The Bella Vista RC School in southern Belize was burglarized, burnt, and vandalized last night. Toledo Correspondent Paul Mahung has the story.
Paul Mahung, Toledo Correspondent: A burglary has resulted in the loss of needed school items and set backs to student’s distant education program at Our Lady of Bella Vista RC School. The criminal incident was discovered as administrator and staff members arrived at school for another day of work directly related to providing distanced education for 1,032 students including 927 in primary school and 105 in preschool. Principal of Our Lady of Bella Vista RC School Vincent Nunez spoke to Love News.
Vincent Nunez, Principal, Bella Vista RC School: “During the course of last night a gang of thieves broke into our school compound by prying open the fence. Upon our arrival this morning we found the upstairs standard five classrooms vandalized. The three classrooms were spray painted with numerous graffiti on the walls including our charts and the black board. Also further checks on the compound revealed that twenty six typing sheets were missing from the classrooms, five fans, six padlocks were damaged, we had a skill saw missing, two cordless drills, one table stove including a tank from Ms.Martha’s kitching within the compound as well as a cooler, a case of soft drinks, chips, garnaches, plastic cups and plates from inside St.Martha’s Kitchen that is in the compound. We are very disappointed about this loss here at our school. The estimated damage more or less is about $2,000. We have spent a lot of time and energy in improving our classrooms, our teachers and administrators have invested a lot in the classrooms along with our parents, the PTA and Chairlady however this is like a setback to us since we are doing our distance learning program and our teachers are very depressed including the administrators about what has transpired last night. But we’re hoping on the community to continue assisting us so that we can get back to our feet. Our contact number is 670-3258 and my number is 665-8156.”
Paul Mahung, Toledo Correspondent: Nunez further commented that school documents including student’s distance education completed and returned worksheets and others to be distributed were burnt during the burglary causing smoke damage inside of two classrooms. Our Lady of Bella Vista RC School is under the Stann Creek District RC School Management.
The president of the Belize National Teachers Union appealed to persons involved to consider the students and the teachers before performing such criminal acts.
Elena Smith, President, Belize National Teachers Union: “We all know that our teacher spend so much out of pocket to prepare these classrooms and this year was no different. You saw that these teachers still went ahead despite COVID went ahead and prepared their classrooms, had them fully prepared because they were anxiously waiting for their children to return to them in August and unfortunately that didn’t happen and for somebody or persons to go to a school and do that I mean what can you be thinking of. You are destroying things that your own community needs to assist maybe your own children will benefit from that school. So it is sad it’s unfair and I hope that it’s not politically connected or related you know, somebody not doing things out of whatever politics or even gang or that kind of thing you know some kind of bad feeling toward any teacher or parent or that kind of thing. I would like to appeal to our community please respect our schools and our school supplies you know. Don’t go and break into our schools it’s unfair for the children and the teachers who have to spend out of pocket to put back these things. These teachers are now put back now they have to start over again to get ready so you know you go to school ready to work and that’s what you find it’s not a good feeling and so I would like to appeal to the community to please if you know something report it, if you’re guilty please stop it.”