School hit five times in 16 months
ANGER, frustration and disappointment.
These three emotions were foremost in Yamba Public School principal Sam Davison's mind yesterday as he took action for the second time in four months to prevent ongoing vandalism at the school after 14 windows were smashed on Saturday night.
Following the rampant destruction caused by three youths at the school on the evenings of January 9 and 10, and January 13, Mr Davison again called the Education Department's safety and security division yesterday.
Part of his conversation was to request the school be fully alarmed, and/or a perimeter fence be erected to keep vandals out, as the school community struggles to deal with the fifth similar incident in 16 months.
Mr Davison said either option would mean an investment of more than $250,000, but enough was enough.
“I am very disappointed,” he said.
Windows in the office and classrooms were smashed by the perpetrators using large rocks and a playground bench seat used as a battering ram.
But unlike the needless destruction in January, it appeared there was no damage inside classrooms or the office.
The damage could have been much worse if attempts to set alight trees at the back of the school had been successful.
Yamba Fire Brigade Captain, Alan Brooks said they were called to extinguish a tree that had been set alight about 11pm on Saturday night.
He said the tree was on the same side of Angourie Rd as the school, about 50 metres from the roundabout.
The Daily Examiner yesterday learned two Caucasian youths were spotted by security guards near the scene.
State Member for Clarence Steve Cansdell said he met with Education Minister Adrian Piccoli yesterday afternoon to discuss the situation at Yamba Public School.
“I have requested that we get the NSW Education Department Safety and Security directorate at Yamba Public School to do a safety and security audit on the school to make the premises secure,” he said.
Mr Cansdell said he would be suggesting the Education Department look at alarming the school, installing closed circuit television cameras and or fencing the boundary to prevent vandals entering.
School Education Director Clarence Valley, Ron Phillips, said, like Mr Davison, he was disappointed to hear of the vandalism.
“It is appropriate security measures at the school are reviewed and appropriate action taken to stop this happening,” he said.
“These senseless acts of vandalism fortunately haven't disrupted the school too much but it is disappointing for the Yamba Public School community.”
“If any members of the public saw anything on Saturday night I would encourage them to report that to the police.”
The police did not respond to calls from The Daily Examiner yesterday.