Steal­ing from school kids is ‘the low­est’

Matamata Chronicle - - Front Page - REXINE HAWES

A small Waikato school will have to share its lim­ited IT equip­ment af­ter its sec­ond bur­glary in 12 months.

Thieves broke into Te Kura o Wa­haroa, near Mata­mata for the sec­ond time, tak­ing 18 Ap­ple iPads and 15 Mi­crosoft Sur­face Pro lap­tops from a pad­locked charg­ing cab­i­net in the locked school re­source room.

They also broke into the safe in the prin­ci­pal’s of­fice, tak­ing MTA vouch­ers, as well as a lap­top and cam­era.

Af­ter the first break in last year, se­cu­rity was tight­ened, in­clud­ing safety latches on all the win­dows.

The school has an alarm, and all of the doors as well as the school safe are locked at the end of each day.

As an added safety mea­sure, staff had en­abled the iPads’ lo­ca­tion de­vices, which helped po­lice re­cover some of the stolen equip­ment.

One per­son has been ar­rested and charged.

The re­main­der of the iPads are yet to be ac­ti­vated and Sur­face Pros do not have lo­ca­tion set­tings.

Three of the stolen iPads were re­cently do­nated by LIC, the oth­ers were pur­chased by the school.

The school’s in­terim prin­ci­pal Hine­tai Tait said the school com­mu­nity is rat­tled and fu­ri­ous.

‘‘It’s a small school, it’s hard enough to bud­get for IT equip­ment be­cause of how ex­pen­sive it is. ‘‘It is a big thing for the kids.’’ Te Kura o Wa­haroa has 42 stu­dents from Year 1 to 8 on its role, as well as four teach­ing staff and a teacher’s aide. It is to­tal im­mer­sion. When the school was bro­ken into last year, thieves took their time to re­move an ac­tive board from the wall.

They also took the pro­jec­tor and a cam­era tri­pod and al­most all the pens from the ad­min of­fice.

‘‘It is heart­break­ing re­ally - heart­break­ing for the kids,’’ said Tait.

‘‘This time it’s all their de­vices. It’s hard for the se­niors as we do a lot of on­line learn­ing.

‘‘It’s not that we don’t use pa­per and pen, but tech­nol­ogy is a part of our day-to-day learn­ing,’’ he said.

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