A Rotorua principal is calling for parents to "know where their kids are" after a group of youths, one believed to be carrying a knife, damaged school property.
Western Heights Primary School principal Brent Griffin was appalled by the youths who he says "aimlessly" smashed the school security gate, jimmied a classroom window and stole felt pens to graffiti around the school yesterday afternoon.
He said the group of what he believed were 11 and 12-year-olds had "forced their way" onto the school grounds and one appeared to be holding a knife.
"There was just no purpose behind it ... why do these parents not know where their kids are?"
The youths did not belong to the school.
The school had CCTV footage of the group on the school grounds.
He said it was "disappointing" and the community shared this view. He had received a number of messages from upset community members.
"People should feel safe in our school grounds even on the weekends."
He believed the group would have been kicking in the school gate in "open view" of the road but it was fair enough that people were too "frightened to intervene".
Alarms had been set off and security had been called quickly, he said, which was a good deterrent.
He had informed police of the damage and the school he thought the youths attended, he said.
He said they sprang into action to make sure the children at the school were not impacted by the stolen items or damage.
"We love our little school and community ... we very rarely have problems."
He said he just asked parents to "care and love your kids" and "know where they are". "Keep them busy on the weekends ... do things together."