On Tuesday, the Australian International School and two its staff were accused of carelessness over the death of a four-year-old Emirati boy who drowned during a swimming lesson on November on November 14, 2018. The sports teacher, his assistant, and the school administration were directed by the Sharjah Misdemeanours Court to pay a total of Dh200,000 in blood money to the boy’s parents.
The two staff members were ordered to pay 30,000 each and the school have to pay Dh140,000. The teacher, his assistant, and the school were ordered to pay a fine of Dh5,000 each.
On Tuesday, Judge Hussain Al Assofi issued a verdict which said that the four other staff members were cleared of the charges. The court was represented a civil lawsuit, lodged by the boy’s parents. Meanwhile, the father of the boy said that he will appeal the verdict seeking tougher punishment against those who were responsible for the death of his son.
The school was accused of neglect and failing to take necessary protective measures in and around its swimming pool.
Awatif Mohammad from Al Rowad Advocates, representing one of the teachers, said the school had received several complaints from parents against the school, that it lacked safety measures in the swimming pool area, were repeated several times and the school was aware of it but did not do anything.
“Which she did, and she explicitly told her assistant to keep an eye on this specific student because he was active and moves around often. She then went to the girls’ changing room to check on the girl pupils,” said Awatif.
The father of the child has accused the school of being fully responsible as the school had been informed that his child was very active and could not swim. According to him, it was their negligence which caused the child’s drowning and death. However, the school authority has apologized and expressed their deep regret for the incident.