Anger at special school break-in

MISSING: The bus stolen from the Wangaratta special school.

MISSING: The bus stolen from the Wangaratta special school.

THE principal of a special needs school is disgusted after another attack at the site.

Thieves broke into the Wangaratta District Specialist School on Thursday night or Friday morning in the third recent incident.

Items were taken from drawers and cabinets and a school bus was stolen from the Appin Street centre.

Principal Chris Harvison was furious about the incident on Friday morning.

“We’re gutted,” he said.

“I think it is despicable.

“It’s revolting behaviour to steal from anyone.

“Our kids are probably more vulnerable than other students.

“We think they have a right to feel like their school is a safe place and behaviour like this makes them question that.”

We think they have a right to feel like their school is a safe place and behaviour like this makes them question that.

The bus, which is used to transport students, had not been found by Friday afternoon.

It followed at a break-in at the school last Saturday where items were stolen.

A chicken also had its head ripped off during an attack in September.

A greenhouse was also set alight in the previous attack, a hoist on a bus torn off and a second bus damaged in an incident labelled “a wild rampage” by police.

Mr Harvison said it was important special needs students to stick to routine.

“They’re asking questions and wanting to know why one of their busses isn’t there,” he said.

“It’s having an effect on on how we run programs for our kids.” 

The school has 148 students aged five to 18. 

Mr Harvison said the school, which already had limited resources, had to cover the cost of the incidents. 

The bus is insured but Mr Harvison said any damage and thefts came out of the school’s pocket. 

“To say we’re disappointed is an understatement,” he said. 

“It’s an incredible inconvenience. 

“It’s just an unnecessary setback for our kids. 

“We work really hard to give them the best learning opportunity we can, with finite resources. 

“It’s just a kick in the guts.” 

Mr Harvison is hopeful someone has information on the stolen vehicle. 

Two keys were stolen from a safe at the school, with one set used to take the bus. 

“I’m shattered to think what further damage has been done in the hours it’s been missing,” he said. 

Call Wangaratta police on (03) 5723 0888 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 with information. 

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