Sara Cohen Specialist School pupils Connor Booth (19, left) and Tony Bryant (20) survey their plundered vegetable patch yesterday. Photo by Stephen Jaquiery.
You reap what you sow, according to the Bible.
But pupils at a Dunedin special needs school were left
questioning that maxim yesterday. A green-fingered thief has
broken hearts by cleaning out a vegetable garden built and
tended by Sara Cohen Specialist School pupils.
''It's getting to the stage we're having to think about
investing in cameras - or a Doberman,'' principal Raewyn
Alexander said yesterday.
''I got called in three times by our alarm company over
graffiti during the Christmas holidays. And now this. How
could anyone steal from these kids?
''We'd only just dug up the first of the potatoes. Then, six
rows of potatoes and all the silverbeet went last week. On
Monday, the big red cabbage and all the broccoli was taken.
The kids came to school prepared to use a beautiful red
cabbage to make salad in cooking class and it was gone. It's
''It's just so disappointing and annoying. Our kids all have
special needs. They have physical and intellectual
disabilities. Whoever has done this has taken from kids who
struggle with life as it is. Stealing from them just makes me
so mad,'' Mrs Alexander said.
Four raised garden beds were built at the school four years
ago and planted with garlic, leeks, onions, potatoes,
lettuce, beans, celery, radishes, silverbeet and carrots.
''The kids built the garden beds from scratch. They've done
everything themselves,'' teacher Gael Trevathan said.
''They learned how to build the soil up with compost and they
even chose the seed. And now they've been stopped from using
what they're grown.''
The 17 pupils at the school were struggling to understand the
''I'm not happy. It's all gone,'' Tony Bryant (20) said.
''We were expecting to have stuff. But it got stolen from the
garden. I think whoever stole it is a thief and I think
they're silly. They don't know how much work we put into