Parents Concerned After Pre-Primary Students Allowed To Play In Waist Deep Water

Posted on Thursday, November 8, 2018 12:30 PM

This story has been updated below as of 5:30 p.m. to include comment from the executive director of the South Shore Regional Centre For Education.

Parents are concerned after pre-primary students were allowed to play in waist deep water at Dr. John C. Wickwire Academy in Liverpool.

Videos and photos circulating on social media show three four-year-old girls splashing in a flooded part of an outdoor classroom yesterday.

Kimberley Risser, is mother to one of the girls.

Risser says she was sent a photo of her daughter appearing to swim in her winter coat.

Her daughter was recently ill and she says she was concerned about her health as well the possibility of her drowning.

Risser brought those concerns to the Early Childhood Educator who was supervising the children, where she says it was brushed aside.

"She basically laughed at me and said 'well children are allowed to swim,'" says Risser. "I voiced my concern of her potentially getting hypothermia because she had already been sick and coming down with pneumonia and she said 'she's not going to get pneumonia.'"

She noted the teacher also had taken photos and said she was posting them on a pre-primary website.

Risser says if someone hadn't sent her the photo she may not have known what happened because when she picked up her daughter, her clothing had been laundered.

She posted the photo of her daughter on social media last night, receiving dozens of comments from concerned parents.

Although she is upset by what happened, Risser says she believes the pre-primary program is a positive thing and necessary.

"This is an awesome program," she says. "My daughter's safety is my main concern."

She says she doesn't mind her daughter getting wet or dirty but thinks this is excessive.

"The biggest thing was the depth of that water and her getting very sick or worse, drowning."

Risser says she has been in touch with the South Shore Regional Centre for Education and the teacher is not in class today.

Meanwhile, the executive director of the South Shore Regional Centre for Education, says the incident is being dealt with by their human resources department.

Scott Milner says they learned of the incident early this morning.

"Obviously this is a serious matter and staff that were responsible for the pre-primary program have been dealt with through our HR department to the extent required to ensure the ongoing and future safety of the children."

Milner says although they support play based learning the centre would never condone what happened yesterday.

"We do encourage outdoor play and exploration and climbing and that sort of fun activity outdoors but this wading into a pond ... that's not in line with recreational play component as a part of the program."

The centre is investigating and will interview staff who witnessed the events.

Milner says they will also be communicating with parents regarding the incident.

Story by Brittany Wentzell

Twitter: @BrittWentzell

Email: [email protected]