School quizzed on drug deal
June 06, 2007 04:16pm
POLICE have interviewed Scotch College management more than one week after a senior student allegedly sold drugs to a year 9 boy.
Detectives, who were only contacted by the prestigous college yesterday after an exclusive Herald Sun Online report, spent three hours at the prestigious school from 11am today.
Police said the incident happened on Tuesday last week, and the school were informed the next day.
The school is still refusing to answer calls from the Herald Sun Online, with a media statement they apparently prepared yesterday still not issued.
Police have demanded private schools be forced to report drug deals after Scotch College failed to tell them it had expelled a young ecstasy pusher last week.
Deputy Commissioner Simon Overland has called for private schools to be pulled into line with state schools, which are required by government protocol to tell police of drug-related incidents.
"I think it's a difficult issue for schools to deal with, drug use in schools," Mr Overland said.
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"But if there's criminal behaviour involved, they really do need to involve the police and the earlier they do that, the better."
But the Bracks Government said yesterday it would not introduce laws demanding mandatory reporting across the board.
Elite schools have come under intense scrutiny this year for hiding on-campus drug scandals.
Xavier College came under fire in April for failing to tell police it had expelled a year 11 student for selling marijuana in the school yard in February.
Mr Overland said police were determined to ensure private school students faced the same consequences as state school students.
A Scotch College year 12 student was expelled last week after he allegedly sold two ecstasy pills to a year 9 boy, who took them at school and fell into a drug haze.
Year 12 students outside Scotch College said the year 9 student had been threatened with expulsion if he publicly named the boy who sold him the drugs.
The senior students said the year 9 boy, who is believed to be back at school, was stupid for taking them.
"He is an idiot. He shouldn't have done it," one said.
A friend of the expelled student said he was upset at the way the school had handled the matter.
"You can 'ask' students to leave but does that fix the problem at the school or with the accused student?" he said.
"There is no way you can eliminate drugs in school, so wouldn't the next step be to approach the students about the issue and implement education strategies about the risks involved with drug use?
"The school needs to take action, whether it may tarnish its reputation or not."
Scotch College management, had repeatedly refused to answer calls from the Herald Sun Online on the issue.
Education Minister John Lenders said in Parliament yesterday the State Government would not pass laws to dictate how non-government schools dealt with drug use among students.
"This Government sees as totally unacceptable illegal drugs use in schools . . . and we will work with the non-government schools for policies and best practices which will stamp them out," Mr Lenders said.
But Opposition education spokesman Philip Davis said that was not good enough.
"Schools must have an obligation to report, as it's clear otherwise they won't because they don't want to damage their reputations," Mr Davis said.
Another private school yesterday admitted a student had been expelled and another suspended over a sex scandal.
Overnewton College principal Jim Laussen said a year 10 boy had been expelled from the Keilor school for filming a female student as she performed sexual acts on him in the school toilets last week.
The female student has been suspended, and the school helped the boy's family find him a place at another school, Mr Laussen said.