Coach stood down after schoolgirl's strip

A male coach has been stood down by a private Auckland all-girls school after a teenaged member of his team stripped down to her undergarments and fishnet stockings in the middle of a busy Rotorua street.

The girl, described as being aged 14 or 15, stripped down to her underwear on Fenton St about 4.30pm yesterday.

It is understood the incident was part of a "sports initiation" and took place under the supervision of the coach, who was contracted by St Cuthbert's College to coach a senior girls' football team.

Principal Lynda Reid said the Epsom school had launched a full investigation into the incident, which she called a "very serious lapse of judgement".

Rotorua Bike Barn worker Kyle Mansell said he and his co-workers saw the whole event happen.

"This girl can't have been more than 14 or 15-years-old and she was holding a sign which said 'toot for strip'.

"For every toot, she took more clothing off until she was down to the tiniest bra you've ever seen and fishnet stockings."

Mr Mansell said a crowd gathered and she was out on the street for about 15 minutes.

"All the other team members were there, egging her on and they had their school van with their logo splashed across the side.

"There was [an adult] with them too who was grinning and thought the whole thing was hilarious."

Mr Mansell said the student got "a lot of toots from men having a good look".

Ms Reid said the team was on its way back to Auckland and the school needed time to ascertain exactly what had happened.

"It seems that ... they had gone into Rotorua and there they had a very serious lapse of judgement. I understand that one of the girls stripped down to her swimwear and some fishnet tights and stood on the median strip."

She said she believed the coach was present and, after realising the girls' actions were in poor taste, stepped-in to stop it. Asked about reports of adult seen grinning during the incident, Ms Reid said the school was conducting a full investigation. The coach -- whose only role with the school was as a contracted coach -- had been stood down.

Ms Reid said St Cuthberts had been sending students to Rotorua on school trips and for sports tournaments "for decades" and this was the "first time something like this has happened".

"We are very, very disappointed in this, so we are still trying to work out exactly what did happen," she said.

Meanwhile, another member of the public told the Rotorua Daily Post this morning they saw a student tied to a post on Eruera St.

- Stephanie Arthur-Worsop of the Rotorua Daily Post and NZ Herald reporter.

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