TEACHERS FRISK PUPIL FOR DRUGS
TEACHERS at an eastern suburbs school have been searching a student for drugs without telling his parents.
Rowville Secondary College year 10 student Luke Murphy has been searched twice in the past three weeks after tip-offs from a fellow pupil. The 16-year-old was last searched on Tuesday.
Teachers forced Luke to empty his pockets, bag and locker, but didn't find drugs on either occasion.
The student who alerted teachers to the suspected drug use had seen Luke's packet of hand-rolled cigarettes and presumed he was carrying marijuana.
Luke told the Herald Sun he had been humiliated and was upset by the situation.
"I don't know why I was targeted. I have never had drugs on me," Luke said.
"There were quite a few students around at the lockers, the teacher told them to go away but everyone knew what it was about. I was pretty embarrassed."
Luke's father Steve Murphy is furious he was not contacted by the school, and lodged a formal complaint with the Department of Education last night.
"I know the school has an obligation to follow up on allegations like this, but they could have handled it in a very different way," Mr Murphy said.
"The Schools for the Future reference guide says in such instances the student is to be removed, parents are to be notified and police are to conduct a confidential search.
"I want the school to give Luke a written apology and apologise to him at a school assembly."
Luke also wants a formal apology.
But Rowville Secondary College principal Glenn Fankhauser yesterday told the family the school would not apologise to Luke.
He told Mr Murphy and his wife Debi he would only apologise to them.
"He told us he would only apologise for not informing us, and that in their eyes they had done no wrong by Luke," Mr Murphy said.
Mr Fankhauser told the Herald Sun he regretted Luke's parents had not been informed about the searches.
"It was a genuine oversight by the teacher involved, and we are now reviewing our practices to ensure it does not happen again," he said.
But Mr Fankhauser said the teachers followed Education Department guidelines regarding what appeared to be a genuine complaint about a student carrying drugs. [/FONT]
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