A mother alleges that a teacher inflicted brain injury on her 7-year-old boy by banging his head against the wall three times for playing in class.
The mother, an Emirati, said that her son is undergoing treatment at a hospital in London following the incident.
“ The hospital sent us back home and said that he was fine and that perhaps the bleeding was due to summer heat ”
Mariam Mohammad about her son Fahd Yasser Abdullah Saeed
The Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) has launched an investigation into the parents' complaint.
The school has refuted the mother's claims, calling them unfounded, and said that the teacher in question was sacked a few days earlier for other reasons.
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Mariam Mohammad's son Fahd Yasser Abdullah Saeed was attending grade 2 at the Dubai American Scientific School in Al Quoz. She has two more children at the school, one in grade 3 and another in kindergarten, in addition to her youngest child.
Mariam struggled to contain her emotions while relating the incident.
"Last week, on Wednesday [May 2], when my son came back from school he told me nothing. At night, around 3am blood started oozing from his nose and mouth and I rushed him to a government hospital," she said.
"The hospital sent us back home and said that he was fine and that perhaps the bleeding was due to summer heat," she added.
"But I was not content with the diagnosis. So I took him to a private hospital where a CT scan was carried out. And to my greatest despair, I was told that there is a crack in my little boys' brain. All the while Fahd was very scared and despite me asking him repeatedly he never told me anything until I was waiting for the report at the private hospital.
"He opened up to me and said that his teacher grabbed him by his head and banged his head on the wall of his classroom three times. He said he was playing in class, which annoyed the teacher."
According to the Mariam, the teacher who allegedly is involved in the incident is an Indian national who joined the school recently, about dthree week ago.
The doctor advised her to take her child abroad for treatment, if possible, she said.
The family already had UK visas as they were planning to travel there on vacation, she said.
"I didn't think any further. I immediately arranged for my son to travel the same day [Thursday]."
But at the airport she found out that her passport had expired, she said. "Also, with my three little children it is very difficult for me to go."
"So I arranged for my sister-in-law to accompany my son to London, where he is now undergoing treatment, after the doctors there confirmed the brain injury."
Meanwhile, she lodged a complaint at the Bur Dubai Police station, she said.
When she went to the school with the police, she was told that the teacher was no longer working with the school and that another child may have caused the injury, she said.
A few days later, she dropped the charges against the school, at the police station. But she told Gulf News that she was threatened by the school to withdraw the police complaint if she wants to continue to send her two other children to the same school.
Mohammad Darwish, chief of the Regulations and Compliance Commission at KHDA, said that the authority is investigating the incident. "We have received and lodged the complaint from the parent. A compliance visit to investigate the case has already been initiated," he said.
"KHDA will take the necessary action once the compliance report has been received," added Darwish.
"I want justice. I'm hardly able to sleep thinking of Fahd's situation," said the mother, calling on authorities to check the school's surveillance cameras to verify if the teacher was still there at the school on the day.
Dubai When contacted by Gulf News, a senior official at that Dubai American Scientific School in Al Quoz said that the incident never occurred. "The allegations are completely false," said the official.
Another official, who identified himself as a board member of the school, but refused to reveal his name, said that the mother was lying and that the complaint was a false one.
"The school has sent a complete report to the Bur Dubai Police station, Ministry of Education and KHDA. It is a completely unfounded complaint, which is why the charges were dropped by the mother."
"The teacher in question was terminated a few days before the alleged incident. Then how could it have happened?" asked the school official.
Asked what led to the teachers sacking, he said that she was terminated after failing to submit some official documents.
Mother owes fees
"On a separate note, the mother owes the school Dh45,000 in annual fees this year," he said.
He also denied threatening the mother to withdraw the police complaint or withdraw her other two children. "We have been cooperating fully with the authorities on this case," he added.