In light of the recent kidnapping of a lower kindergarten (LKG) student, the Chennai police urged schools to step-up security measures for ensuring the safety of children. While addressing a meeting of around 200 school principals, the police urged for schools to coordinate with parent-teacher associations (PTAs). They also called for having the identity of van owners and drivers carefully verified.
Toeing the line drawn by the city cops, Academic Coordinator, Bala Vidya Mandir School, Vasathi S mentioned about the probable installation of CCTV cameras inside the school campus. She said that all security measures are undertaken with the teachers. She insisted that teachers are present near the school gate till 3:30 PM to look over the children being escorted by their guardians. She also mentioned that the school maintains a detailed account of all the auto drivers and private van drivers who carry children to their homes.
Taking the higher ground on the directives issued, Principal, St Michael’s Academy, Brother Johnson elaborated on the existing security measures at his institution. He stated that CCTV cameras were already installed and that their school was involved in ensuring the safety of children much before the LKG student kidnapping incident. He mentioned that earlier there were PTA and school meetings once in two months and with the new directives, these meetings would be a monthly affair.
Principal, St Patrick School, Brother Doctor A Stanislaus expressed his inability to cater to students and their needs beyond the school boundary. He insisted that students were a responsibility of the institution as long as they are within the campus; but beyond the school gate, they were helpless.
While schools are responsible for the safety of pupils, it is imperative to emphasise that the police force cannot shrug off the onus with such ease. The safety of each citizen of our nation falls on the shoulders of the police mechanism. And overstepping this responsibility by holding schools accountable is not a rational solution.