Mother of kids caught in Flaxmere school lockdown praises teachers

Sandra Tuilaepa has praised the school's reaction.
Sandra Tuilaepa has praised the school's reaction. Photo credit: Newshub.

Sandra Tuilaepa, a mother of two children caught up in the Flaxmere school lockdown has praised the staff of their reaction to a terrifying experience.

Police received reports of a man spotted carrying a gun at  Flaxmere Primary School, on Tuesday. 

The 31-year-old, had visited the Hastings school twice earlier in the day before threatening a staff member on his third visit.

The man,  who was carrying an imitation pistol, was shot by police.

Tuilaepa's five and seven-year-old were inside Flaxmere Primary which went into lockdown on Tuesday, around 2pm. 

Tuilaepa said her oldest son described the classroom as stuffy.

"They were in the classroom with another class and they had to close the curtains, close the windows and close all the doors."

Both Tuilaepa's kids were crying, they were terrified.

"It's something that a parent never wants to hear," said the mother.

Tuilaepa said the teachers and staff of the school should be nationally recognised for how they handled the situation.

"These teachers were composed, they were calm and professional and they embraced our kids in a time when we weren't able to do so ourselves."

Tuilaepa said when she spoke to a teacher, she was told by the educator, that every time she closed her eyes she could hear the screams of the kids. 

"That was painful to hear as the teacher not only had her own class, but her own children attended the school," said Tuilaepa. 

The mother said the teacher put her kids first and did her job.

"For that I'm truly eternally grateful."

Tuilaepa said as the school has tests and lockdowns, it takes away the fear of these kinds of situations.

"As sad as that sounds, these are the kind of things we need to prepare our kids for and that's the world that we live in now."

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