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15.11.10

It was around midnight on Friday when the cellphone of a teacher of a Salt Lake school beeped. Half-asleep, he picked up his mobile and what he saw on the screen made him sit up bolt upright. It was a pornographic clip, sent via MMS.


After a few seconds of shock, he tried to identify the sender but could not recognise the number. He was wondering what to do next when the mobile beeped again. Another MMS. Again an obscene one. And then another. And then another. All from different numbers.

Now incensed, the teacher shot off an SMS to all the senders: "I am taking this to the police". The replies came within seconds. But what he read next left him even more shocked. They were all his students. All four requested him not to go the police.

Author is withholding the name of the teacher, students and the school on request to avoid them any embarrassment.

The teacher was furious but spared the students a police questioning. He did not lodge an FIR but complained to the school authorities. The students were identified, summoned to a disciplinary hearing and given a severe dressing down.

The four were threatened with rustication and ordered to tender an apology to the teacher. Realising that their careers were at stake, the students begged for mercy and apologised. The teacher tried to explain to them that what they had done was a criminal offence under the Cyber Crime Act and it could have even landed them behind bars.

When the teacher wanted to know why they had sent him a porn MMS, the students said in unison that they "wanted to play a prank with him". "It was just for fun, sir," the students said. The teacher was stunned.

Psychologist Amit Chakraborty said that the group of students who sent the MMS clips wanted to tease the teacher for some reason or the other. "Teachers are often seen as power centres and the students may have sent him the porn MMS clips because they wanted to taunt him. Earlier, in all schools students used to tease teachers by giving them some odd nicknames. Now, with mobiles the students jeered at the teacher in another way."

But this should not be encouraged, the psychologist said. Some of the teachers were reportedly in favour of seizing the mobiles of the students for their offence, but that was not done, say sources.

Ruby Sain, head of the sociology department of Jadavpur University, said that mobiles have become a necessity now, which is why parents give the gadgets to their children. "In the present society students have little respect for teachers. So much so that they think nothing of sending a lewd MMS to a teacher. Parents should keep tabs on what the children are doing with mobiles or computers, because they cannot avoid their responsibility. Ideally, students should not be given camera-mobiles as there have been several such crimes recently where school students sent obscene MMSes,"


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