The National, Thursday June 20th, 2013
By PETER ESOP WARI
CLASSES at a school in Hela have been suspended for two weeks after two locals threatened teachers and burnt two kitchens belonging to staff members.
Kulanda Primary School principal Julius Kapinias said the two men, who had personal problems with members of the school board, turned their frustration on the staff, forcing the suspension of classes.
He said security lights were smashed and when confronted by the teachers, the two men threatened them with bush knives.
“The ordeal was frightening and confusing where weapons were actually swung at a couple of us but (fortunately) no one was wounded,” Kapinias said.
It is one of the schools in Southern Highlands and Hela harassed by landowners.
The Kulanda Primary School in the Tari-Pori district of Hela is seeking redress through the courts to solve the matter.
Kapinias said an attempt to hold peace talks with the two men failed after they went into hiding.
He said a statutory declaration form was signed by four council ward leaders who lived near the school.
In March, Apenda Primary School in the Southern Highlands faced a similar incident when a man armed with a bush knife threatened the headmaster and his deputy about a similar matter.
However, he said the school failed to honour its commitment, resulting destruction of school property.
Principal Benjamin Aiyale and deputy Elizabeth Waris were not even aware of the claim when the man confronted them.
The principal had no option but to pay him some money.