence its necessary that they are given the right education. But just sending them to school is not enough. We have to ensure that they get a conducive environment for overall development.
1. What is your initial point of view?
It's my belief that keeping children safe in school is extremely important. They are the building blocks of the future. Therefore nurturing them well is a very important aspect. A good learning atmosphere is conducive for cultivating a positive mind.
2. How can you define your point of view more clearly?
From my point of view, it is crucial that children get a safe teaching and learning environment. It's important that the environment is positive enough for their overall psychological and mental development.
3. What is an example of your point of view?
An example of keeping children safe in school is the hygiene factors. Hygienic and clean premises in school are required for them to blossom as young children are prone to diseases. It shapes their outlook to their life and makes them succeed through the later years of life. Schooling forms a strong foundation in a person's life. It either makes or breaks a person.
4. What is the origin of your point of view?
I formed my stand on child safety as I grew up. Earlier in my school days, the society was not that dangerous. Nor did one hear about any violence happening in school premises. School was as a sacred institution and teaching, a noble profession. But my belief changed as I grew up. The rise of terrorism made school children a soft target. The rise in numerous child abuses afflicted made me question the integrity of schools and their capability in ensuring child's safety.
5. What are your assumptions?
When I am talking about the safety of children in schools, I am assuming that the children are studying in public or residential schools where the onus of developing the child's psychology and overall safety is the responsibility of the schools teachers and staff.
6. What are the reasons, evidences and arguments that support your point of view?
There are varied reasons, evidence and arguments that support my stance on child's safety in schools. First, I take a very strong stand on the well being of child as there have been numerous accounts of violence reported in school premises. It leaves a scar in the child's mind and it reflects in his future behaviour. Many a times the child is not directly involved in those fights but eventually has to take sides. There was an incidence where children were found to be carrying guns and punching and threatening classmates. (Young and Violent, 2015) The Columbine High School incident still runs chill down one's spine. (Glum, 2015)
Second, a child spends considerable time in school and gets influenced by many factors there. One such example is the sexual harassments children come across in schools. There are reports of teacher indulging in illegal sexual acts with children. This leaves the child traumatised and the results can be devastating. The symptoms could be there life long. There was once reported, a school where young children were accessing porn in school library.(The Christian Institute, 2014)
The school authority has to be very careful of the types of contents available in their network and need to secure appropriate firewalls.
Third, I am saddened how children are being targeted for some selfish acts of extremists. The most devastating example could be the victimization of children in the world of terrorism. There have been ample cases recently where schools have been targeted for terrorist act which is not only condemnable but also calls for added security measures. The recent attack in an army school in Peshawar, Pakistan is one such heinous example for the concern for child's safety in schools. (The Indian Express, 2014)
Last, but not the least, the peer pressure in schools is also a matter of concern. Rising instances of bullying in schools, hampers a child's physical and mental capability to learn. It creates turbulence in a child's mind and leaves them scarred for life. There have been instances where parents have reported to the school authority over their concern for their children been bullied in schools. (Enca.com, 2015)
7. What are other points of view on this issue?
The other point of view some people might have is that the primary responsibility of the child's development and well being lies with parents. The reason put forth is that schools are just an institution, just like a corporate, and its main aim is to impart knowledge and not the overall well being of each child. For example, a teacher might defend herself by saying that there are so many pupils in a class and it's not humanly possible for her to give individual attention to each child. As each class is for a limited half an hour, the teacher has the pressure of finishing the teaching course and it's not possible to give undivided attention to each child.
Another view is that there are all strata of people available in every sphere of life. It's not possible for the school authority to assess a person's character while hiring. Utmost they can check the credentials of the staffs. But it's not possible to check into the conscience of a person. For example, a teacher who recently joins might be a pervert from inside but his credentials might show him to be highly qualified and learned person. The actual preferences or a trait of a person is not visible from his outer appearance. One doesn't get transformed by merely joining a school and good and evil people co-exist in all walks of life.
8. What is your conclusion, decision, solution, or prediction?
After going through the different perspectives, examples given and evaluating the reasoning put forth, I am of the opinion that the safety of children in school is definitely a very important prerogative. But to solely blame the teachers and staff for the same is not done. We, as members of society, have equal responsibility of raising our children for a progressive future. The state also has to be supportive of bringing about stringent laws for the protection of child rights. There are various statutory guidelines and laws enacted for the child's safety in schools. (Children, Manual and Major Federal Legislation Concerned With Child Protection, 2015) This shows the dedication of the state in adopting a zero tolerance towards child's abuse. Along with it even the parents have to work towards making the children aware of what is good and bad for them. Teaching them self defence and having zero tolerance for any sexual advances is mandatory. However, the greater responsibility still resides with the school management and its staff to diligently supervise the safety and security of the children studying there. Child's psychology is a very delicate thing. And if they are not nurtured and handled well it could have adverse effects in their life. To ensure this, having a dedicated teacher to counsel for any unusual symptoms seen in any child will go a long way in ensuring that each and every child is taken care of.
9. What are the consequences of your point of view?
The consequences of working together in a united manner in ensuring our children safety in schools will go a long way in making our society a much better place to live in. For these children will be the ones to grow and take over the governance of our society and states at large. Therefore, it's very important to provide them with a healthy and safe environment so as to help them foster a positive and progressive mind. Second, the consequence of enacting stricter laws will also ensure that no miscreants can play with any child in future. It will create a fear in the mind of the people that they can't do anything and get away with it. It will also ensure fewer crimes against children in our society at large. Thirdly, appointing a counsellor in school will also ensure that children have a calm and peaceful mind. They will know whom to approach if they ever encounter any problems whatsoever.
Thus, I would like to conclude with a quote from Plato "Education is teaching our children to desire the right things." (Goodreads.com, 2015) Children are very delicate and integral part of our society. It's important to see they are given good education so as to have intelligent future citizens in the states. For this, it's very important that out schools provide a safe and secure learning environment for the students to succeed in their life. It's important to counter the serious matters of violence, abuse, bullying and outside influence in schools. For this, it's important that proper checks and precautions are taken by the management to prevent any inappropriate acts in schools. Parents, school, society and states need to work together in order to ensure that children have a successful and fruitful academic life. For this it's very important to have a zero tolerance policy towards any abuse or violence inflicted upon our children.