Parent's online petition on safety in schools strikes a chord

Sep 13, 2017, 11:44 IST | Pallavi Smart

Having received an overwhelming response in just two days, the petition listing measures for schools will be sent to prime minister and HRD minister

With no particular guidelines in place to ensure children's safety in school, a parent has taken matters into her own hands and come up with a few measures to be taken by schools.

An online petition has been started in this regard, which in just two days has received nearly 2 lakh signatures. The petition will be sent to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Minister for Human Resource Development Prakash Javdekar and a few chief ministers.

The petition demands periodic safety audits of schools and a regulatory body to keep a watch on whether or not schools are complying with the safety and security measures.

Mother of a toddler Parul Sahaya, who used to live in Mumbai and has now shifted to Gurgaon, started the petition, which demands a standard operating procedure to be put in place by the government to ensure the safety and security of schoolchildren. She has further listed 12 guidelines for the same.

"My child is in play school. Next year, we will have to take admission in a school for her. But after the recent news reports, it is very difficult to take the decision of sending her to school. Child's safety is of utmost importance for any parent, and, along with education, a school should ensure the same. That's why I decided to pen down certain measures that can be implemented easily," said Sahaya, who works in the financial services sector.

"I am really glad to see the support my petition has received. I hope the authorities pay heed to the voices of parents from across the nation."

The petition suggests...

>> Audits to check whether the staff, vendors hired by the school have their background verification checks done or not. Also, a psychological assessment done at the time of hiring a candidate to ensure that the person is not suffering from any chronic mental disorder

>> Audits to check the school structure and ensure that washrooms and other areas are not deserted, with outsiders given separate toilets and cafeterias

>> Audits to check whether the school is equipped to cater to medical emergencies — i.e. having basic first-aid kits, a sick room, and a doctor on call

>> Mandatory know-how on 'bad touch' given to students

>> A safety council in school with parents as members

>> Certificates given to those schools that pass the mandatory school auditory measures on a regular basis

2 lakh
Number of signatures petition got in 2 days

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