Mulund school teacher kills, burns snake in front of students

Feb 10, 2018, 18:33 IST | Pallavi Smart

Parents shocked; reptile lovers and activists horrified at manner in which the non-venomous snake was killed

The snake was thrown in a dustbin
The snake was thrown in a dustbin

Students of Vani Vidyalaya in Mulund were in for a shock on Wednesday, after a snake was found in the school, and a teacher caught and killed it, and then burnt it, all before them. While the incident has worried parents, reptile lovers and activists are horrified at how the school treated the incident, and let a non-venomous snake (it was identified so later) be killed.

Parents learnt from kids
"I was shocked on learning about the incident from my son. It is not only dangerous that a snake was spotted inside a school, it is sad that students had to see what followed later. Moreover, the school did not feel the need to communicate to us what had happened. It was after we got to know about it from children that we parents gathered at the school to talk to authorities," said one of the concerned parents. Another parent said, "We demand to know what the school is doing to ensure that such incidents don't recur. This time the situation was taken care of, and moreover the snake was non-venomous."

Authorities must be called
As parents gathered outside, snake lovers and other activists too reached the spot on Thursday. Sunish Subramanian, Honorary Wildlife Warden of Mumbai city, said, "The incident is wrong at so many levels. Not only was it wrong for the teacher to kill the snake without finding whether it was dangerous, the school could have informed appropriate authorities for help. Moreover, after killing the snake, it was burnt and thrown into a dustbin. "We have written a formal complaint about the incident to the authorities. The Range Forest office was informed about it and its officials paid a visit to the school on Friday."

Snake lovers and forest officials identified the snake as a non-venomous rat snake. Range Forest Officer Santosh Kank said, "The teacher has admitted to having caught and killed the snake. The teacher has justified that it was done considering students' safety. Now we are establishing the type of the snake (whether it was a rare species etc) and depending on that, further action will be decided as per the law against the teacher."

Forest office on awareness
While the teacher has been called to the Forest office on Monday for further inquiry, the department plans to hold an awareness session for children at the school. Kank said, "Such incidents happen because of ignorance. You see a snake and there is immediate panic. Prompt reaction is to run, which can be dangerous. Hence we will hold a session by snake experts for children at this school on identifying snakes, how to deal with such a situation, whom to call for help etc."

School quiet
Lalitha Ravikumar, Assistant Head Mistress of the school said she would get back with its response. However, she did not do so.

3 m
The length the Indian rat snake or dhaman grows upto

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