Fear grips parents after schools in Noida, Greater Noida receive bomb threat emails - Hindustan Times
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Fear grips parents after schools in Noida, Greater Noida receive bomb threat emails

By, Noida
May 02, 2024 05:20 AM IST

The school management and the police got all the school premises vacated, and bomb squads were dispatched to conduct a thorough search of the premises. When the searches turned up nothing, police declared the emails a hoax

Much like the situation in the national capital, parents in Gautam Budh Nagar too were in a panic on Wednesday after they learned that several schools in Noida and Greater Noida also received a bomb threat email.

Parents gather at DPS in Sector 30, Noida, on Wednesday, to collect their children. (Sunil Ghosh/HT Photo)
Parents gather at DPS in Sector 30, Noida, on Wednesday, to collect their children. (Sunil Ghosh/HT Photo)

The alarm was raised early morning after authorities received an email stating that explosive devices have been kept on several school campuses. Acting swiftly, the school management and the police got all the school premises vacated, and bomb squads were dispatched to conduct a thorough search of the premises. When the searches turned up nothing, police declared the emails a hoax.

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But as worried parents rushed to schools, emotions ran high, with many expressing concern and frustration over the safety of their children. “I couldn’t believe it when I got the message about the threat at 8.20am. My son goes by a private cab and had just reached school when I received the message,” said Sachin Goyal, a parent of class 1 student at DPS Noida in Sector 30.

“All I could think about was getting to my kids and making sure they were safe. Thankfully, I immediately called the cab driver and asked him to bring back the kids, and my son, along with six other children, came back home,” said Goyal, who is a resident of JM Aroma high-rise in Sector 76, Noida.

At DPS Noida in Sector 30, school staff told students that the school is being evacuated as part of a ‘mock drill’, and safely removed nearly 3,500 students from the premises.

“As senior students were already in school around 7.30am, we informed the teachers and got the school vacated on the pretext of a drill, without causing panic among children,” said Deepika, a senior staff at the school, said.

The school has around 74 buses, and they ferried all children back home within the hour.

“By circulating messages on the school WhatsApp group and directly communicating with bus drivers, we called all buses to school and sent children home,’ said Kamini Bhasin, principal of DPS Noida, adding that for the children whose parents dropped them off at school, their teachers individually informed got in touch with parents to come and collect their wards from outside the school.

At DPS Sector 122, Noida, chaos ensued as parents rushed to the school after they received a message from the school about the threat.

“I had just reached back home after dropping my children at the school when at 8.50 am I received the message from the school about the evacuation. As I reached the school, there was a lot of chaos at the gates. However, after about half an hour, I was able to get hold of my child and return home,” said Poonam Kothari, a resident of Sector 74.

Parents who are working professionals had to change their plans following the threat.

Manish Tripathi, whose child studies in DPS Knowledge Park-5 in Greater Noida, had to take a leave from office.

“As per my schedule, I head to work after dropping my children to school. I dropped my son around 8.15am and after about 25 minutes, I received a message from the school that the school was being evacuated. I had almost reached my office in Noida but had to rush back, and I took an off as my wife is also working and had already reached her office,” said Tripathi, a resident of Cherry County apartments in Greater Noida west.

Seeing news reports of bomb threats in schools, panicked parents even reached schools that did not receive a threat email. One such school was Pacific World School in Techzone-4, Greater Noida West.

“After school authorities assured parents that they had received no bomb threat, parents insisted that they be allowed to take their children back,” said Rajiv Srivastava, whose child studies at the school.

“I chose to have faith in the school authorities and my son came back home as per schedule,” he added.

Public relations team of the school said they had not received a bomb threat email and, hence, there was no reason for them to carry out an evacuation.

“Some 20 parents gathered outside the school, and demanded that we sent their children with them. We tried to assure them that there is no safety or security issue at the school and classes will continue as usual. Ultimately, we sent back five students with parents who had come to pick them up with ID cards, while the rest of the parents were sent back,” said Saurabh Pandey, public relations, Pacific World School in Greater Noida.

Similar situation was witnessed at DPS-GBN school in Sector 132, Noida. According to principal Supriti Chauhan, at least a hundred parents reached the school gates demanding to take their children back home.

“We had not received any bomb threat and had conveyed the same to all parents as well. Regardless, a few hundred parents reached our school and started demanding that their children be allowed to return home. The disruptive behaviour displayed by many parents not only caused chaos within the school environment but also placed unnecessary stress on students who were eventually affected by the commotion,” said Chauhan.

Later in the evening, the school circulated a directive among parents. “It has been decided that no parent will be permitted to pick up their child during school hours unless there is prior permission from the class teacher or the student coordinator,” the circular said.

Brijesh Bhati from All Noida School Parents Association said, “It is imperative for parents to have faith in the school. My children study in Bal Bharti School in Sector 21 which sent out messages to parents saying all is fine. While I know some parents reached the school in panic, I decided to trust the school.”

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