Girton Grammar student to be expelled after drug arrest

UPDATE, 4:35pm: The headmaster of Girton Grammar School has described the arrest of a year 10 student for drug offences, as well as claims several others are involved in drug-related activities, as “a shock”.   

But Matthew Maruff said he had no knowledge of a “drug syndicate” at the school. 

He said the student arrested on Friday did not have any drugs in his possession at the time.

“No school is immune to the possibility of drugs circulating amongst students and we are working with police to make sure that this incident is quickly isolated,” Mr Maruff said. 

The principals had today addressed all year 10 students. 

UPDATE, 3.10pm: A Bendigo youth advocate has described the decision of a Bendigo school to expel a student arrested in relation to drug offences as "problematic". 

Bendigo Youth Support and Advocacy Service manager Kerry Donaldson said excluding young people from the social opportunities available at school could leave them even more isolated than they already were.  

"Keeping people engaged in education is important, especially people who are isolated with mental health and drug and alcohol dependence," she said. 

"As far as Bendigo goes, we work with schools and young people's families to keep them engaged in schools.” 

While she was aware of drug use among Bendigo youth, Ms Donaldson was not aware of an "over-abundance" inside the city's schools. 

"Young people use drugs, and have done for a long time, including alchol and tobacco, as a way of developing identity," she said. 

UPDATE, 2.55pm: Girton Grammar has confirmed five students have been suspended while the school investigates claims they too have been involved in drug-related activity. 

A spokeswoman also said parents were informed about the arrest of one of its students about 10am today, before media reports emerged.  

UPDATE, 2.40pm: The Bendigo Advertiser has been told a number of other Girton Grammar students are being investigated in relation to drug offences. 

Parents of students at the school are also concerned they first learnt about the drug allegations from their children and the media, not the school.  

EARLIER: A student has been arrested at a Bendigo school in relation to drug offences. 

Bendigo police on Friday arrested the 16-year-old Girton Grammar student on the school's grounds. 

A Victoria Police spokeswoman said the student was "interviewed in relation to a number of drug offences", and further inquiries were being made.

Neither police nor the school would confirm the offences for which the student was arrested, but it is believed they are in relation to dealing drugs to minors.   

A Girton Grammar spokeswoman said the student was not at school today and would be expelled. 

Headmaster Matthew Maruff issued a statement detailing the school’s "zero tolerance stance" on illegal drugs.  

"We have a duty of care to make sure that school is a safe place to be so any illegal activity of any kind at the school is unacceptable," he said.

“This matter now is squarely in the hands of the Police so detail about the actual offence or the student involved cannot be divulged by the School.”

Mr Maruff said he knew the arrest was going to take place and fully co-operated with police.