Saskatchewan’s education minister says school divisions should review safety measures at schools that are close to ponds after a kindergarten student died in Saskatoon.
But Bronwyn Eyre says it’s too soon to know what led to the death of the five-year-old boy or whether something could have been done to prevent it.
“I understand that there are a number of schools, and certainly public spaces, that have that type of pond or catchment pond near where children play, so I think that’s something that everyone should be looking at,” Ms. Eyre said on Tuesday.
The boy was found in the pond near Dundonald School after recess ended Monday morning and pronounced dead in hospital.
The pond is about 120 metres from the school property line and there are questions about why there was no fence around either the pond or the school.
It was built four years before the school in 1983 to catch storm water and was converted to hold water permanently in 2005.
“Obviously, now it’s top of mind for people, which I completely understand. As I say, I have a son, he goes to school, and I can completely understand why parents are as concerned and upset as they are today,” Eyre said.
The director of education for Saskatoon Public Schools has said the staff-to-student ratio during recess is adequate eight staff members, plus additional educational assistants assigned to certain children.
Eyre, who was a public school board trustee in Saskatoon, says she hadn’t heard any concern about the pond before.
The little boy was laid to rest on Tuesday — one day after he was pronounced dead in hospital after being found in the retention pond near the school.
A large group of people stood by as the small casket was carried into the back of a waiting hearse outside the Islamic Association of Saskatchewan Mosque.
The flag at the nearby school was lowered to half staff while students paid tribute to the young boy.