Bengaluru toddler assaults classmate, playschool blames it on exposure to digital devices

Parents of both children do not want to pursue a legal case, the tiny tots have been pulled out of the playschool.

ByBellie Thomas

Published Jun 24, 2023 | 1:04 PMUpdatedJun 24, 2023 | 1:04 PM

Kids Quarrel - Representational Picture Wikimedia Commons

The Bengaluru city police are now caught in an assault involving two toddlers.

It all began with a video getting circulated on social media on Thursday, 22 June. The video showed a two-and-a-half-year-old boy repeatedly roughing up a girl around one year his junior at a Montessori playschool in South Bengaluru.

The two were part of a group of eight children, and the incident occurred when a caretaker, reportedly, left them unattended in the room for about 10 minutes. The video, initially circulated among the staff members of the playschool, somehow found its way to social media.

As the video went viral, serious concerns were raised over the safety of children dropped off at playschools.

Taking cognizance of the incident, the  Subramanyapura police rushed to the school and conducted a preliminary probe.

One of the tiny tots involved was admitted to school in early June, while the other joined a week ago.

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Parents pull out wards

The police spoke to the parents of both the children. The boy’s parents profusely apologised to the girl’s guardians and requested the police not to register a case. The girl’s parents, too, were against pursuing a case.

The police have now sought the advice of the Block Education Officer on the further course of action to be initiated.

The playschool owner told the police that the incident occurred when the caretaker stepped out of the room to mop up water that had spilled on the floor so that the children would not slip and fall.

The preschool, with four teachers and three caretakers, has 56 children under its care. The owner told the police that a process to recruit more staff was underway.

The owner reportedly told the police that since the admissions had just begun, it was too early to assess the behaviour of the children, since it would be a continuous process.

Quoting the preschool owner, the police said almost all children, especially after the pandemic, have developed impulsive behaviour patterns due to over-exposure to mobile phones and other digital devices.

The social skills of the students, too, have been hit, he told the police. However, he asked the boy’s parents not to send him to the school. The girl’s parents decided against sending her to the same school.

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Breach of law

While the parents of both children took a mature stand, several vernacular television channels aired the incident and identified the children in violation of media laws.

“Several vernacular channels were playing the video footage without even blurring the faces of the kids, which is an offence,” a senior police officer told South First.

“The laws are getting amended and are changing in the country and one could land in trouble in the future for sharing, publishing, or broadcasting such footage. Some day we will be asked to send notices to all parties involved,” he added.