Recently, someone once told me that teachers can make or break a child and I cannot help but agree with what he said. Today, I want to take the opportunity to talk about teachers. However, I will not be talking about teachers who make or made a positive impact on children. Instead, I am here to tackle the issue of sadistic teachers who bully and make classroom lessons a child’s nightmare.

A recent news piece from The Express Tribune about two children from Pakistan, one a five-year-old and the other a seven-year-old, being hospitalised after being beaten by their teacher over mispronounced Arabic caught my attention. As a blogger, I cannot help but felt disgusted and angry at the teacher who brutally beat the two children with a chair. For goodness sake, what do you expect from two little children here? They make mistakes and they need lots of guidance and patience. Not brutality and physical abuse from the classroom which will scar them (and nearly kill them) for life all because of a minute mistake they make. Reading the article also left me realising that these two children will not be the first nor the last children to be subjected to a teacher from hell. In fact this blog by a Singaporean about bully teachers also caught my attention and is worth a read.

As a blogger I too have a confession to make in response to what happened to the two children: I had a teacher from hell (who had no passion for teaching and was good at lying her way out just to get away scot-free over and over again just to make my classmates and me look like the bad guys) who made life being a seven year old a nightmare for my classmates and me. It all happened about twenty years ago and no person who was subjected to emotional and abuse from a monster teacher daily would lie about it. What we were subjected to is something that no child should go through. The hell we endure was not one year of hell, but three years from seven to nine years of age with the same teacher. As a young adult in my twenties, the ‘atrocities’ that my former classmates and I had endured in the classroom remain with us but we are determined to not let that get to us and allow this to happen again to any child. Anyway, just to make it short, I am not here to gain any sympathy from anyone but I am writing to say that I have lived to tell this tale as well as saying that I dislike teachers who bully. That is not all, I want to tell everyone it is time we need to take a stand against monster teachers doesn’t matter whether you are from a Western or non-Western country.

If you are still reading this and think the 19 January 2011 article is first and last news to feature a sadistic bully teacher, try reading this 2008 news from Malaysia about a pupil being punched for not finishing his homework from The Star. The teacher who punched the poor kid should not only be slapped with a criminal offence but also be stripped of his teaching licence for life. That child did not need that unnecessary punch and that teacher is unfit to teach in the first place. As a a result of the news feature of 2008, two readers wrote letters in response to the incident. One by someone who went through it as a child more than 36 years ago and the other who endured this ‘horror’ about nearly two decades ago (this reader wrote again to another newspaper online and here is the letter).

When we  have nasty teachers who bully they not just ruin a child’s time at school but also they leave a lifelong scar the child will carry. To teachers with no passion, empathy and love for students and think that teaching is for you to make money to fill your pockets in order to survive, don’t teach if you know better that you are only going to ruin a child and set him or her up for life of hopelessness, anger and depression. Or worse perhaps a child growing up into an individual with a messed up life filled with drugs, suicidal thoughts, alcohol and self-harm. You have no right to destroy a child through taunts, abusive words, insults and name-calling just because he or she is young and helpless. That is not all, you are no better than a schoolkid who bullies his or her fellow classmates.

To those who have children, grandchildren, nephews, nieces, younger brothers or sisters that are bullied by their teachers in the classroom, do not be afraid to do something to put an end to it. No child (it is never his or her fault) ever ask for the bullying by teachers to happen. File a complaint with the school principal and if the matter falls on deaf ears, you can go to the local teachers’ union or the education department. If all these fail, you can confide this matter to social services, a child psychologist or even a family doctor. Bullying by teachers are as severe as bullying from classmates and they do leave emotional and psychological scars that no child should be having. Last but not least, check out this blog about how to deal with bully teachers.

To cut this short, what says you about the issue of teachers who bully? Do you believe that monster teachers should be criminally charged and banned from teaching for life? Or do you think that education departments need to be strict on hiring teachers? Do you happen to have or had teachers in the past who made classroom lessons a nightmare for you and your classmates or for your kids? If you do, just to let you know that you are not alone and you are welcome to talk about it (but remember pseudonyms please and no abusive language too!).