The tragic death of Laerskool Queenswood learner Latoya Temilton, 12, has compelled many organisations to voice their concerns about the safety of excursions that have continued to claim lives over the years.
In the recent case, it is reported that learners went on a one-day excursion to Wag ‘n Bietjie Resort in Witkoppen, Olifantsfontein, where Latoya drowned.
The Teddy Bear Foundation, one of the few institutions that has specialised in offering holistic treatment to mistreated children, also spoke about safety protocols, pointing out that they were disregarded.
“The drowning at Laerskool Queenswood is a poignant reminder of the imperative need for strict safety adherence in educational outings.
“Late indemnity forms, supervision lapses, and communication failures have scarred young minds. We need to prioritise student safety.
“The incident at Laerskool Queenswood unveils a disturbing regard for safety protocols in public education. Late indemnity forms, unsupervised children, and poor communication have left lasting trauma. Accountability is crucial. Let's demand robust safety measures.”
The incident also reveals a structural breakdown in the organisation's safety protocols, it said, emphasising how learners have been severely impacted by incomplete indemnity forms, inadequate supervision, and poor communication.
“For improved safety measures and accountability, immediate action is required. Better is what our kids deserve.”
The DA urged the Gauteng Department of Education to prioritise learner safety.
“The DA urges the GDE to mandate protective measures during school outings following the tragic drowning of Latoya Temilton. We demand schools prioritise learner safety and implement necessary precautions. Our hearts go out to Latoya’s family.”
Gauteng Education MEC Matome Chiloane conveyed his condolences to the family, revealing that he has recommended that an independent investigation be conducted.
Chiloane added that the process of appointing an independent law firm is under way.
A law firm will be introduced to the school management team and the learner’s family subsequent to their appointment.
“We are devastated by this tragic loss. We convey our sincerest condolences to the bereaved family and the school community at large.
“We are hopeful that an independent investigation into this incident will assist in determining what exactly occurred,” he said.
Latoya was laid to rest on Saturday.