Principal defends student over ‘suspicious device’

Principal defends student over ‘suspicious device’

A student’s personal project caused the partial evacuation of an Adelaide school, with the bomb squad being called in when it was mistaken for a bomb last week.

The Year 2 student from Hallett Cove School brought in his project – a propane canister connected to two batteries – from home to show his teacher.

However, the teacher took the device to the administration building where staff contacted emergency services. Police bomb squad officers soon came to the school and 15 staff were evacuated while the device was examined.

The school later sent a text message and letter to parents explaining the situation and advising that there was no danger to any staff or students.

Hallett Cove School principal, Mary Asikas, told 9News that while the staff had followed the correct safety procedures, the student could not be blamed for the trouble they went through.

“It was a really innocent thing. What we call a suspicious device, to him was his own little project that he made at home and just wanted to show his teacher,” she said.

A South Australian Education Department spokesman said departmental staff provided advice and support throughout the evacuation process, also commending Asikas for her leadership team’s “timely and appropriate action”.

“The principal and her leadership team took timely and appropriate action — these types of incidents are fortunately very rare,” the spokesperson said.

“We strongly encourage parents and students to be aware of the type of disruption this sort of event can cause and ask them not to bring any suspicious devices to school.”

The spokesperson added that students should always avoid taking part in activities which could place “themselves or others in unreasonable danger”.