THE Education Department is investigating a Tsuen Wan secondary school for abuse of power after claims it may have driven at least three students to seek a life on the streets by issuing long-term suspensions. The Sunday Morning Post found the three now do not go home, and are listed as missing. Parents and social workers fear they may be driven into crime. Chi-kin, 13, claims he has been blocked from Woo Hon Fai Pre-vocation School since October. He said: ''My teacher told me I was suspended from school for three days because I was in a fight with my classmates. But when I went back to school days after, I was not allowed to attend class but had to stay in the teacher's office. ''They ordered me to finish all the homework I missed, I didn't want to do it and they suspended me from school for another three days,'' he said. ''The situation continued until one day in January [when] I went back to school. Again they kept me in the school office for several hours, saying that they had to talk with my mum, but she was not free at that time. I had nothing to do so I left.'' The Form One student says he hates his school and will never go back. ''The teachers don't want to see me again in the school, so why should I go back? I have no interest in studying any more,'' he said. He now plays on the streets and in video game centres every day and night with his friends, Chung-yin and Chi-hung, who are also barred from their classrooms. Chi-kin's mother, speaking on condition of anonymity, said: ''He has been missing for several days. I don't know when my son will come home or when police will ring to say my son has taken drugs or committed some crime. ''He is a very naughty boy, but they should give him a chance. What they're doing is discouraging students' interest.'' She claimed one teacher even suggested she write fake sick-leave notes until her son reached 15, the age students could legally leave school. An Education Department spokesman said officers would visit the school tomorrow, but its headmaster, Leung Pak-chung, rejected the criticism and said they would welcome the students if they chose to return. ''The door is always open. But if they don't want to come back, then we have nothing to do with it,'' he said. Mr Leung described Chi-kin's behaviour as disruptive, and said the boy frequently hampered the progress of lessons. He also breached school rules by smoking, using foul language and fighting with other students. He acknowledged that school authorities had suspended Chi-kin on seven occasions since October, but denied this was an abuse of power. ''We never treat suspension as a kind of punishment. What we intend is to give the student some time to contemplate the error of his ways. ''We don't use this power except in the last resort, there is no abuse,'' Mr Leung said. But Chi-kin claimed the school had suspended him more than 20 times, and many of those were by verbal notice. Social worker, Tang Leung-shun, who has been dealing with the case, said he doubted whether suspension was the right punishment. ''It doesn't solve the problem, rather it intensifies the anger between the two sides,'' he said. Legislator Cheung Man-kwong has criticised the school's handling of the case. ''There is no difference between expelling and suspending students when a school acts this way. The school has used the grey area within education regulations to keep unwelcome students out of the school,'' he said. The rules state that any suspension less than three days need not be reported to the Education Department.