Disclaimer: This article can be triggering for some readers. The viewer’s discretion is advised.

Last week, a shocking video from a school in a village in Muzaffarnagar emerged in the media and enraged the nation. A seven-year-old’s incomplete homework became an excuse for a sheer misuse of power when a teacher made students slap their Muslim classmate after making Islamophobic remarks. The gut-wrenching incident exposed the menacing existence of corporal punishment and bullying by Indian school teachers stemming from their oppressive mindset and stone-age old modus operandi.

While the teacher got booked for offences and the school has been sealed, she has expressed no shame in the deed, reportedly stating it is important to ‘control’ students.

bullying by indian school teachers
ETV Bharat

Many of us have grown up in an environment where bullying by teachers was normalised to the extent it was considered a requisite to discipline students. In fact, many of us have experienced it first-hand with teachers who thought it was okay to slut-shame girls for as much as talking to boys or pent out their inner toxicity in the form of physical aggression. Many of them, by default, resulted in long-term scars in student’s lives.

bullying by indian school teachers

After asking people and digging the Internet for stories Indian students have shared online, recounting their horrendous experiences, here are 10 experiences of bullying and harassment by teachers that make us question Indian schooling:

1. “I still have bouts of depression whenever i think of numerous beatings and public shaming that teachers inflicted upon my fellow students and I. The amount of fear they instill stays forever. You are afraid to do even the trivial of tasks like drink water or ask teacher to repeat what they said or borrow a pen. They destroy the self esteem in you and then beat some more for not having enough self esteem. Of course like in every area, there were good teachers too.”

– Anonymous, Reddit

bullying by indian school teachers

2. “As a student with a Muslim identity, school was not a very convivial experience for me. One day in the ninth standard, my Maths teacher asked me to solve a question on the class board and went to the staff room. Although, I used to be clueless in most of her lectures that was probably one of the rarest times I knew how to solve that question. While I was solving it, my batchmates noticed a big blood spot on my white skirt (all thanks to my periods surprising me every time) and said, “Go to the Washroom”, we’ll let the teacher know about it. I was unsure of leaving that question halfway. While going to the washroom I told her about this situation. The next day, this teacher called me out in front of everyone and started shouting at me. When I said, “I had a problem, I got my period yesterday!” She said,“Let me solve your problem, you’ll sit in the washroom from now on” and even started hitting me. Just imagine, the second day of your period, really bad cramps, a little fever, and someone shouting and hitting you in front of 50-60 people. I never felt included in any way in this school. Students and teachers mocking me was a daily routine. I was always the ‘Odd One Out’. I even started hating myself and had depression and anxiety for 2 years. When I changed my school in 11th standard, I realized someone mocking your existence is problematic in so many ways. Life is better for me now, however, I still get anxious thinking about these incidents.”

– Umrah Husain 

bullying by indian school teachers
Image by Chuk Yong from Pixabay

3. “If I only had the courage to report. What can you do when the principal of the school beats you in front of everybody just because you forgot to bring your English book to the school. How unlucky can one be when your teacher makes you stand at the back of the class and principal comes in, asks him why is that student standing in the back, and beats him up. Pulls my hair, slap me repeatedly and no one says anything. Put a note in my diary and leaves.”

– Anonymous, Quora

bullying by indian school teachers
Photo by Kimberly Farmer on Unsplash

4.  “This happened in IX grade. I didn’t want to miss out a one-day school picnic trip to Nainital because of my period. And so, even though I was scared I went with the trip anyway. It was second day and I was cramping bad and immediately regretted the decision on the school bus. Gradually, I got sick and the back pain overwhelmed me. I was with my group of friends (3 girls + 2 guys). One of my guy friend at one point held my hand for a minute to help me navigate a rocky path because I was in pain. IDK what my teacher a saw because as soon as we reached back school, she segregated me and slut shamed me and told other teachers that I was making out with my friend. That my character was questionable (nothing of the sorts even reached my friend). I felt humilated and broke down in the class room. And my class teacher, who was a man btw, came to my rescue and stood up for me. I’d never forget it.”

– Anonymous

bullying by indian schools

5. “Beat the shit out me because my classnotes was empty, which in Indian teacher’s terms equates me to a mass murderer. My face swolled red and my body ached for some time. I like to joke about it as involuntary martial arts training but seriously, wtf is wrong with our teachers? I was a ‘topper’ and he knew I would get marks without those bullshit notes anyway. The real reason was that his ego got hurt and he didn’t like it. Teachers like these don’t like their power questioned.”

– telescopeinmynose, Reddit


6. “School was basically a hotbed of slut shaming. During our farewell we wore sleeveless blouses and it was made such a big deal of that farewell was cancelled for the next two years! Also, when some girls complained that creeps outside the school were leching, it was blamed on the students. So so messed up?

 nanon_2, Reddit


7. “In 10th std, I was just a normal kid. I wasn’t smart in some subjects but was capable of scoring good marks. There was this language subject Kannada I was weak in (I’m from Rajasthan studying in Karnataka so it was hard for me as well as other students too to learn this language). I always tried my best, studied hard, but the Kannada teacher was so cruel. She enjoyed hitting students, she enjoyed insulting the weak students, and would curse you if you didn’t attend her tuition. She would regularly hit and insult me for scoring less marks and for not attending her tuition. She would even hit by a pipe and with lots of force on my hands and I’d shiver. I was so scared of her that I started skipping school…”

– Panda K, Quora

bullying by indian school teachers
Hindustan Times

8. “My teacher kicked my face when I was laying on the ground after him throwing a tantrum at a very silly thing I did. I was talking in class about some TV show because there were no teachers and this mothafuckr just showed up and called me out and hit me with a bamboo stick and when I fell down crying he kicked on face and then stomped on my head leaving a fucking scar on my forehead even after 19 years. my parents did not even bother questioning the school management. teachers should be scary and friendly based on the situation but they shouldn’t be life threatening psychotic at head.”

– ButterscotchLittle23, Reddit

bullying by indian school teachers
Deposit Photos

9. “After years of bullying, slapping, calling names to 12-15 year old kids, shaming parenting she was finally suspended from my school. She scarred so many kids, I still remember the torture it had on 2 of my classmates. Their whole year was ruined because of her maybe they still remember it. I think every school should have a annual teacher feedback system(students and parents incl) so that a thorough check can be done on those teachers who are violent.”

–  Select_Chicken_9757

bullying by indian school teachers

10. “Thappad maar diya tha because I refused to participate in debate competition. I had stage fear… instead of understanding and finding a solution my Hindi teacher slapped me really hard.”

– Anonymous

bullying by indian school teachers

This is nerve-wracking and our students don’t deserve this, nobody does!