September 10, 2014

Of Teenagers and Suicide [?]

Two students from a high school in the neighboring Chumey valley have committed suicide. It seems that they were caught having an illicit relationship, and as per the school policy their parents were informed. The parents were supposed to report to the school today morning. But in the wee hours of the morning (at around 4 am), the dead bodies of both the students were discovered. Both were studying in 10th standard.

This is the latest in the suicide cases amongst youngsters (especially students) that has disturbed the otherwise peaceful country. When I heard the news early in the morning, I was disturbed. I am a teacher, and I know what it means to me and my profession. There will certainly be back lashes by the media and even the parents. At a time when ‘teaching’ as a profession is questioned, and ‘teachers’ as disciplinarians are noted negatively, this incident will leave a scar. The Mongar and Dagana incidents are still fresh in our minds.

At a time when corporal punishment is banned, and disciplinary issues are on the rise, these isolated incidents will certainly bring us back into the limelight. Then, there is always the blame-game that we love to play. Who is to blame in this situation? Principal? Teachers? School? Parents? Society? Students?

We need to look deep inside ourselves and see that ‘we ourselves’ are to blame. We do it to ourselves. We demand too much of our students. School, society, parents…we all demand too much. We want them on a leash. We keep them on a leash, using so many fences. We forget that they are still students….still youngsters, incapable of making an informed decision about anything.

Whatever the consequences, whoever is to blame, I am still disturbed as I write these lines. I don’t know what I am thinking right now…