We’re not sure what school of thought regarding child punishment these teachers subscribe to, but whatever it is, it’s certainly dangerously counter-intuitive.
In a short video above, initially posted on social media and then shared by local news website SukabumiUpdate, grade 2 students at a public elementary school in the Sukabumi Regency of West Java were recently caught smoking on school grounds.
Using some flawed logic, the school’s teachers decided to punish the boys by ordering them to go to the teachers’ lounge and smoke some more. One teacher, seemingly oblivious to the inappropriateness of the whole situation, filmed the boys taking puffs while other students can be heard laughing at them off-frame. The video was then uploaded on social media and became viral.
If the teachers’ reason for forcing the boys to smoke was to make them puff until they became repulsed by cigarettes, it didn’t appear to work because the boys continued to take drags like seasoned pros and not once did we hear a cough throughout the video.
As reported in an accompanying article, the incident occurred last Saturday and has caused extreme distress in the region, especially among parents. The school’s principal did not deny the incident and said that she would hold a press conference to address the public’s outrage today.
The regency’s lawmakers have condemned the incident, saying that not only is forcing children to smoke not educational in the slightest, the fact that they did it indoors violated the region’s smoking regulations, which can be cause to fine the school. The Commission for the Protection of Indonesian Children (KPAI) also criticized the teacher’s decision, saying there are far more appropriate punishments one could give to children for smoking.
This is not the first time that Sukabumi has been in the spotlight for underage smoking. In August, the story of a two-year-old cigarette addict became viral nationally, with the boy said to smoke up to two packs a day — an addiction that reportedly started with him picking cigarette butts off the floor.
Last week, the Indonesian Health Ministry released a public health survey that showed the prevalence of smoking among Indonesian youth (ages 10-18) has risen significantly over the past few years.