Surprise school bag checks yield condoms, cigarettes,Contraceptive Pills.
The random bag-checking was initiated across several schools in the city following orders by the Associated Managements of Primary and Secondary Schools in Karnataka (KAMS). The items were confiscated from bags of students in Classes 8, 9 and 10.
Amid widespread raids across school bags of students in Bengaluru to curb rising incidence of students carrying mobile phones to school, teachers and authorities have been left red-faced after discovering other illicit items like condoms, cigarettes, lighters and contraceptive pills. Paint thinners that are known to be used for substance abuse were also found among the possessions of a few.
The trend has left teachers and school authorities concerned. Following the confiscations, several schools held meetings with parents of concerned students. The principal of a school in Nagarabhavi told the paper that parents were equally shocked and they too informed the school about “sudden behavioural changes in children”.
However, instead of suspending the children or taking punitive action, the schools have been recommending counseling and rehabilitative care for the children, some of whom might be facing addiction problems. The discovery of condoms and contraceptive pills from bags of students have also left parents and teachers alarmed.
Though we have counseling sessions at schools, we asked parents to seek help for children from outside and granted leave for up to 10 days,” the principal was quoted by Deccan Herald as stating.
Substance use and abuse has been a growing problem with Indian children. A 10-city survey covering nearly 6,000 school students from. A Survey of over 6,000 school students from 10 cities in India from May 2019-June 2020 found over 10 precent of students had indulged i n substance abuse. The substances ranged from cigarettes, alcohol, marijuana and even opioids and inhalants.
Use of mobile phones in schools and junior colleges was banned by the Karnataka government in 2007 citing potential adverse health effects