Few students of 10th standard from the Pathways School, Noida have been involved in a ‘slap bet’ which has resulted in Rajveer, one of the students, having a severe injury in his ears, on 4 September. He is suffering from 25% hearing impairment.
The students had gathered in the school’s washroom and were involved in carrying out the bet, where one student slaps another one if the other person is not able to complete a task assigned to him.
A 26-second video showed that students stood in the background as one of them recorded the incident on his mobile. Others watched and smiled as the slap landed on the face. The victim had his hands folded and signalled them to give him a moment before he is hit. He covered his face with his hand after he was slapped. The person recording the video laughed and asked if the student who was slapped was fine.
The video had become viral on WhatsApp and Facebook and had raised a lot of concerns among students and their parents alike.
The version of the school
The school, in a statement released by Dr Shalini Advani, the director of the school, has maintained that the incident cannot be categorised as ‘bullying’. They have said that the entire incident was done with consent. However, they have not condoned the act, saying that it is unfortunate that such an incident has taken place within the portals of the institution.
The statement from the school also talks about the suspension of the three students who were involved in the incident, after a thorough investigation. The parents of the students have also been called to the school to intimate them of the gravity of the situation. They are also due to make a public apology for the incident – the boys have already sent a written apology to Rajveer, who was injured.
The school has also talked of how young minds often fall prey to peer pressure and end up doing unwanted things. They said this incident was a perfect example of this. The authorities have also stated that it is despicable how this video has been circulated across the country. They claimed that people have acted very irresponsibly by sharing this video because that has only helped in fanning the entire incident.
The school further said that instead of putting the entire onus of the incident on them, parents should also share the responsibility. They should be open enough to talk to their children about the problems teenagers face.
Again, the unnecessary machismo associated with men that are being shown on television and social media needs also to be checked and dealt with strong hands so that teens do not go astray. Parents can play their part in doing that.
Another side to the story
However, Rajveer’s aunt has put up a Facebook status saying that the school authorities have shirked off their responsibilities and have twisted the story so that the fault does not seem to be theirs.
PATHWAYS SCHOOL NOIDA# BOY Cornered in washroom#SLAP THAT HAS IMPAIRED 25% HEARING#SCHOOL TWISTS THE STORY TO SAVE…
She stated that Rajveer was part of the bet but had later backed out. However, the other students went forward with it, making him an accomplice in the entire thing. The doors of the washroom were closed, and even videos were made which got deleted later. One student who had made the video had sent it to Rajveer’s mother and that is how the family got to know of this. The entire family, as well as Rajveer, is traumatised by the incident.
The parents also alleged they received no information from the school, nor was their son provided with first aid. Rajveer’s mother had also written to the school authorities about the incident.
The Logical Indian community condemns the entire episode and hopes that the school authorities ensure that similar incidents do not recur. Alongside, we also urge the parents to open up and have a free discussion with their children. Teenage minds deal with several issues, and it is important that they have proper counsel from parents and friends so that they do not end up doing anything foolish and wrong. As a community, we request our readers to please spread the message so that youngsters do not get involved in any harmful ‘bets’ or ‘challenges’ which might have dangerous consequences.