Suspended students say punishment is too harsh

By Mere McLean
  • Waikato/Bay of Plenty

23 senior students from Rotorua Girls High School including the head girl and her deputy have been stood down following an incident at the school last Friday.

Moerangi Vercoe was going to give the end of year speech at the senior prize giving today but she has been stood down from her position as head girl.

The senior student organised a pool party to celebrate the end of school. The school didn't have a problem with the pool party but those at the party left the school in their cars and didn't attend the last two classes of the day which the school says broke the rules.

Moerangi Vercoe believes she and her school mates, "have been treated unfairly and our situation has been delivered in an injustice and oppressive way."

The school said when the girls left in their cars they were reckless and driving dangerously.

According to principal Ally Gibbons, "We want our students to have fun I'm O.K about this, but they took this action to a different level."

Following the incident the principal stood down the students for three days and took away the titles of the head girl and deputy which many people believe is an over-reaction.

The parents of the students believe that the school needs to provide an opportunity for their daughters to resolve this issue and the extreme lengths on which they have been punished are unreasonable.

The titles of head girl and deputy have been given to other students at the school. The students are due back at school today for the final assembly but they still hope to have the opportunity to gain back what they have lost.