Roadside Romeos – A more serious problem in schools


Security in school is in the spotlight after the incidents in Vasco and the subsequent furore. However, about a year back, there was a more muted reaction to the alleged rape and subsequent suicide of another school girl. But the noise and moral indignation of civic society died soon only to rise again   this time in the backdrop of the heinous rape and murder of another student   this time a 23-year old   in the country’s capital.
Team Herald has been visiting various schools to check on security and general threat perceptions. But, during our visits to school as well as conversations with people connected to some schools another issue has been brought to light. And this one a more serious and recurring problem  some cool dudes who hang around school complexes.
They are basically locals either from the area or even from surrounding areas on their bikes, drawn to schools that have girl students, like flies to honey. The latest trend is that they even come to ‘admire’ teachers  given that most are women and mostly young. They come because they may know a couple of students, but give their attention  unwanted in most cases to others too.  Managements of some of the schools that we spoke to as well as parents say that there should be some way of keeping a track of these roadside Romeos especially as beat cops are supposed to be in every area of the state. If they were to keep a track on these elements and their vehicles, they feel that some sort of control can be asserted.
Also, in case of any untoward incidents even outside the school, involving any of the students, the information gathered would be very useful.
Managements admitted that these elements even come to "admire" the teachers and in some areas are brazen enough to wolf whistle and call out. There have been cases of eloping and love affairs galore in such circumstances. Surprisingly, even teachers have got involved with men from the area where the schools are located.
Incidents such as the Vasco one happen rarely, but nonetheless schools have to be vigilant. School authorities with a few directional changes in mindset can keep an eye and some semblance of control outside school premises and give the girls a chance to be free from unwanted attention and harassment instead of trying to be wise after incidents happen. As the old cliché goes  a stitch in time saves nine. [H]