• Thu
  • Dec 18, 2014
  • Updated: 11:10am
NewsHong Kong

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

The newspaper has the facts of the story wrong - the numbers are greatly exaggerated.
Convenient. Kick the kids out but give their families time to move them out of HK to avoid criminal charges. Just another example of how some people in HK are more equal than others.
Completely false. They caught someone dealing and showing off cocaine before splash n' dash and then expelled way more than 11 people. They cant even prove that the real dealer is the dealer because he's too good for them. It's a terrible administration.
High school kids have been smoking weed? I'm shocked.
If the aim of the police is to reduce teen drug use, then they would be wise to keep their snouts out of schools unless they are following leads or are invited in.
If a teacher knows that the result of reporting marijuana use will be a criminal record instead of suspension or expulsion, then nothing will ever be reported.
Which, who knows, may be the constabulary's aim. HK is fun without the diversions of too much police work.
All professionally rund schools globally should be expected to have standard processes in such cases, all of which as far s I am aware in UK require police involvement. This says a lot6 about the quality of this school's management ....
Your argument here is that pot is detrimental physically? Please show me scientific proof of same.Oh, wait, there is none. It turns your vocal cords purple and lowers sex drive in males. *chuckle* How again are these detrimental to teenagers? Oh wait, it isn't. C'mon, catch up with the rest of the world, it isn't that hard.
"So even when you call us "spoiled brats", please take it upon yourself that these youngsters may be your boss one day."

Most arrogant statement I've ever read on SCMP. People will stop calling you a spoiled brat when you learn to be more humble.

The thing is, cannabis may be illegal in HK, but it's slowly becoming legalized in other countries. The fact is that it is far less harmful than alcohol so law enforcement shouldn't be wasting time going after a bunch of kids using it for their own personal enjoyment.

Courts in HK typically do not jail people for cannabis possession, but you do get a criminal record and there is a fine to pay.
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?
Anyways, I do believe that there is a risk of deportation if someone from foreign counties is caught in possession of illegal substances in HK, and is probably why the school decided to try and keep the publicity of this case on the down low.
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.



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