Ryan Murder: After Minor’s Arrest, Delhi Parents & Experts Reflect

The Ryan incident made parents march in large numbers to schools, and raise important security questions.

3 min read
Parents and experts discussed the way forward after the brutal murder of 7-year-old Pradhyumn.

A 15-year-old was student of Ryan International School in Gurugram was arrested for the alleged murder of seven-year-old Pradyumn, more than sixty days after the child was found in a pool of blood in the school’s bathroom. The brutal murder and recent arrest of the minor by the CBI, after many twists and turns, have sent ripples across the country,

The incident made parents march in large numbers to the schools, raising concerns, and led to schools auditing and reviewing their security situation and increasing surveillance.

In a panel discussion held at a school in Delhi on 14 November, parents, school authorities and experts came together to discuss the important issues that rose from the brutal murder, and the way forward, while maintaining that it was important to give children a free space to grow in.

Aditi Chopra, Director and Legal Counsel of Microsoft India, and a parent said that the issue opened a “pandora’s box” on the safety of children at school, an issue which she said should have been addressed much earlier.

Ryan incident has opened the pandora’s box on what should have actually been addressed some time ago. The right question to be asked is how safe are our schools and as parents how do we trust our schools? How safe are the spaces we send our kids to? The incident has put this question back on the map.   
Aditi Chopra

Another parent, media analyst Parul Sharma, reiterated that while it was important address the issues concerning safety, it is also important to rebuild the trust that seemed to be “shaken” between the parents, teachers and children. She was of the opinion that dialogue alone was the way forward.

Captain Gurmeet Kaur, a former army personnel who handles Operations for Shiv Nadar group of schools was of the opinion that it “very important for schools to keep practicing safety drills”. She added that not only should schools have standing security operating procedure, they should also have parents aboard in the committee.

Bringing the focus back from security concerns, to the mental well-being of children, Clinical Psychologist at Gangaram, Dr Roma Kumar, said that it was time that parents “let go of the stigma” attached to counseling. She also shed light on the “excessive amount of information” available for children these days, and how most of them think that they can “get away with anything they do”.

Something like this in teenage years doesn’t happen suddenly. It’s probably been happening right from childhood where the child has not been seeing consequences of whatever he is doing. This is a child who is not taking responsibility for what he is doing… Going to a mental health person is considered a stigma for teenagers and their parents, and they feel that they have done one mistake and its alright and that in their growing years, it will be better slowly. But no one is understanding the excessive amount of information from various sources that the child gets and hopes can he get away with it.

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