Wakatipu High has temporarily stood down 13 senior students after the teens turned up to school drunk last Friday.
The Year 12 and 13 students had been boozing off-site before the school’s special “participation day” began – and they arrived in various states of intoxication, board spokesman Greg Turner says.
One girl was too drunk to make it to school and a teacher had to collect her from a nearby house, bring her to the sick bay so she could be looked after, before eventually being escorted home.
Teachers spotted some of the youngsters acting strangely and smelling of alcohol and staff were quick to react from about 10am, Turner explains.
They were interviewed at the school offices and parents were informed.
Some of the students fled the school grounds but were caught up with later.
The teens, including those that supplied the alcohol, have been stood down for between two and five days.
“Our attitude is, quite simply, there is absolutely zero tolerance for that,” Turner says.
“Some kids made a silly mistake and hopefully this will be a pretty stark learning experience. We’d like to think our community would support us in that. It’s just not fair on other kids or staff to have kids come to school in that state.
“They’ve clearly let themselves down, their parents down and the school down. From what I understand none of the parents [of the students involved] are very pleased.”
Turner praises the firm actions of stand-in principal Paul O’Connor.
“Paul’s extremely experienced and respected. It’s great to have someone like him at the helm with all that experience for this incident. He’s been decisive and direct.”