Pupils suspended over 'supply' of drugs

Sign out the front of the school. Photo by ODT.
Sign out the front of the school. Photo by ODT.
Two pupils at Wanaka's Mount Aspiring College were suspended from school last month for ''the supply of marijuana during school time''.

Responding to Otago Daily Times inquiries yesterday, school board of trustees chairman Richard Hemingway released a statement saying the two pupils were suspended on April 15.

They appeared before a board disciplinary committee on April 23.

''Both have been reinstated subject to stipulated conditions agreed to by the parents,'' Mr Hemingway said.

Two other pupils were stood down because of their involvement, but were back at school yesterday ''subject to conditions agreed to by both parents''.

Speaking from Australia late yesterday, Mr Hemingway declined to provide any more information about the incident or those involved, citing the privacy and confidentiality requirements of the disciplinary process.

''The college is moving forward in a positive fashion to make things as right as they can be.''

During his four years on the board, Mr Hemingway said he could recall only one previous issue with drugs at the college.

The college, he said, appreciated the support of Wanaka police throughout the investigation.

Constable Phil Vink said yesterday the pupils involved would be dealt with through the youth aid section.

It was ''a number of years'' since there had been issues with drugs at Mount Aspiring College, he said.

There had been problems in Wanaka in more recent times with ''school-age'' people and ''legal highs'', but not at the college, he said.

The college has a policy of ''zero tolerance'' for the use, possession or selling of drugs.

Penalties ''focused on treatment rather than punishment'' and reinstatement was based on ''verifiable abstinence'' supported by counselling or participation in an approved drug education programme.

mark.price@odt.co.nz