Stealing from school kids is ‘the lowest’
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.