Eigh­teen Wangetti stu­dents ex­pelled for drugs

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS -

EIGH­TEEN stu­dents from Djar­ra­gun Col­lege’s Wangetti cam­pus were ex­pelled ear­lier this month for pos­sess­ing, us­ing or deal­ing drugs.

Ac­cord­ing to The Aus­tralian news­pa­per, up to 40 stu­dents were ex­pelled or sus­pended out of the school’s 76 in­dige­nous stu­dents from the Wangetti cam­pus.

The stu­dents were pun­ished af­ter a fight among fe­male stu­dents with of­fences rang­ing from smok­ing cig­a­rettes and use or sus­pected use of mar­i­juana to “un­ruly be­hav­ior in­clud­ing back-chat­ting and swearing”.

Djar­ra­gun Col­lege prin­ci­pal Jean Illing­worth said the stu­dents had re­ceived many warn­ings about their be­hav­iour.

“Six­teen of the stu­dents were in­volved in one in­ci­dent and two in an­other,” she said.

“The move to ex­pel stu­dents for dru­gre­lated in­ci­dents sent a strong mes­sage to the stu­dents, the school com­mu­nity and fam­i­lies.

“Our val­ues, stu­dent and staff safety and se­cu­rity are top pri­or­ity.”

Ac­cord­ing to Ms Illing­worth, the lack of dis­ci­pline had been a prob­lem for years and lit­tle had been done to re­solve the is­sue.

“Since the ex­pul­sions there has been a pos­i­tive im­pact on Wangetti,” she said.

“Stu­dents are fo­cused and be­com­ing more am­bi­tious about their learn­ing, re­quest­ing to en­roll in more aca­demic sub­jects.

“Some have re­quested to en­roll in OP sub­jects and may be trans­ferred from the vo­ca­tional Wangetti cam­pus to Djar­ra­gun at Gor­don­vale.”

The ex­pelled stu­dents were flown back to their com­mu­ni­ties.

Ms Illing­worth ex­plained the col­lege “never says never” and reg­u­larly wel­comes back stu­dents who com­mit to learn­ing and staying drug-free.

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