JOHANNESBURG – The EP Baumann Primary School in Mayfair, Joburg, has bolstered security following the kidnapping of a Grade 5 learner outside the school premises around 7am on Wednesday morning.
The learner was kidnapped by three armed men who were travelling in a new Toyota Yaris model, with the registration plates of JS62CS-GP.
The school pleaded with parents not to panic following the kidnapping of the learner, telling them in a school letter, that it was a targeted and isolated incident.
The learner had been in a queue waiting to be sanitised upon entry at the school gate when she was abducted.
In a letter to parents yesterday, school principal C Jill, appealed for calm in the school community and said it was an isolated incident. She also appealed to parents not to speak on social media or on the media as this would cause panic.
In the letter, Jill assured parents that learners had been safely contained within the school premises and officials from the Department of Education, the police and private security, were present at the school following the abduction.
The school would continue its staggered exit times between the various grades until Friday.
“We have secured and strengthened our security services at the school,” the principal said.
“Regarding the incident that took place outside the school earlier this morning it was isolated and targeted incident.
“The principal together with all the educators and staff members have all our learners contained safely on our school premises.
“The officials from the district and the police including security personnel and the CPF are monitoring the situation closely at school,” she said.
Jill urged parents not to speculate about the incident and assured them security had been bolstered at the school.
“We urge and appeal to parents to not under any circumstances cause or create any panic and speculate on the incident as we are fully aware of the sensitivity of the situation. At the same time I understand the emotional instability and trauma that all parents are undergoing.
“The safety and emotional security of our learners are a priority and at present educators and all relevant role players are with our learners and this will be the case throughout the school day.
“Social services, social workers, counsellors and psychologists from the head office of the education department are also taking care of our learners at school and providing debriefing and counselling services to both our learners and the staff,” Jill said.
She assured parents the situation was under control and that they did not need to panic.
To the parents of the abducted learner, the school said:
“Our sincere prayers and support for the family of the affected learner.
“Please continue to pray for the well-being and safety of the abducted learner and family,” Jill said.
Meanwhile, the Gauteng Department of Education pleaded for members of the community who had any information, to contact the police.