An Auckland primary school has suspended two teacher aides after they were snapped exchanging cannabis in the staff room.
But the school says the pair will keep their jobs and officials are yet to contact police, raising Ministry of Education concerns.
The incident comes after other troubles at the school, Rowandale Primary in Manurewa, which led to a turnover of 55 teachers in four years and numerous complaints during the reign of a previous principal.
Rowandale chairman James Bryce said the board became aware of drug possession at the school when a teacher saw one of the aides hand over "rolled-up foils" to another in the staff room after hours on March 11.
The incident was reported to principal Karl Vasau the next day and an internal investigation commenced.
It was confirmed that the foils contained cannabis and the aides were sent home on paid leave until a hearing.
At the hearing, it was decided the two would be suspended without pay for a month, undergo three drug tests and if none was positive, they could return to full duties late next month.
Mr Bryce said police had not been contacted because there had been an internal investigation. Because the staff were aides, not registered teachers, the Teachers Council was also not involved.
"The board of trustees would like to say that we took this process very seriously and that it was not a very easy thing to deal with.
"I would like to reassure you and our community that the safety and wellbeing of all our students and staff is paramount and that we are confident the students are safe and learning and we are confident that our capable principal and management are working hard at achieving our goals," Mr Bryce said.
Mr Vasau said the incident was entirely separate from the school's previous issues and did not need to be reported in the media.
However, some in the wider community contacted by the Herald were upset, while authorities were not impressed that protocol around mandatory reporting had not been followed.
"The drug-testing van has been at the school to test them ... parents are afraid for their children," said a local leader who did not want to be named.
Manurewa Principals Association president Karen McMurray said drugs were a legal issue and should be reported immediately to police.
For registered teachers, any use or possession of drugs on school grounds came under mandatory reporting to the Teachers Council.
Ministry of Education executive Katrina Casey said any allegation of illegal behaviour was a matter for the board and principal, but should also be referred to the police.
Last year, the Herald revealed the school's high turnover of staff. Some children had had as many as four teachers assigned to their class in a year.
Concerned parents had called a meeting with the ministry and discussed the turnover as well as the leadership of the then principal, Judd McLauchlan.
He said the turnover was for a variety of reasons and had had no negative effect on student learning.
Last September, an Education Review Office inspection found the school to be "well placed".