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schoolboys caught in shoplifting spree

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Having fun in the hills!

« on: July 21, 2010, 10:42:25 pm »

School has record of scandal

By JOHN EDENS - The Press | 5:00AM - Wednesday, 21 July 2010

THE $6,000 SHOPLIFTING SPREE by Australian pupils in Queenstown at the weekend was the latest scandal to rock Melbourne's exclusive Jesuit Xavier College.

A group of 16 pupils — part of a 30-strong school ski trip — were suspended on the spot when they returned home on Sunday, pending a school investigation.

It was not the first time the college — where fees range from $14,700 a year to $22,600 a year — has hit the headlines.

In August the school denied allegations a pupil was threatened with sexual assault and in 2008 the entire year 12 class — 250 pupils — was suspended for unruly behaviour.

Suspended students donned balaclavas and went on a binge-drinking wrecking spree, tipping bins and damaging a car.

An Xavier College Facebook page includes a photograph of two young men, one holding a bottle, wearing balaclavas.

No comments were posted for months until Monday, when one poster wrote: "The xavier twats are at it again. Stealing 6k worth of stuff. Is Daddy's money not enough?"

The light-fingered Aussies, boys aged 14 to 17, spent four hours on Saturday stealing ski wear, sports gear and souvenirs from 15 central business district stores in Queenstown.

A Xavier College spokesman said the school did not believe there was a culture of bad behaviour and, despite the seriousness of previous incidents, most schools dealt with unruly pupils.

In a statement on Monday principal Dr Chris Hayes, who joined Xavier 18 months ago, said official caution notices were being sent by Queenstown police to the school. "I am determined to get to the bottom of why a small number of students acted in such an antisocial and impulsive manner," he said.

The school investigation is expected to finish next week.

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