Bois Locker Room : Learning For Parents
Created by Shikha Batra Updated on May 09, 2020
Ever since the scandal of the 'Bois Locker Room' has surfaced, the incident has caused an outrage amongst public. For me as a parent, it’s beyond that, it’s affected me deeply.
The alleged group which is believed to comprise of young school boys aged between 15-18 years studying in well-known schools of Delhi-NCR, participated in an Instagram group chat that shared private images of underage girls without their consent. What might add to the horror of each parent is that these teenagers were not only involved in exchanging obscene messages and morphed images, but they also indulged in conversations with gangrape, rape and body-shaming of minor girls to name a few.
At a time when as a mother, I am anyways worried about the cases of sexual crimes against women, children and misogynism, the scars of unfortunate crimes as nirbhaya have not healed, the current incident involving young adolescents from reputed schools in the national capital has shaken my consciousness.
I have read about the newer chapters in this whole horrid tale. After the arrest of the admin of the controversial Instagram group by the Delhi Police's Cyber cell, the latest to add to the whole episode is the sad news of the suicide committed by a student of class 12 from the balcony of his Gurgaon flat. He took this extreme step after his name cropped up in this scandal and he was warned by his friends of possibility of him being grilled by the police. He was accused by a girl of molestation on social media as well. Many other members of the 'Bois Locker Room' have been identified and their role is being ascertained by the Police.
The issue raises pertinent questions about who amongst the stakeholders namely parents, schools, social circle, media and technology could have avoided this kind of attitude and behavior of these adolescents. I feel that we have reached a point where access and use of technology is rising by the day and any amount of restrictions are unlikely to be unforced upon, be it the children or adults. The schools are facing enormous pressure of curriculum delivery and extra-curricular activities leaving little scope to monitor the social upbringing and behaviour of the adolescents. The parents are unable to spend enough time with children. At the same time, I don’t think that schools are doing enough about gender sensitization at an appropriate age.
Is the media creating a positive and vibrant environment for shaping the thought process of the young minds? As a parent, my answer is 'No'. We have failed to learn lessons from tragic events of the past and the evil outcomes have surfaced yet again through such tragic incidents.
Here’s what I feel as a Mom to two children. There is a pressing requirement for systemic changes in the way adolescents are being raised in the current social environment. While parents have. The onus to inculcate these positive values, I feel that the schools too have to provide for positive engagement of children on gender sensitization. The parents need to monitor and take timely corrective action in consultation with professionals at schools. I plead the media that instead of being just media, do think of being responsible of your actions and how it creates an impact on the social fabric for each child and adult. You must instill a sense of respect for gender issues and showcase role of law and remedies available in regular intervals. Apps such as Instagram, Facebook, Youtube and Tik Tok are shaping the minds of tweens and teens in the current millennium. The technology must provide appropriate tools to monitor the content and sharing of information on their platform with tools to create automatic alerts on content not adhering to norms, coming from a certain under-age audience. Date of Birth verification should be made a must for anyone signing up on such platforms. The Freedom of expression guaranteed by our Constitution comes with riders of no harm to other and to self. It is the need of the hour that as parents, we ponder upon important issues such as gender sensitization and create an environment that does no harm to either gender and shape the future of our children.
We need to be that bridge and the ones to walk on it with our children too, holding their hands, role modeling and always being available for them to talk it out. What do you think about this whole episode as a parent and what would you want to change in the current environment? Do share your thoughts about this incident in the comments please.