Following a science experiment gone awry earlier this month, Grade 2 students at Wellington College International Shanghai, one of the city’s most expensive and exclusive private international schools, suffered burns to their eyes.
According to an email from the school’s headmaster David Cook, published online by Shanghai-based Xinmin Evening News, the incident occured on October 5. It involved a medical demonstration where the children used UV light to discover germs on their hands.
Cook writes that “Obviously, something went wrong” and the school is carrying out a full investigation and taking all precautions to make sure that something like this never happens again. Here’s the full email:
According to Xinmin, unconfirmed rumors floating around online say that the accident occurred because of the negligence of the teacher who didn’t have the young students wear safety goggles while performing the experiments. Wellington has not responded to this accusation.
The school has released a more detailed report online saying that during the lesson each child was exposed to UV light for between 30 and 50 seconds. The day after the experiment, many students began to complain about discomfort to their eyes. Following an initial investigation, the school concluded that the discomfort stemmed from UV exposure during the previous day’s experiment. Wellington is in the process of investigating the incident further.
The statement added that students were quickly taken to Shanghai Children’s Medical Center in Pudong for treatment. All students and teachers involved recovered from the incident and their vision has not been affected. As of October 13, all Grade 2 students have returned to regular classes.
Wellington College International Shanghai, the city’s second most expensive international school, opened its doors last year. Tuition fees at the school are as high as 260,000RMB, attracting many wealthy parents seeking comprehensive education for their kids.
Last year, some parents said they enrolled their children because of Wellington’s famed reputation, and a mother from Hong Kong chose the school because of its high English standards and intensive IB courses which she believed would be helpful in sending her kid to an overseas college.