• Thu
  • Sep 18, 2014
  • Updated: 11:42am
NewsHong Kong
CRIME

Police probe Hong Kong International School over expulsions for drug use

Police take action after HK International School kicks out 11 students and disciplines others as a result of an internal inquiry into use of marijuana

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 23 June, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 23 June, 2013, 5:57am

Police are investigating Hong Kong International School after it expelled 11 students and disciplined others for drug use.

The school, in Tai Tam, did not inform police of its actions.

Last month administrators of its high school conducted an inquiry into violations of school policy about drug use.

It was initially thought just a few pupils were found selling and using marijuana. But as the inquiry progressed, the number of teenagers involved grew. HKIS would not confirm how many had been expelled but a source with knowledge of the situation put the figure at 11.

Police confirmed the school had not informed them about the drug offences, and they were investigating.

"Police have not received such a report from the school," a spokesman for the force said.

"Officers have already approached the school as part of their inquiries and will continue to follow up on the incident."

In a letter to parents last month, the school said it was not in a position to discuss the course of action taken against individuals. It said only that penalties had been applied, including suspensions and expulsions.

"We have conducted a thorough investigation in accordance with school policies and the law," the letter stated.

However, this runs contrary to the response given by police about the incident yesterday.

A police source went as far as saying it was the school's duty to report the matter to the force, and that failing to do so could have "major ramifications". The source said: "If they have kept the confiscated drugs they are in possession of evidence illegally. And if they have destroyed the drugs they have illegally destroyed evidence. It's that serious."

When the Sunday Morning Post asked HKIS for additional comment about the police inquiry, the school replied only with replicated quotes from the letter sent to parents.

School authorities said they had been rigorous in their investigation to ensure the most suitable course of action had been taken in each individual's case.

"We have been in communication with the parents of all students involved and we have done everything in our power to ensure this situation has been dealt with promptly and in an appropriate manner," it said in the statement.

The HKIS source said the incident began during a "Splash n' Dash" activity - a physical education exercise where students are required to run around Red Hill and swim at Turtle Cove Beach.

"A teacher found around 10 students under a bridge smoking marijuana. They were called into the office," the source said.

"There was a snowball effect, where over the course of three weeks, 46 students in high school were called into the office for interrogation and 11 were later expelled. It is still unclear how many were suspended."

The source said high school principal Patricia Klekamp called students into her office individually, collecting information from pupils' phones and asking them how many times they had smoked and with whom.

She then wrote down the names on the list and called in each of those pupils to interrogate them and to cross-check the names, the source added.

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This article is now closed to comments

flibberdy.gibbet
As well they should have. Bravo to the school. It is an embarrassment not only to the students that they made this mistake, but that's what it is: a mistake by EMOTIONALLY IMMATURE people. (Seriously is there anyone here stupid enough to argue that teenagers are as mature as adults?) And mistakes of immature and young people shouldn't be held against them the rest of their lives in the form of a police record. Kudos to the teachers and faculty for not shirking their responsibility as TEACHERS to guide students not JUST through math and science but also life lessons such as this. You can't teach someone you expel or jail. It was not terribly thoughtful to exclude parents from that process, but hey, at least your first response wasn't to call in the police. Police jail people, they teach nothing. Teachers teach, and in co-operation with parents, GUIDE. I celebrate this school's forward thinking.
blue
"I apologize if my comment came across as a bit arrogent as it wasn't intended to be. However you might want to check your comment as well, maybe it should be "People will stop calling YOU a spoiled brat..." as you continue to use the word "you" later on in the sentence?"

I made a minor mistake in my haste, and have corrected it. Regardless, you are a spoiled brat with an attitude problem. I consider your apology pretty disingenuous too.

If your comment was not intended to be arrogant, then what was its intention?

All I can see with your statement of "please take it upon yourself that these youngsters may be your boss one day" is complete arrogance. You think way too highly of yourself and your peers.

A lot of professionals read the SCMP, and they're very likely older than you. It is more likely that you'll be serving them rather than the other way around. Eventually though, I am sure you or some of your peers will reach middle and upper management. However please drop the sense of entitlement, because it's not impressing anyone here.
ABCDEFG
Maybe they are not interested in the pupils, but want to catch the suppliers?
rpasea
@thshk
Drug use is illegal in HK in case you are unaware. Are you saying students at HKIS should be exempt from the laws of HK? I don't agree with the law either but it is what it is. It is convenient for the administration of HKIS to act as policeman, judge and jury to enable the perpetrators time to flee. What if the offense had been something more serious like se@ual abuse by a faculty member? Would HKIS have covered this up too?
aplucky1
@ thshk
funny calling me stupid
when obviously you have not finished high school or have a reading disability
feel sorry for your husband
Shadow
very very very very very sorry for SAR
each officer and each department enjoying tax payers money but what we are getting now ?
cruelty and abuse of rights is on high rise.
who cares our next generation, all the policies and arrangements are not for locals but for....
corruption and bribe "in different shapes" is every where now
<West Africa provides shortcut for rich mainland Chinese to Hong Kong residency / do we are going to be more worse than west Africa because>
no media/no Ngo/no person speaks about local issues and story of the local residents being tortured mentally and finically because of cruelty and abuse of rights.
but all media is full of stories totally irrelevant with sar
thshk
apluckly/rpasea, you advocating sending a bunch of teenagers to jail for smoking pot ? The stupidity of some of those quick to comment is of course no surprise.
aplucky1
read my comment very slowly since you obviously have dyslexia
lucyk
The newspaper has the facts of the story wrong - the numbers are greatly exaggerated.
aplucky1
poor spoiled brats
too much time on their precious hands
hope police arrest school officials for withholding evidence

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