My blog has moved!

You will be automatically redirected to the new address. If that does not occur, visit
http://www.markedly.com.au
and update your bookmarks.

Winthrop Baptist College boys expelled

"The expulsion of a Year 11 boy, and the shunting of seven of his friends, from Winthrop Baptist College for allegedly smoking marijuana at a school camp has caused consternation among parents." (Link)

I listened for an hour or so on 6PR this morning as the various viewpoints were expressed on this issue.
This is my take on it, for what its worth.

1. The parents knew the rules and results for breaking them, they are clearly stated. The boys broke the rules, and got what they deserved.
2. There was a definite sense from the parents that there should be forgiveness expressed, in the spirit of Christianity. Christianity does tell us to forgive, but there are still consequences. Forgiveness does not mean that there are not consequences for our actions. These boys need to, in my view, understand that their actions have consequences. For the parents to want for them to 'get off' with community service, means that the boys may risk growing up without realising a valuable lesson.
3. One of the key attractions of Winthrop College for parents is its values system. To allow these actions to occur without consequence is to basically deny that that value system has any merit. The school is built upon reputation. This unfortunate event has the capacity to destroy that reputation, something the school needs to protect.
4. I hope the boys get counselling and understand that while there are consequences for their actions, it is not a terrible offence, but something they can deal with, and move on from. It does not need to be something that defines them. It was a mistake, deal with the consequences, move on.

36 comments:

  Anonymous

4:43 pm

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
  Anonymous

4:55 pm

you dont even no those boys, dont sit there and judge. the school was stupid for leaving them unsupervised and they are all good boys who dont diserve this, the school teaches the students of forgiveness and by this the school has compltely disruped the year 11s of winthrop leaving them mortified. The boys had a large impact ont he school and the school diserves blame.

  Anonymous

5:04 pm

If school is not responsble then the parents of those boys need to find a responsible school where principal and teacher will be escorting them to not do drugs.

  Mark Edwards

5:50 pm

Please dont post unsubstantiated gossip.

in response to your other comments....
Year 11 students are well on their way to adulthood, and need to take responsibility for their actions.
The fact they were left alone is neither here nor there, they knew the rules, and obviously brought the substance with them.

Having said that, I dont think the actual act was shocking, or something that they should have to live with for the rest of their lives. It was wrong, they should not have done it, but they should now accept the consequence of their actions and move on.

  Anonymous

6:46 pm

in my opinion, the boys knew the rules, and accepted them when they began attending the school. The fact that they were left unattended is undeniably a mistake made by the teachers/ school, but the boys still did drugs and for that THEY are to blame.

and for 'large impact', yes they went to interschools; a lot of other students do that as well and they don't seem to be taking drugs.
The boys made a mistake for which they themselves are responsible and they need to learn that breaking the rules have consequences for a reason.

Deal with the problem, and don't place blame onto others to try and avoid it.

  Rowan Parry

6:54 pm

I agree hole heartedly with your sentiments Mark. Seeing parents going on TV defending the actions of their trainee adults, blaming the school for their children breaking school rules not to mention State Laws, just proves to me how society is degrading. You are quite right every action must have consequences and everyone needs to take responsability of their actions.

  dave

8:32 pm

i'm not sure what the second commentator is going on about as there was no judgement in your post. having said this, one doesn't need to know (note the spelling of this word mr anonymous) the young men to understand their actions broke the school rules and they have to accept the consequences of their choices.

sadly i'm no longer surprised at the parents who lay blame everywhere except where it should be placed. what sort of life lessons do they think they're teaching their kids by criticising the school for holding the young fellas accountable? if they've made the stupid choice to take illegal drugs and have been caught out, they need to take the consequences like men and get on with things. i understand it will be upsetting for their friends at the school but any anger and disappointment should be directed where it belongs - at the people who made the choice to break the rules of the school and the law of our state.

  Anonymous

9:05 pm

Everything that follows is my personal opinion only unless explicitly stated otherwise.


As a former student of Winthrop Baptist College who was expelled two days before the conclusion of Year 12 for a minor verbal confrontation with a librarian (outside a classroom setting and in which no foul or offensive language was used), I can offer a first-hand opinion into the way Winthrop Baptist College deals with "behavior issues". They don't. They apply the "Oh well, you f**ked up, here's some of Christ's wrath" principle. Mark, I think your final point nails the whole issue on the head; it was NOT a terrible thing to do; it was a minor infringement. Counseling and disciplinary action are obvious courses of action, but expelling a student is sending a message that their behavior was so gravely inappropriate that they are irredeemable in the eyes of the college.

Winthrop seldom displayed the grace of Jesus when I was a student there, and whilst I was admittedly no angel, I copped the boot because I did not comply.

For what it's worth, my expulsion had little visible effect on me in the immediate time afterwards as I sat my TEE as a private candidate and still graduated from the W.A Education Department system, but the way in which fellow Christians undermined my confidence in the "church" and the hurt they caused both of my parents took years to work through.

To the Year 11 student who said what the boys allegedly did was "bad"; you really need to look into moral relativity. Do you believe in Christ as Lord? Who do you think created Marijuana? Was anybody pressured or coerced into doing something or smoking something they did not want to? Question everything.
I hope these kids move on with their lives and realise that beyond the religious indoctrination and Christian rhetoric of places like WBC, there are people in the real world that can still smoke Cannabis and function properly.

I never smoked marijuana at school, but I do so every day now and I am a Philosophy / Creative Writing student with a very full life.

Peace be with you all.

  Mark Edwards

9:13 pm

Some very interesting comments there anon.
While not a major infraction in the course of life, marijuana smoking appears to me to at the very least be suspected of leading to paranoia, depression and serious altering of peoples perception and even physiology.
The point of this discussion is that there was a rule which was broken, and everyone knew the consequences of breaking that rule.

Christians are not perfect, and never have claimed to be, far from it. What Christianity does offer is the realisation that God does love us and does offer grace. The result of our disobedience of God is seperation from Him. Thank God though for Jesus Christ, God come to earth, who through His experience at the cross, now offers grace and the opportunity to experience abundant life in relationship with God.

I hope and pray anon that you find truth while you study philosophy, I studied it too, its great to think about the deeper issues of life.

  Anonymous

9:33 pm

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
  Mark Edwards

9:53 pm

Anon, I thought long and hard before deleting your comment, on this blog I have certain policies.
I actually appreciate what you have said, but for my own reasons, prefer to not have them on this blog.

I would however be happy to catch up for a coffee or correspond through email.
and this comment made me laugh!

"you realise you look like Nathan from Nova FM, with a beard, right?"

  Anonymous

9:55 pm

I fully agree with your comments Mark. My daughter attends Winthrop next year and as a parent I would put the blame on her for not abiding by the school rules, our family rules and the state law.

The kids are lucky that this school camp wasn't in Bali, then they would be in a lot more trouble and their parents would be complaining to the PM to bail them out.

As for the idea of being forgiven, would be okay for me to smack them around the head for being idiots and expect forgiveness and no repercussions... please let me know...

  Anonymous

10:10 pm

Mark, for the sake of clarity, what are you policies and which part/s of my last comment breached them? Perhaps in future you could request that people edit their posts?

As with all the other posts on here, I was only stating my opinion.

I would also be happy to correspond through email or have a coffee one day; I am in Inglewood at least once a week so maybe this week or next we could work something out.

  Anonymous

11:04 pm

the guy that got expelled is my best mate. and i know that this whole thing was a big screw up cause some douche at the camp dobbed them in. its just weed! its not like they were taking hard drugs. the school should just get over itself and its reputation and let him back to the school

  Anonymous

11:07 pm

and they werent seen smoking so how do they know it to be true???

  Mark Edwards

11:13 pm

anon 3 posts back...
I would prefer to email you, my email is mark (at) inglewoodchurch.org.au
cheers
mark

  dave

11:23 pm

i'm getting confused with all the anonymous comments. why don't a few of you put your name to your opinions?

as for 11:04 anon comment.. ahhh, i see now. the illegal drugs they chose to take weren't 'hard' so it's ok. and it's a screw up cos someone dobbed on them; not cos they were doing the wrong thing. of course people should be allowed to do anything they like and break any rules they like. why should there be any consequences for their actions? after all, i'm sure they didn't intend getting caught.

  Anonymous

12:01 am

Seeing as the school took the word of other year 11 students is what I find unacceptable. The didn't "catch" the boys smoking, nor did they have any evidence. I agree with the ex student. If god didn't want weed on this planet then why did he make it?
The students weren't bad kids, they were good students who had a great reputation at the college. Not only has it effected the 8 boy, it has also effect their year group, especially their close friends who have been told by the college councillor to "regroup" that was said the day after they were expelled ! By the time students have reached year 11 groups have been formed, and I can say so myself, there is nobody left to regroup with !
I think the school should have handled the matter more efficiently, calling the parents in for the student principal interviews before interogating the students.

  These parents have no clue

12:31 am

omg those parents have no clue... how did they ever become parents. Children need to be held accountable for their behaviour, not told by parents that "the system" is at fault.

Im surprised this actually got on the news what a waste of time. The parents are now just whinging that they cannot get their way... what kind of example are they now sending to their children.

Can we get these parents some kind of counselling and teaching Im willing to donate.

  These parents need to grow up

12:50 am

Some of these comments are so hilarious. Yes Im sure God wanted all of us to smoke weed, snort coke, rape women thats why he made it right lol.

Yes im sure people get pressured into things all the time... its a pity the parents can't take some responsibility and teach the children that they need to be accountable for their behaviour.

Good on the school for doing the right thing and not giving into parents who think there are no repercussions for actions taken.

Im guessing that some of these comments are from the actual parents .. if so I feel so sorry for you. But it has helped me to seriously thinking about enrolling my kids in this school.

  Mark Edwards

7:45 am

There is no question that this will affect the year 11s in a negative way. Very often what we do affects others, in a negative and positive way.

One positive is that you would not think any other students would be taking drugs now!

Please comment sensibly everyone, whatever position you take.

  Anonymous

10:48 am

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
  Anonymous

10:57 am

there is nothing wrong with the school...as i said it was their decision that they made. the parents are just whinging because now most of the kids cant get into other schools, get an apprenticeship or participate in their football and sports game. if you are thinking of not enrolling your kids in this school then its your loss you should be glad that the school is sticking by its decision. the school didnt make the boys take the weed it was their decision. its not the schools fault. it the rules and they diobeyed and now they are getting punished.

from the year 11 at wbc

  Raymond

11:34 am

Well Mark seems that a lot of people actually read your Blog who knew? Interesting response from some of the WBC students. I went to WBC and so did my Bro and the rules have always stated - you get caught with any illegal Drug you get expelled. So the kids knew the consequences and the parents should have known as well. Wether smoking Marijuana is wrong or not (I'm amazed you haven't started a meism argurement here Mark) is neither here nor there as the kids broke a school rule. In my year group 2 or 3 kids got expelled for exactly the same thing so its not as if the school has never done it before. As others have already stated I think the parents should treat this as a learning experience for their kids as they will need to function in a society that has rules that need to be followed otherwise there are consequences that no amount of whingeing will get them out off.

  Mark Edwards

2:34 pm

Thanks Ray! Google is an amazing tool....I generally get over 100 hits a day, but this post has times that by five.

To all commentators, please note I need to delete all postings that are unsubstantiated rumour, particularly if the poster is choosing to post anonymously. I also am monitoring language and themes... (not wanting to sound like a teacher though!)

  Anonymous

4:35 pm

What does 'shunting' mean in this context?

  angela

4:38 pm

it was not a rumour it was the truth...and thats what the principal told us.
year 11 wbc

  Anonymous

4:58 pm

The general public doesn't know that the boys were actually caught smoking marijuana though. So I think people are missing the whole point of the parent's outrage. As the aforementioned news article states, the boys were never actually caught smoking, it was all "hearsay". So the question of whether or not the boys should be expelled for smoking marijuana is irrelevant, without proof, the boys never should have been expelled in the first place! The parents have every right to be outraged.

  Anonymous

5:03 pm

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
  Anonymous

5:08 pm

to the year 11 at winthrop, where are you hearing all this crap about not being able to get into school ect? because im best friends with 6 of the 8 of these boys and i know they all had no problem with new schools and all that so maybe you should get your facts right.

  Anonymous

5:10 pm

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
  Anonymous

5:17 pm

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
  Anonymous

5:23 pm

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
  Mark Edwards

6:34 pm

unfortunately the comments have degraded to the point of posting to this post being disabled.
Furthermore, if you are not willing to put your name to a comment, maybe you should not make it.

Post a Comment