Were you at the after-ball party?
New Zealand's biggest secondary school has banned school balls after parents helped students to organise a boozy after-ball function.
Rangitoto College principal David Hodge said the school had been deceived when about 150 Year 12 students were taken by bus from the North Shore to a disused Onehunga warehouse for the August 13 bash.
The college, in Mairangi Bay, had heard about plans for the party, but parents and students, when confronted, had assured staff it would be cancelled. "We were deceived, we were lied to," Mr Hodge said.
After the school found out about the party - which had an open bar and "dubious supervision at best" - it made good on an earlier threat to scrap future balls, Mr Hodge said.
Rangitoto College has held separate balls for Year 12 and 13 students on the condition that the events are alcohol-free and no "large-scale organised" after-ball function is held.
Mr Hodge said the school had a "duty of care" towards its students and would not agree to poorly supervised functions involving alcohol and large numbers of young people.
Parents were required to sign permission slips saying they understood the school's conditions before their children were given ball tickets.
At an August 24 meeting, the Rangitoto board of trustees agreed to cancel next year's Year 12 and 13 balls, rather than scrap them indefinitely.
"I think many parents would see large-scale, alcohol-fuelled afterballs as being something they don't want their kids to feel they should attend," Mr Hodge said.
But Allan Parker - who has had five children attend Rangitoto College balls - was outraged with the board's decision and the tone of letters sent to parents.
"They don't treat them like adults when it comes to the school ball," he said.
The board's decision means his youngest daughter, who is in Year 11, will not be able to go to a ball next year.
Mr Parker said he had discussed the after-ball function with his son, and was comfortable with the way it had been organised.
Other parents he had spoken to had also been happy with the idea of their children having a few drinks and a party after the ball, and were happy to pick them up at 4am.
"There was a strong culture and feeling of parent support for the night," Mr Parker said.
Mr Hodge said each school had its own way of dealing with after-ball functions, and Rangitoto felt its duty of care extended beyond the school event.
The school was happy for parents to organise smaller supervised gatherings at their homes, and welcomed questions from anyone looking to host students after the ball, to ensure their plan met the college's criteria.
Mr Hodge said he had not been made aware of any large, organised after-ball parties in the 3 years he had been at the college.