A teacher’s task is to nurture kids, not break them!

A teacher’s task is to nurture kids, not break them!

The importance of self-confidence in students should not be seen as a trivial matter.

A healthy sense of self-confidence is necessary for your child to develop social skills, become resilient and embrace their full potential inside and outside of the classroom.

But what if the teachers themselves are the ones responsible for destroying astudent’s self-esteem, shattering them to the point of suicide?

Recently, a Penang boy committed suicide. His family alleged that he was ‘targeted by teachers’.

The family of Form Four student SK Logamitraa, the 16-year-old who took his own life on Tuesday, now demands justice over their child’s demise.

Malaysian Tamilar Kural president David Marshel, who spoke on behalf of the family, said they believe the boy had suffered from some form of depression after being “targeted” by certain teachers at SMK Jalan Damai, Bukit Mertajam.

He said Logamitraa, who was in the second last class in school, had appealed to be transferred to a better class since the start of the new school session but to no avail.

And it seems, that was when certain teachers started to harass the teenager.

For now, the Penang state education department is said to be investigating the matter. Police reports have also been lodged against several teachers and the school administration.

When the teacher is the bully

For a long time, bullying has become a big problem in schools and higher learning institutions. While we are still grappling on how to deal with students bullying their peers, what do we do when the bully are the teachers themselves?

The point is here this. Bullying must never be tolerated. And if the perpetrator are the teachers themselves, we must come down hard on them too.

While the agencies in charge waste their time on petty issues, it is time for us parents to take stock and keep an eye on our children.

For starters, start paying close attention if your kids start losing interest in going to school or getting nauseated before leaving for school. Always ask them on what is happening in school; be it their studies, friends and also teachers.

If something is amiss, immediately pay a visit to the school and find out what is happening.

Remember to document all the details of your visits and observation. It may be painstaking but it is important to remain objective. Read up on laws and legislation that may help your child from his or her predicament.

‘Taking action’

And before things get worse, confront the teacher and the school administration to find a solution. If possible, get the support of the Parent Teachers Association (PIBG) so that your voice is heard loud and clear.

Make no mistakes about it. There are cases where the school administration tries to cover up bully cases especially if involves the teachers themselves, in the name of maintaining the school’s ‘good image’.

Do not fall for it! Remember that our kids are at the mercy of their peers and teachers when in school. So if no one is taking action, it becomes our duty to protect the wellbeing of our children

There may be more Logamitraas out there who are suffering through depression due to bullying. The bullying needs to end, not their lives.

But the overall problem can be resolved if the government amend their standard operating procedure (SOP) to make it easier to sack errant civil servants.

Let us face facts. Our government is very lenient in dealing with errant civil servants. At best, they will only get transferred to a remote area as a so-called ‘punishment’.

It also time for the government to only take in the cream of the crop to become as teachers and vet them thoroughly.

These days, a lot of people opt for a teaching career not because they love becoming educators. It is because it is easier to get in and it offers job stability.

As for Logamitraa’s family, I offer you my deepest condolences and I hope that the authorities will take firm action against those who pushed the teenager to death.

Hema Subramaniam is Editor in Chief at The Leaders