By Ms. Nithya Sundaram
Abhishek was an average student given to mischief. He made fun of teachers and played the fool around in school most of the time. His mother, who regularly turned up for all parent-teacher meetings, was a quiet lady. The boy used to simply take her for a ride. When he came to senior classes and had to face board examinations, his father decided to take a serious interest in the boy’s education. He began to attend the parent-teacher meetings. The reason was one incident. The library in the school had books stacked on planks attached to the shelf. The plank was placed on a small knob, the size of a coffee bean, which in turn was plugged into a hole. One day when students were asked to sit in the library and complete their project using the library books, Abhishek and his friend decided to play a prank and delay project submission. They pulled the knob from the hole and flushed them into the toilet dustbin. The planks were so tight and fit in perfectly on the shelves, that it took some time for the planks to give way under the weight of the books and come crashing down.
Some investigation and brain work by the librarian pointed to these two boys. The school principal and coordinator spoke to the boys till they could elicit a confession. The punishment was detention for three hours on Saturday on an extra project. To convey the decision, parents were called and the father put his foot down against the errant son. Any amount of protestations from Abhishek did not work. He finally submitted and apologized. He completed his work on Saturday and went back home.
From this point onwards, we saw the change. His work started coming in on time. Though not extraordinary in his performance, he maintained an average. He completed his schooling with an average grade but his behavior definitely showed a turn for the better. In fact, in his essays that he wrote for entrance to the universities, he wrote about how he made a turnaround. He got admission into some good universities abroad and earned some scholarships as well.
This incident is a clear indication that if the parent takes a clear stand against indiscipline, students will come round, whatever their compulsions.