A class 1 student had to spend a harrowing hour inside his school in Odisha all alone, as a staffer allegedly locked the gate without checking the toilet where the child had gone at the fag end of the school hours, official sources said on Thursday.
The headmistress of the state-run Mahavir Nodal School in Balasore was placed under suspension on the charge of dereliction of duty.
The boy remained inside the school building all alone for over one hour on Wednesday. The boy had gone to the toilet when an employee closed the school gate without checking if anyone was inside and left, the sources said.
To add to the student's woes, his father had been late in picking him up from school.
As the boy came near the gate and started crying, passers-by rushed near the gate, consoled the child and called up the employee who had the key, the sources said.
He was eventually rescued, but over an hour was passed by that time.
"The person, who locked the school gate did not search whether anyone was inside. My son had informed the teacher before he went to the toilet," said the boy's father.
Headmistress Shanti Pratima Mahapatra said she used to keep children under lock and key as the school was located on the roadside.
"We cannot allow children to roam around if their parents do not come to pick them up after school hours at the appropriate time," she said.
The student's father had arrived late to pick him up and the peon locked the gate, the headmistress said.
The education officer of Balasore Sadar block, Pramod Kumar Sadangi, has suspended the headmistress after an enquiry on Thursday.