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Ryan school murder raises fears of unsafe schools

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(Indian security personnel and demonstrators gather outside the Ryan International School in Gurgaon)

On Friday, a shocking scene was discovered in the toilet of Ryan International School in Gurgaon; the body of Pradhuman Thakur, a Class II student of the school was found dead with his throat slit and a knife as discovered at the scene. He was found by some students who immediately alerted the management.

10 people were detained which included the members of the school's staff and the bus conductor. The Haryana police will question the CEO of the Ryan International Group, Ryan Pinto. Following the murder, the CEO said that students’ safety was a top priority and that the school should not be held culpable saying, “We will not succumb to all the false allegations being made, nor will we fuel the various controversies being spread”.

Manika Sharma, the Director of The Shri Ram Schools in Delhi and NCR, in an op-ed for the Indian Express stressed on the importance of creating a safe learning environment for children in order to keep them safe –

“At the core of such incidents is a burning question that remains: Who is responsible for the safety of our children? Is it the school or the parents or at a larger level, the government? Perhaps it is all of them.”

“At school, creating a safe learning environment, identifying pupils who are suffering or at risk of harm and then taking suitable action, are vital to making sure that children are safe.”

This latest incident calls into question how seriously schools take students safety. The presence of not just security personnel but of other equipment particularly CCTV’s on school campuses. With regard to the this particular school, there seems to have been some security lapses; non teaching staff were hired without proper vetting allowing those who may have criminal records to work on the school premises and some of the CCTV cameras were not........

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