Bengaluru: Private schools in Karnataka have been asked to keep an eye on school bags of children who may be bringing “flowers, gifts, greetings cards, chocolates or anything red” to celebrate Valentine’s Day.
The diktat is part of an advisory issued by the Associated Management of Primary and Secondary Schools in Karnataka (KAMS), an unaided schools management association.
The advisory, issued to schools affiliated to KAMS, believes that under the ruse of celebrating Valentine’s Day, children “may resort to lying to their parents, stealing or loaning money to celebrate the day, at an age when they are incapable of understanding love”.
Speaking to ThePrint, S. Shashi Kumar, secretary, KAMS, defended the advisory as a “safety exercise”.
“We are trying to warn parents and schools of how children may fall prey to such unnecessary indulgences and even force them to beg, borrow or steal to impress another,” Kumar said.
“They are impressionable minds and they have to be guided well. The note is to make sure that parents and school managements are aware that there have been instances where children have been found visiting malls, cinemas or shopping without the knowledge of their parents or schools.”
Will force adolescents to break rules: Psychologists
Psychologists, however, do not agree with the note.
Parenting and child expert Dr Meena Jain told ThePrint that the timing of the advisory was questionable, warning that it will force children, especially adolescents, to break rules.
“If you tell teenagers or adolescents not to do something, the first thing they will do is rebel,” she said. “Look at it in a constructive way and try to get them to understand how futile celebrating the day is. Here you are triggering the rebel in them when the entire world is celebrating.”