Pupils locked in school gym for unpaid fees

Dubai police and the emirate’s private schools regulator are investigating the incident

A school pupil in Dubai contracted coronavirus from a parent who had been abroad, Dubai Health Authority said. Getty
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A Dubai school that reportedly locked a group of pupils in a gym because their parents had not paid their fees is under investigation by police and the emirate’s private schools regulator.

A member of staff at the school, in Al Qusais, called Dubai police on Tuesday after a video of pupils packing the corridors and demanding their classmates be released surfaced on social media.

Police sent a representative from the Child and Women's Rights Department to investigate, reported Al Roeya the Arabic-language sister newspaper of The National.

The incident was also reported to the Knowledge and Human Development Authority, the emirate’s private schools regulator. KHDA said it had been sent evidence of the incident and was investigating the matter.

The video filmed at the school was sent to police and media outlets across the country. In it, pupils can be seen massing in the corridors, filming what was happening and chanting “release our friends”.

Fatima Al Balushi, head of awareness and education at Dubai Police's Child and Women's Rights Department, said a team of "safety ambassadors" was subsequently sent to train school staff on how to handle such situations in ways that comply with the country's Child's Rights Law and Child Protection Policy, Al Roeya reported.

The video was the second to appear on social media from a school in Dubai this week.

On Monday, a video of a pupil bullying her classmate, pulling her hair and yanking her by her uniform, was posted to Twitter and widely shared.

The girl being bullied can be heard crying in the 57-second clip, which was apparently filmed by another pupil at the school, Gems World Academy in Al Barsha South.

Gems Education has said it is looking into the incident.