‘Zero-Tolerance’ Policy on school security, Directorate of Education tells Delhi HC amidst Bomb Threats

The Directorate of Education (DoE) apprised the Delhi High Court of its “zero-tolerance policy” regarding safety in schools, particularly amid concerns related to bomb threats.

Justice Subramonium Prasad was hearing a plea filed by lawyer Arpit Bhargava after a bomb threat in Delhi Public School, Mathura Road, last year, which later turned out to be a prank by one of the students “just for fun”.

Bhargava, who is a parent, recently also filed an application contending the lack of progress in investigating and resolving three out of five bomb threat incidents reported in schools last year.

The court has now called upon the city government and the police to present an action plan to address the recurring incidents of bomb threats targeting schools in the national capital.

The DoE has submitted a status report indicating its proactive measures to ensure effective implementation of safety guidelines. According to the status report, it issued various directives to schools to enhance their safety and security protocols. These include a circular dated April 16, outlining precautionary measures and delineating the roles of school authorities in handling bomb threats.

The DoE said that while it is committed to enforcing safety measures, addressing bomb threats primarily falls under the jurisdiction of law enforcement agencies. Nonetheless, it has taken significant steps, including convening emergent meetings to devise safety plans and issuing circulars to guide schools in conducting safety audits and preparing for potential disasters.

The report highlighted the DoE’s comprehensive approach to addressing safety concerns, encompassing stakeholder consultations, expert opinions, and issuance of detailed guidelines through various circulars.

Moreover, measures such as making parents aware of the consequences of hoax threat calls, conducting safety walks, and implementing mock drills for evacuation have been initiated.

Furthermore, the DoE has established an online reporting mechanism for schools to regularly update their safety status.

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The petitioner had cited the alarming frequency of bomb threats and stressed the need for swift and effective measures to ensure the safety of children and all stakeholders. The latest application filed by the petitioner referenced a recent bomb threat email directed at the court itself, underscoring the urgency of the situation.

The court had earlier also impleaded various private schools’ organisations as respondents to the case and issued notices to them.

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