The Lagos State Government, yesterday, ordered the temporary closure of Chrisland School, located at Opebi-Ikeja, following the death of a student of the school, Whitney Adeyemi.
The order was contained in a statement by the state Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Folasade Adefisayo, yesterday.
Adefisayo said the closure was ordered pending the outcome of a full investigation into the unfortunate incident.
According to her, “On behalf of the state Ministry of Education, we commiserate with Mr. and Mrs. Adeyemi, parents of Whitney, over the death of their daughter.
“We also note the impact of this unfortunate event on family, friends and acquaintances of Whitney and call for calm as we assure that no effort will be spared in investigating the incident. We, pray for the repose of her soul.”
Meanwhile, controversy is trailing the circumstances surrounding the death of Whitney, whose demise occurred during the school’s sporting competition last Thursday.
This followed claims by some of the students that 12-year-old Whitney was electrocuted, contrary to claims by the management of Chrisland International High School, that she slumped in the full glare of other students and not under any hidden circumstances.
But the bereaved father, Dr. Michael Adeniran, said the battle line had been drawn, as legal action would be filed against the school over its comment that his late daughter was sick.
Some of late Whitney’s schoolmates, who claimed to have witnessed the incident that led to her demise, said she “was electrocuted by a naked wire from a cotton candy machine.”
One of them, in an audio recording on a school group chat, said Whitney and her friend had gone to buy candy at a cotton candy stand that fateful day when tragedy struck.
According to the student, “I don’t know what happened when they got to the stand, whether she placed her hand or leg on something. But, we noticed all of a sudden that a strong force pulled Whitney up and threw her on the ground. That was when people started pouring water on her. Immediately, the owner of the candy stand switched off the machine and ran away through the fence.
“There were no medical personnel to attend to Whitney or administer first aid on her before taking her to the hospital. It was fellow students that were pouring water on her, until the school nurse arrived. The nurse couldn’t do much, so they had to convey her in the school bus since there was no ambulance at the venue.”
But the school exonerated itself from culpability, explaining that its immediate response was to identify the nearest medical facility, where the doctor on duty administered oxygen and every aid possible on her.
The school in a statement by its management said: “The management and staff of Chrisland Schools Limited are heartbroken and distressed over the death of our precious student, Whitney Adeniran, whose painful exit occurred on February 9, 2023.
“Whitney was one of our Day students, who opted not to participate in the Inter-House Sports march-past for reasons we were not very sure about. However, on discretion, we respected her decision to err on the side of caution because on January 20, 2023, it is in our records that she complained about not too buoyant health and we immediately contacted her parents. Her father, Mr. Michael Adeniran, came to the school to take her home. We emphasized to her parents to take a critical look at her.
“It is instructive to state that Whitney slumped in public view and not under any hidden circumstances whatsoever.”