120614. Cape Town. New Orleans Primary school in Paarl where a Grade R teacher was held at gunpoint inside her own class room while the kids were in class. Picture Henk Kruger/Cape Argus

Cape Town - Traumatised Grade R pupils at a Paarl school had to receive counselling after a man robbed their teacher at gunpoint in their classroom.

The suspect is believed to have scaled a fence at the back of New Orleans Primary School in Paarl East on Wednesday morning and then entered the Grade R classroom.

Jessica Shelver, spokeswoman for Education MEC Debbie Schäfer, said 24-hour security had since been arranged for the school.

Police spokesman Captain FC van Wyk said the armed robbery happened at about 9.15am.

“It is alleged that one of the teachers was robbed with a firearm while she was busy in her classroom.”

He said a 33-year-old suspect was arrested and would appear in court on Tuesday on a charge of armed robbery.

According to a Facebook post, one of the pupils was threatened with a firearm but Van Wyk denied this.

A woman who commented on the Facebook post said her child was in shock and didn’t want to go to school any more.

Shelver said the school had contacted the police and the Western Cape Education Department. “Safe Schools officials were immediately sent to the school to assess security arrangements.”

The department has provided counselling for the teacher and pupils.

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Cape Argus