King's head rejects drug claims

By Elizabeth Binning, James Wheeler

Rumours that ball-goers did lines of Ecstasy and cocaine in toilets is 'completely wrong' says Bradley Fenner. Photo / Paul Estcourt
Rumours that ball-goers did lines of Ecstasy and cocaine in toilets is 'completely wrong' says Bradley Fenner. Photo / Paul Estcourt

King's College headmaster Bradley Fenner says reports that a group of students were caught doing drugs at the school's ball are completely wrong.

The details of exactly what happened at the private college's ball have been the subject of intense speculation following the death of student David Gaynor just hours after he was sent home from the Eden Park function, which was held nearly two weeks ago.

There have been reports that a group of students were expelled on the night after being caught doing lines of Ecstasy and cocaine in the toilets.

However, Mr Fenner said that was completely wrong and no students were facing any disciplinary action as a result of ball night.

When asked specifically if he was aware of any students doing drugs at the ball, the headmaster said: "Not that we are aware of.

"We have heard these reports and they concern us greatly and that's why we are reviewing the whole nature of the ball and where we might go with that in the future, but there were no students apprehended doing drugs at the ball."

Police are still investigating David Gaynor's death for the coroner.

His death follows that of three other King's College students since the beginning of last year, including James Webster, who died in his sleep after a night of heavy drinking.

After James' death, the school reviewed the alcohol-related education it was providing students and started work on an information booklet to help guide parents through some of the social challenges of raising teenagers.

Mr Fenner said the booklet had been well received and was now being sent to all secondary schools around the country in the hope it might help others.

Meanwhile, the fallout from the King's function has prompted other schools to increase safety and security measures for their upcoming balls.

The principal of Diocesan School for Girls in Epsom, Heather McRae, said: "We are hiring a drug and alcohol detection agency.

"We felt the need to have a lot more expertise in that area. We wanted it done by people who know what they are looking for," said Ms McRae, who is also chairwoman of the Secondary Schools Principals Association.

Murray Black, deputy principal of Lynfield College in Hillsborough, which will hold its ball on July 30, said there had been more emphasis on the after-ball and the expectation that students behaved and didn't participate in such events unless in a controlled setting with family or a small group of friends.

- NZ Herald

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