As news of a school bus full of children being attacked in Gurgaon spread, so did panic among parents and schools through Delhi-NCR. While some schools in Gurgaon decided to remain closed on Thursday, to avoid any untoward incident, those in Delhi chose to proceed as usual, putting their faith in the security forces.
Among schools in Gurgaon, apart from GD Goenka World School, Sohna — whose bus was targeted by protesters on Thursday — several others, including Shikshantar, Pathways, and Summer Fields will remain closed on Thursday.
“Due to the current situation in the city and to not compromise on the safety of our students, the school will remain shut,” Pathways told parents.
Gems International School also informed parents that the school will remain closed, stating, “In view of the Karni Sena agitation and school bus pelting today, we have decided to close the school tomorrow. Let us ensure our children are safe.”
Some institutions, however, attempted to reassure parents. The Heritage Experiential Learning School stated, “We have consulted with concerned authorities and have been assured that the administration will ensure safety. The school will remain open tomorrow.”
In its message to parents, Shikshantar stated, “In view of the current unrest and protests by certain groups, we have decided to be on the side of caution and keep the school closed.” Jyoti Arora, principal, Mount Abu Public School, Rohini, said, “The incident has caused panic among all of us. Though we have not received any calls from the parents, we are alert. We have instructed transport managers to take extra precaution. The good thing is that our buses have CCTVs installed.”
Most private schools in Delhi have a woman attendant and a regular conductor in buses to ensure safety of students. However, armed security, schools say, is beyond them. “Our school is open tomorrow. We will have our regular staff on buses. We obviously can’t have armed guards. But there is a sense that such incidents can’t happen in Delhi. Security for Republic Day and ASEAN summit is also high and there is heavy police presence on the roads,” said Springdales School principal, Ameeta Wattal.
“Though we are hopeful such a situation will not arise in Delhi, we are taking extra precaution. However, it is sad that no one is thinking about safety of citizens of the country. Why has no one thought about taking action against these groups of people disturbing law and order,” said V K Williams, principal Mount Carmel School, Dwarka.
Noida’s Shiv Nadar School and Amity schools said that they have been assured by the district administration that it was safe to send children to school. Both will remain open on Thursday.