It’s a “ticking time-bomb” once again it has exploded, same school similar circumstances.
Kings College in Auckland NZ, is right at the fore with the news recently of another student death. David Gaynor, 17, was one of four intoxicated students placed in a “withdrawal room” before being ejected from the King’s ball at Eden Park last weekend. This past Saturday night, experts from a drug detection agency, two sniffer dogs and breathalyzer’s monitored Saint Kentigern College’s ball at Auckland’s ASB Showground’s.
Drugs, alcohol, balls, testosterone filled kids, rich and powerful parents, pre-ball parties, where booze is the norm, it’s a recipe for disaster. Not a year has passed since we read of the tragic deaths of three other students from this very same school.
As I write this column, I am in a somewhat reflective mood, thinking back to my own schooldays at a private boarding school. We were filled with testosterone and we got our kicks from building wooden trolleys and racing them through the basement of the school’s gymnasium. From the hype that lead to the 1st XV clash with our “arch-rival “Yes”, we had our thrills, excitement and spills. Lookouts posted on the hunt for the ever-diligent brothers while we snuck a quick cigarette.
One in particular was Pat Walsh, affectionately known as “Hedgehog” He is now the President of the Secondary Teachers association and with the recent news that Schools are to be given formal powers to search students they strongly suspect of having drugs or weapons, he hoped it would be a powerful deterrent for children who thought they could bring drugs or weapons into schools. I read recently that the New Zealand Drug Detection Agency, the country’s biggest drug tester in workplaces and schools, and the Secondary Schools Association president, Pat Walsh, praised the Government for addressing the issue. NZDDA chief executive Kirk Hardy said they were “very open to interpretation, which could be ultimately costly for schools”. He was also concerned that the draft guidelines focused on weapons rather than alcohol, drugs and synthetic substances such as Kronic.
All this brings me back to where I started, “A ticking time bomb” Three days after burying their mate, King’s College First XV played the game of their lives to beat arch-rivals Auckland Grammar.
Unfortunately they have swept the real issue under the carpet yet again. We really are a nation of “Rugby Racing and Beer”.