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Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Kidnapping Alert: School Principals must intensify security, Ministry warns

Separating a parent from their child, or a child from their parents is probably the worst thing that could happen. Kidnapping is a crime which has been around for centuries and present in every corner of the earth.  The Ministry of Education of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has just recently issued a warning to all of the school principals in the Kingdom that they must increase the safety measures and alertness of the security in order to successfully prevent any children from being kidnapped. This new warning by the Education Ministry comes just after the kidnapping of Juri Al Khalidi, a 2 year old.



The 2 year old child had been kidnapped from inside a clinic located in Riyadh. Riyadh police found the 2 year old child in an apartment located in the Ishbilyah district.  The child was with 2 individuals one of whom was a citizen and the other an expatriate, both of whom had been arrested upon the recovery of the child from the apartment. In accordance to the report made by a local publication in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Education Ministry has stated that the officials of the schools must inform the parents of the students if any of the transportation arrangements for the students have changed. This also includes if a relative or driver comes to pick up a student.



The spokesman for the Ministry of Education, Mubarak Al Osaimi stated that there are currently regulations in place which serve as a guidance to the schools on the level of measures which must be taken in order to ensure the safety of the students. This includes when the students have to stay at the school premises beyond the school hours due to their parents running late to pick them up. Spokesman Al Osaimi added that the regulations set by the education Ministry require all schools to educate the students about how they can protect themselves in such cases. The school also is compelled to inform the parents of all the absent children every day, and also monitor the younger ones at all times.



Several of the principals of girl schools stated that the process of installation of the surveillance cameras has been started in order to keep a check as to who it is that is picking them up after school. The primary objective of this is to watch the school gate and to identify people who pick up the girls after school.” It is to prevent kidnappings” stated the principal of a private school, Fatima Hasan. Another female principal stated that she had recently had a discussion with the officials of her school on how to increase protection for students and control the system of gate pick up of students.



If the parents decide to send someone other than the usual to pick up the students from school, they must be provided with written permission and it is also beneficial to inform the school via telephone prior to the end of the school day.


Source: Arab News

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