ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - Orange County Public School officials said a special needs school has been burglarized three times in the last two days.
Officials said the burglars broke into the UCP Charter School, which works primarily with students with cerebral palsy. The burglars stole technology the students use for communication, according to officials.
The school has a security system, but no video cameras, so the suspects remain unidentified.
The school plans to beef up security and teachers are taking important electronics home with them every night.
Dr. Ilene Wilkins, the President of UCP Charter School said, "IPads may just seem like a toy for some people but it's actually a communication device for some of our children."
The special software on the iPads speak for children who can't, and there is only one left after burglars smashed the windows and took the rest. It left some kids feeling lost. Teachers said one boy with autism walked around with an empty iPad case, unable to tell anyone anything. "He didn't have a way to communicate, because they took it from him. It's really hard," said the school's Speech Therapist, Megan Speanburgh.
Sunday night, burglars smashed the kindergarten class window and grabbed computers on the desk directly below. On Tuesday, they came back for more, this time hitting the front office. Just hours later, they came back a third time almost like they knew where to get the pricey electronics.
Desmond Govan, whose son attends the school said, "They need it every day. How's he gonna do his therapy?" Angry parents wonder how their kids will improve when the tools they need are gone. "It's a major setback for the kids," said parent, Shakeitriyia Etworth. "It's a sad case, it doesn't make sense at all. It's a weak person to be taking from kids. You have no heart to be doing that."
The charter school hopes someone can help with donations, so they can buy new equipment for the students.
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