Private school pupils expelled for drugs

A TOP public school has expelled two teenagers for passing cannabis to other pupils.Woodbridge School yesterdayexpelled a boy aged 15 and a 16-year-old girl after they admitted passing drugs to other children.

A TOP public school has expelled two teenagers for passing cannabis to other pupils.

Woodbridge School yesterdayexpelled a boy aged 15 and a 16-year-old girl after they admitted passing drugs to other children.

The school alerted police and a force spokeswoman said they were investigating drug use at the school and were keen to discover who was targeting schoolchildren.

Stephen Cole, headmaster, said the two young people were suspended permanently on yesterdayafternoon and they would be interviewed by police officers.

He said Woodbridge School had not excluded a pupil temporarily or permanently for drug related incidents in at least five years before this incident.

Mr Cole does not support the Government's proposals to bring in random drug tests and he said: "We have discovered this (drug taking) through the mutual trust between pupils, parents and school. Random drug tests would have driven a coach and horses through that trust."

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There are more than 600 pupils in the senior school, where the drug taking occurred, and a total of more than 900 pupils spread out over three sites in the town. Senior school fees range from £9,000 for a day pupil to £16,000 for a boarder.

Mr Cole said: "The only heartening aspect of this particular incident is the very large number of pupils who have expressed that they have little regard for those who smoke cannabis and less for those who might pass it on.

"That feeling of anger is mixed with one of sympathy for the families of the two young people who have made such a tragic error of judgement.

"It is very rare in a day school for drug use to take place during the week. "Most takes place at weekends, and parents are always concerned about the use of illegal drugs, the abuse of alcohol (and under age drinking) and other activity during sleepovers and parties. There is little a school can do about this other than support parents in the rigid line that most will take.

"We always stress how important is the partnership between school and home, between pupils, parents and teachers. The stance on use of illegal drugs is both an educational and a disciplinary one. All of us are aware that the use of illegal drugs is not a 'school problem' nor a 'home problem', but one that confronts all of us who come across and care for young people. We do need to work together."

Mr Cole has written to all pupils in the senior school, The Abbey prep school and Queen's House pre-prep school about the expulsions.

He said: "What we have uncovered this week is a result of the trust between pupils, parents and school in dealing with sensitive information that went beyond gossip or rumour. We have an uncompromising approach to anybody, school pupil or not, who attempts to pass drugs to others.

"Let me reassure you that in the maelstrom of emotions that affect the school at such a time the over-riding one is that of sadness amongst the school population which feels badly let down by the behaviour that has occurred."

The school's policy states it will take action against any pupil in term or on holiday who possesses, uses or passes drugs, is under the influence of drugs or promotes the drug culture. Drugs include solvents and similar substances. Pupils have been given talks by a reformed addict on the danger of using drugs.

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