As per the suggestion forwarded to the government by the CBSE Committee, “A students could be rusticated for bullying other children in school in the rarest-of-rare cases.”
Along with its Committee’s report and recommendation as duly submitted to the HRD Ministry, the CBSE has also suggested imposition of a certain amount of fine and withholding or cancellation of the results of a student found guilty of bullying schoolmates.
However, in the report the committee has suggested that such students should also be given adequate chance to mend their ways, by the implementation of various methods, like counseling; to realize the student that their actions were inappropriate and troubled their schoolmates, as mentioned by the sources.
Before taking any firm step to punish a student for bullying in school, he or she should be served oral or written warnings. Such a student can also be excluded from attending classes for a specified period if he or she continues to bully even after being warned.
The option of transfer to another school could also be looked upon, suggested the committee, adding that extreme steps like rustication or expulsion should only be taken in the “rarest-of-rare cases”.
The committee was set up last year, after CBSE’s massive survey on the status of bullying in schools and in the view of complaints from different parts of the country.
Due to an incident of ragging at the Scindia School in Gwalior, which hogged the limelight previous year when a 14-year-old Adarsh, son of a politician from Bihar, allegedly attempted suicide by hanging. He was allegedly driven to make such an attempt by schoolmates who were reportedly ragging him for quite some time.
As per the survey results and various interactions, the Committee noted that bullying in school was a “critical issue” and must be addressed immediately, as it is being “witnessed frequently” in most schools.
It said that, “There is an immediate need to develop an appropriate anti-bullying policy and effective strategy, including both preventive and intervention measures.”
The committee has also recommended every school to form an anti-bullying committee consisting of the vice-principal, a senior teacher, the school doctor and the counsellor, among others.
It noted that the onus of preventing and tackling bullying rests jointly and individually on all the stakeholders, including the educationists, heads of institutions, teachers, non-teaching staff, students, parents and the local community.
“Schools must create an amiable environment where learning can take place peacefully. They must build a trusting, respectful relationship among students, school administration and families. They should provide a confidential way for students to report any incident which is of concern to them,” it added.