Austin Xavier – Std IX

(This article was published in Times NIE, 26th March 2018)

 “Hey Nina!!”, called a boy from the corridors of Don Bosco. Hi Poonam., may I get your history notes?”Amma, come  let’s play.  Hello, did we hear Don Bosco?  When did Don Bosco become a co- education school? Well,  no breaking news here, Don Bosco continues to be  a boys’ school

It is a mindless trend doing the rounds in schools today. Students are calling each other by their parents’ names in jest. The goading does not stop at parents’ names, it encompasses their occupations too. Pray! How do they know about their parents’ jobs. We can boast of curious researchers of a different kind who at times open up handbooks to mine for information about their peers or check up What’s app class groups.

The tone used for this type of name calling varies, which accordingly intimidates the person at the receiving end.  This intimidation elicits a reaction which is in the form of rage and retaliation.  The name calling begins with a joke, but it doesn’t remain a joke for long.  It begins to get abusive and derogatory. Those at the receiving end in 70% of the cases retaliate by calling names at the teaser.   However 30% of students do not retaliate, but cower in shame and disgrace.  They fear the abuser and withdraw into a shell. Strange how mean words can return to ones thoughts, years after they’ve been callously thrown at you. They replay in your mind, spiking a sense of remembered pain. Nasty name calling can be an ugly memory that stabs unexpectedly. Repeated name calling is one of the worst things that can happen in a school. This mean streak among students is inexplicable. Students seem to be students’most dreaded enemies. Today the world respects the rights of children. But do we respect our own rights?  If the Bard were to visit our school, would he mouth the famous words from Romeo and Juliet? What’s in a name? It is anybody’s guess.

The counsellor of the school, Ms. Arnaz Nariman  has listed out a few dos and don’ts to tackle the situation ..

  1. Do not hesitate to ask for help
  2. Be assertive and confident.
  3. Try your best to reply with a calm and steady voice (fear is food for the bully)
  4. Directly respond with neutral and affirmative statements. Don’t get defensive by retaliating, as it disturbs your peace of mind.