Safety measures in place for Geham school students

Parent Leila Fisher is concerned Geham State School students are being made to wait in this area that is exposed to the sun.
Parent Leila Fisher is concerned Geham State School students are being made to wait in this area that is exposed to the sun. Contributed

UPDATE: The Department of Education says safety measures are in place to protect Geham State School students from overexposure.

On Friday a parent contacted The Chronicle with concerns regarding the area that children wait in for pickup after school, saying it was unsafe.

A Department of Education and Training spokesman said the school took the safety of its students very seriously.

"Geham State School has recently put in place additional safety measures to protect students from the dangers of over-exposure to the sun and also minimise the risk of vehicular incidents during the high traffic period at after school pickup time.

"During this short period while awaiting pick up students gather in one of two areas, either under the large tree adjacent to the peace garden or a covered area at the end of toilet block.

"While students are in these locations teachers on duty can easily supervise and safely manage the pedestrian crossing, keeping children out of harm and away from the busy carp ark.

"If any parents are unhappy with the safety measures put in place by the school they are encouraged to discuss the matter with the principal."

More information on sun safe strategies for schools can be found on the website:

The shaded area where students used to sit.
The shaded area where students used to sit. Contributed

EARLIER: A woman from the Toowoomba region is concerned children at a Darling Downs school are being left out to bake in the sun in unsafe conditions.

Leila Fisher said children at Geham State School, north of Toowoomba, were being forced to sit in the blazing sun and were in danger of contracting skin cancer and heat stroke.

A heatwave is bringing scorching temperatures to the Darling Downs this weekend which led Ms Fisher to contact The Chronicle with her concerns.

While it may seem a trivial concern to some, Ms Fisher says she's concerned not only for her children but for others at the school.

Previously the children were waiting to be picked up under a big shady tree but are now made to sit in a "peace garden" that has no sun protection, Ms Fisher said.

The new garden has reflective white gravel on the ground.

According to Ms Fisher the children are being made to sit on Besser blocks in unsafe conditions while they await pickup from their parents.

"I'm concerned there will be kids keeling over this afternoon," she said.

"I have told my kids to sit under the tree regardless of the policy."

She called the policy dangerous and not in line with Queensland Education's sun safety strategy.

More than 100 children attend the school.

Ms Fisher said other parents were also outraged.

"I hope common sense prevails and the children aren't made to sit in that garden."

The sun safety strategy requires the school community to provide effective educational programs on sun safety and preventive measures that maximise the use of available shade for outdoor activities.

Queensland Education has been contacted for comment.

Topics:  queensland education toowoomba

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