My son is terrified to go to school after travellers pitched up outside – a girl was chased by a dog, she was petrified | The SunJuly 1, 2022
A MUM has claimed her son is terrified to go to school after travellers pitched up outside the gates.
The group parked up their caravans and started a FIRE yards away from entrance to the 900-pupil school.
Kids from Llanwern High School, in Newport, Gwent, had to leave early through the back gate – and are now scared to go back in.
Neighbours claim one schoolgirl, who was terrified of dogs, was chased by a pooch from the traveller site.
One mum said: "My son goes to school there and they sent the children home early on Tuesday.
"On his way to school that day he said some boys were starting trouble with the travellers and he was worried he would be hurt.
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"He didn’t go to school on Wednesday but he went in yesterday."
Another mum said: "It is worrying when you hear that the children are being sent home early. It makes you think that there is a real threat.
"It is sad because the children have missed school because of the pandemic over the last few years so they don't need any more disruption.
"I'm angry that the kids have been affected by this. It's not fair."
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Neighbours say the camp appeared "out of nowhere" and they were told the travellers only wanted to stay for one week.
But the vans disappeared on Thursday after police officers were spotted talking to the group.
One neighbour, who did not want to be named, said: "They said they only wanted to stay a week while they were waiting to be allowed access to an authorised site.
"I think some of the kids were quite scared having to walk past the vans on their way through the gates.
"There was one little girl who was terrified of dogs and she was chased by a pet from the site on her way into school."
Llanwern High School announced the diversion route on social media on Tuesday.
It said: "Apologies for the delay in this message, but travellers have set up camp immediately outside the school gate.
"The camp has a fire going at the moment so in agreement with the chair of governors, on this occasion, pupils have been directed to leave via the rear of the school and across the SDR bridge.
"To ensure pupils are not delayed in getting home, they have been allowed to leave a little bit earlier than usual.
"Pupils who take the bus will still be able to and those being collected will be allowed to leave via reception.
"The local authority has also been informed."
Newport City Council and the police were called to the site after the "unauthorised" camp was set up.
A spokesman for the city council said: “Newport City Council is aware of the unauthorised encampment at Llanwern High School.
"The council has signed up to a Gwent regional protocol with Gwent Police and the four other councils for the management of unauthorised Gypsy and Traveller encampments.
“As per the protocol, our officers are currently liaising with Gwent Police regarding this encampment.
"The council are also working with the school to ensure safe access is maintained to the school site for pupils and staff.”
A Gwent Police spokesperson said: "We are aware of an encampment on Hartridge Farm Road, Newport.
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"We are working with the local council and are responding to concerns raised by the local community.
"Anyone with concerns can contact us at any time via our website, on social media or calling us by dialing 101."
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