An incident where a young child was left unattended off school premises has drawn the attention of officials in Cyprus, with the commissioner for children’s rights seeking more information after educators refused to accept mom’s word about a rapid test result.
A 9-year-old child attending a private school in the Republic of Cyprus was left outside the school one morning in December over a rapid test result that took a while to be delivered by text message, with the mother calling it in and educators refusing to accept it over the phone.
Commissioner for Children's Rights Despo Michaelidou got wind of the incident after receiving a complaint from the mother, with the official asking Education Minister Prodromos Prodromou whether he was informed about the incident and to provide details about child safety protocols in cases where there are delays in rapid test results.
Reports said the mother took her child early in the morning for a rapid test at a private lab, where she was told she would receive a text message shortly with the result for the coronavirus diagnostic exam.
But after the mother left for work and got the text message, she called the school with reports suggesting officials did not accept the result over the phone
According to Philenews, she then took her child to school around 7:15am and explained to the Safe Pass school official that she was expecting an SMS from the health ministry. She says she was told to leave the child and go to work and that she should immediately notify the school about the result before her child could proceed to the clasroom.
But after the mother left for work and got the text message, she called the school with reports suggesting officials did not accept the result over the phone.
The mother then asked about her child’s whereabouts and whether the boy was already in the classroom, with reports saying she did not get an answer.
She then went back to the school and found her kid alone in tears, unattended, outside the school. According to the mother, when she went inside to report the incident to the administration she was told “everyone is busy.”
In late January the government launched a “test to stay” program aimed at keeping schools safe, up and running, so that students who are not infected with the bug would not have to miss out on their education.
Cypriot official seeks answers over December incident when a young child was left unattended after school refused delayed rapid test result over the phone