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    MISSING OUT: Horsham Special School foundation students, from left, Toby Menzies, Mason Kennedy, Xavier Cowan and Lexus Marsh and teacher assistant Ash Blundell are missing a trampoline mat stolen from the school. Picture: PAUL CARRACHER

Vandals make life tough for Horsham Special School students

Trespassers have left students without a trampoline in the latest incident involving a spate of vandalism and theft at Horsham Special School.

People entering the school grounds, causing damage, littering the site and now stealing equipment, has left teachers and staff frustrated and angry.

School acting principal Joshua Harvey said the theft of a trampoline mat reflected an increase in incidents at the school in the past six months.

“We have had fencing kicked in, graffiti and school equipment damaged. A trampoline mat, we’ve previously had to replace due to it being slashed, has now been stolen,” he said.

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“The mat is valued at between $1000 and $1500 and we now have a safety issue with a large exposed in-ground hole, meaning students are no longer able to access the area.”

Mr Harvey said groups entering the school grounds were also constantly leaving large amounts of rubbish including alcoholic-drink cans and bottles and food wrappers.

“On occasions they have left prophylactics and this all has to picked up by staff before students arrive at school,” he said.

Mr Harvey said the school had installed security cameras in efforts to negate the issue, which had initial success.

“It has been really disappointing to have had constant vandalism occur,” he said.

“We have some of the most vulnerable young people in our community attend Horsham Special School and we are very proud to be able to offer the services and supports needed to help our students achieve success.

“The trampoline offers a range of benefits for our students – the ability to regulate being one – and is something they really enjoy using throughout the day. 

“Unfortunately due to the damages that occur, money must be re-allocated from elsewhere to cover these unexpected expenses, which then directly impacts what programs, activities and future upgrades to facilities we can offer.”

Horsham Special School sits in much of a former Horsham High School and Horsham College site.

The entire December 8, 2021 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!