Dubai: The parents of an Indian toddler have lodged a complaint against a nursery school after their child was attacked by a classmate. Two-and-a-half-year-old Mayed returned from British Orchard Nursery in Mankhool on Monday with severe bruises and bites all over his face on Monday.
His parents said he was attacked in the school around mid-morning.
“My wife got a call from Mayed’s class teacher saying he had been beaten by a fellow student and that she should take him home,” said the child’s father, Yaqoob.
A horrifying shock awaited the parents when they saw Mayed.
“He was not just beaten — but mauled. His face was scratched badly, bitten several times and there was a bump near his eye.”
The alarmed parents rushed him to Prime Medical Centre where a doctor treated the bruises. The following day, the parents lodged a complaint with the Knowledge and Human Development Authority and the Ministry of Education.
The parents said it’s apparent from the scratches and marks that it was a prolonged attack.
“I pray he is not bruised or scarred on his face permanently,” said the father, a Dubai executive.
Mayed’s mother said the nursery blamed her son “because he did not cry when he was being attacked. “I don’t blame any of the kids. They don’t realise the consequences of their actions, so it is unjustified for the school to pin the blame solely on the other boy,” said the mother.
In an email response British Orchard Nursery said they regret the incident and are working with the families involved.
“At the time of the incident there were nine toddlers playing in the garden area with a teacher and two teaching assistants. Two children went into a tunnel section of a play gym, climbing apparatus approximately one metre from where the teacher was sitting. The teacher knew they were there and had been talking to them as they entered the tunnel. She then looked away and began interacting with two toddlers who had joined her. When she looked back at the two children, she could see one child with his hands on either side of the other child’s face, with his mouth open as if to bite him.
From the time the children went into the tunnel and the teacher intervened, less than two minutes had passed. The teacher moved quickly to assist the child, as did the other assistants who had been playing with other children and separated them, placing the child who had hurt his friend with one of the staff members for safety and immediately took the second child to the nurse for assessment, upon which time first aid and cold compresses were applied. The child had scratch marks on each cheek… It is unclear whether the marks left on the victim were by teeth or the child’s fingernails.”
The school said biting is a very common child behaviour and cited statistics saying that a quarter of all children will bite someone in their childhood.
“The nursery has a ‘Biting Policy’ that acknowledges this difficult phase some children experience and sets in place methods to manage the situation. Children are taught to use gentle approaches with others and are closely monitored should there be any history of biting,” the statement said.
But Mayed’s parents said the school cannot wash its hands. “It was a prolonged attack which could have been prevented if they were doing their job. I am pulling out my child for good. I will never feel secure with my son going to that school,” said the father, who said he already paid for Mayed’s fees for a year but will ask for a reimbursement.