Newport Public School, in Sydney’s Northern Beaches, has a public footpath running through its grounds.
While this has been a cause for concern for some parents in the past, a number of them were not previously aware the path could be accessed by the public, and others simply don’t see a need to worry.
“It’s a safe neighbourhood. Safe school. No problem,” one dad told 7 News.
However, a recent incident has seen an increasing amount of pressure from parents to close the walkway for public use.
Two weeks ago a man – who claimed to be a tradesman – was found alone on the path with two six-year-old school girls, 7 News reported.
There were a number of things deemed suspicious about the incident. The man had used the footpath to access the kindergarten, entering a classroom asking for directions to the principal’s office.
The teacher in the classroom then sent two six-year-old girls to show him the way. When another teacher approached him and the girls en route to the office, instead of explaining himself – the man fled.
The incident only gives another reason for parents to renew their campaign for the school to install a fence to better protect the primary school students.
Despite being due to receive $3.2 million in state government funding in the space of six years, Newport Public has shown no plans to invest these towards a fence.
In a letter sent home to parents, the school reassured all that “At no stage was there any suggestion of any threat to any students or staff.”