Students’ injuries were life threatening
Saint Kentigern College has admitted two students suffered ‘‘life threatening’’ injuries when a school play went badly wrong.
On April 6 last year two students suffered cuts to their throats on the opening night of the school’s Sweeney Todd production.
The student actors had been performing a scene involving a simulated throat-cutting when a prop razor blade actually sliced the boys’ necks, putting them in hospital.
On Wednesday, WorkSafe New Zealand said the school had ‘‘entered into an enforceable undertaking agreement’’ over the ‘‘very serious injuries sustained’’.
Agreeing to the undertaking means Saint Kentigern College avoids prosecution over the incident but it will cost the school at least $85,000.
In addition, Saint Kentigern’s board will make yet-to-be determined compensation payments to the boys, WorkSafe’s enforceable undertaking report said.
Deputy board of trustees chairman John Kernohan said the board ‘‘sincerely apologises for the fact that the accident happened and for the harm caused to all those families involved’’.
‘‘Saint Kentigern accepts that it should have done more to acknowledge the seriousness of what happened immediately after the accident. The injuries were not minor. The injuries were significant and life threatening.
‘‘Members of the trust board personally feel deep regret and take full responsibility for the emotional and physical harm that has been suffered by those students involved. Ensuring that all students can learn in a safe environment remains Saint Kentigern’s first priority,’’ Kernohan said.
The east Auckland private school was entering into a restorative justice process with the families, and would not comment further until this process is completed, he said.
In its enforceable undertaking report, WorkSafe said school board members met with parents of the injured students to ‘‘formally apologise’’ and to seek the affected families’ input on actions the school needed to take to make amends.
Saint Kentigern’s board had committed to making a yet-to-be determined payment to the boys at the conclusion of the restorative justice period, WorkSafe’s report said.
Injuries suffered by Saint Kentigern College Sweeney Todd cast members were ‘‘significant and life threatening’’.