The principal of an exclusive Auckland girls school has
apologised after one of her students stripped to her
underwear and fishnet stockings on a public street and
another dashed through a supermarket wearing just a swimsuit
The girls were part of a football team from St Cuthbert's
College, in Rotorua for a secondary schools tournament on
Wednesday. They were believed to be carrying out "sports
The team were sent home following the incidents and a male
coach has been stood down.
In the first incident revealed yesterday, a student thought
to have been aged 14 or 15 got down to her underwear and
fishnet stockings, while holding a sign saying "toot for a
A male coach was accompanying her and other students, while
the school's van -- with the logo emblazoned on the side --
was parked nearby on Fenton St in central Rotorua.
In the second incident, students visited a nearby Pak'n Save,
with one girl wearing only a swimsuit.
The communications manager for the $20,000-a-year school told
the Herald: "Our understanding of this situation was that the
girl was carrying out a prank put to her by her teammates,
who were around the supermarket, wearing mufti."
The principal Lynda Reid denied rumours the student was
topless, and said another allegation, involving a student
being tied to a pole, was untrue.
Rotorua Bike Barn employee Ruthy Arrowsmith, who witnessed
the stripping incident, said she spoke to a man and two women
who appeared to be supervising the students.
"They told me it was like an initiation. They all seemed to
be bragging about it, one lady even told me that the girls
had run through a supermarket earlier, carrying a towel,
screaming for shampoo, naked," she said.
"I thought, 'are you for real?' These are girls that are from
an esteemed college, and are the young leaders of tomorrow."
Ms Reid said the school was taking the stripping incident
"very seriously" and would conduct a "thorough
investigation". "The coach ... was not an employee of our
school but a professional working on a paid external
"The coach has been stood down while the investigation is
conducted. The team was sent home from Rotorua when the
school was alerted to the behaviour.
"As a school we are viewing this incident very seriously and
I apologise to the people who were upset by the student's
behaviour however ... this was the behaviour of a young
student who did not consider the consequences of her
The tournament organisers, New Zealand Secondary Schools
Football, will also investigate.
"We wouldn't condone any behaviour like that," said Leigh
Perry, national administrator.
- Teuila Fuatai of the New Zealand Herald and Adriana
Weber and Stephanie Arthur-Worsop of the Rotorua Daily