A seven-year-old student got severe acid burns on his face when he, along with his classmates, found some acid bottles in the playground of an elite Gurgaon school, Heritage Xperiential Learning School, and started playing with them on Monday, February 24.
According to the victim’s father, no one stopped them from playing with the acid bottles, as the teachers were not there at that time. He added that the school authorities had installed half dug acid bottles near the boundary to keep snakes away.
He questioned the school authority’s inaction, adding that small children play in the ground all the time and the authority should have fenced that area or used better methods to ward off snakes, rather than pesticide bottles.
Also in a Facebook post, he wrote: “Shouldn’t the school be held responsible for practicing such a dangerous method of dealing with reptiles? Why the school could not engage some new methods like ultrasonic devices or some other alternative method… I will tell you… because the acid bottles are the cheapest method, other methods would have been costly.”
“These high profile schools can charge big amounts from the parents but when it comes to security measures, they will choose a cheaper method no matter how dangerous it is for the kid”, he added.
He also alleged that the school principal is blaming them for creating panic among other parents by sharing about the incidence on social media.
Later, the school authorities sent an e-mail to all the parents of the grade, informing them about the incident and also suggesting the way forward. NewsMobile has exclusively got the copy of the e-mail, which is attached below.
From: Heritage Xperiential Learning School <[email protected]>
Date: February 28, 2020 at 8:46:52 PM GMT+5:30
Subject: Accident on school premises
Earlier this week we had an unfortunate incident on campus where two of our grade 1 students were hurt on the school playground. We are greatly pained by the trauma that the children and their families have faced and our prayers and efforts are with them.
The safety and security of our students lie at the heart of the care given at school. We have always made efforts to make the school a safe place for all. We are constantly evaluating risks and when snakes posed a threat in the recent past, no effort was spared to engage experts to mitigate the problem. It was assured to us that the solutions that the experts were completely harmless to humans.
Be it fire safety or safety during field trips, Coronavirus or H1N1 or any other such threats, we try and bring practices from experts. When despite all our efforts in choosing the right experts, making sure that there are three teachers on the field (who unfortunately, in this case had to attend to another child in distress), unforeseen accidents happen. In such situations, we go back to the drawing board to see what else can be done to address safety. We continuously work with the parent body and the community and professionals and in this instance too, we had immediately taken measures to ensure safety and security.
Sadly we cannot undo what has happened but we can certainly learn from it and our heart goes out to the families. The immediate measures we have taken so far are – 1) We have removed the snake repellent from the campus. 2) We have installed two ultrasonic devices on test mode to test before we finalise the product 3) We are exploring other alternate solutions to deal with potential threat of snakes sneaking into the campus. 4) We have addressed all teachers with necessary advice and instructions to have a dialogue with children about unknown objects. 4) We are planning to further reinforce ‘Our Response to Unknown Things’ in our Social Emotional Learning Programmes.
We will continue to review the safety and security of the campus and at this point of time solicit your trust and faith in school. In case of any query, do reach out to school.
Heritage Xperiential Learning School
Tel No: 0124-2855124/25/26
Address: Sector 62, Gurugram 122011
The parents have lashed out at the school on social media for their callous attitude and for installing a safety measure that compromised upon the safety of students.