Grow Plants As Punishment: Bengal School Opts For Eco-Friendly Measure To Discipline Students

Sayantani Nath

West Bengal

It was a little after classes resumed post the lunch break. A sudden uproar tore through the silent school corridors, as news spread that a class 6 student has tested his strength on a wooden door, breaking it down to pieces. 

The petrified prankster is soon summoned by the principal. With bated breath, he enters through the dreaded doors and awaits his fate. He emerges a while later with a perplexed, but happy face.

So what was his punishment? He has to plant two saplings and maintain them till they blossom. The duration of his punishment lasts till the plants flower.

Bigger Offence Means More Plants

Almost all of us can recall being a naughty student at school and being duly punished by our teachers. Ranging from a few smacks with a cane to detention after school hours – school punishments have evolved over the ages ensuring a healthy environment for the students. However, Krishnanagar Collegiate School in Nadia, West Bengal, might have devised the best possible punishment in history – growing a plant. 

Principal Manaranjan Biswas believes students can be taught the true worth of something through creation, and planting a tree is the simplest way to convey that message. 

In his school, if someone engages in a fight with a classmate or damages school property, his punishment is to grow a tree from a seedling. “Not only does this teach him to love nature and be eco-friendly, but it also nurtures the young mind with good moral values. The greater the seriousness of one’s offence, the more number of plants he has to maintain,” Biswas shares with Efforts For Good.  

Reaction Of The Students & Guardians

The new punishment was introduced once the school reopened after summer vacation. “We are starting a green campus in our school premises. The punishment of planting trees will coincide with the upcoming monsoon months and help flourish the garden,” informs Biswas, an avid environmental enthusiast.

Grow Plants As Punishment
The green campus

The punishment has been very enthusiastically received by the students as well as their guardians. Principal Biswas shares, “Some guardians did express their concern saying this will not help control the unruly teenagers. But, once we explained how caring for a plant positively affects a child’s psychology, they gladly cooperated. We are also seeing some conscious parents urging their children to participate in the tree plantation even if they have not been punished.”

Some Other Innovative Punishments At The School

Corporal punishment is a thing of the past as the Supreme Court has long prohibited any form of physical abuse towards young students in the pretext of disciplining them. So, most educational institutions resort to detention, guardian calls and moral lessons to dissuade students from repeating their misdeeds. However, often these seem to have little effect on a student’s conscience. 

In this context, the punishments at Krishnanagar Collegiate School surely stand out. Other than planting trees, the teachers often ask students to clean up the classrooms as a punishment for some misdoing or the other. Naughty students are also asked to make handicrafts, paintings or collages. Sometimes, kindergarten students are instructed to climb up and down the stairs and understand basic maths during their detention.

A peer-to-peer disciplining system also prevails where senior wrongdoers are assigned to discipline their younger counterparts. The results have been really promising in this case. 

Also Read: At This School By A Former Monk, Children Use Shovels & MacBooks With Equal Ease

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