6 sent home

SIX students of a high school in Nadi have been removed from the institution after they were photographed allegedly smoking drugs.

The photos of the students in their school uniforms smoking using a home-made “bong” went viral on social media yesterday.

Education Minister Dr Mahendra Reddy confirmed the six students were removed from the school pending investigations. Dr Reddy said the students — five of whom were in Year 13 and one in Year 11 — were allegedly given the drugs by someone at the Nadi bus stand.

“You need to understand that there is drug peddling going on and they (drug peddlers) find our children vulnerable, and we are trying our best to protect our children,” he said.

“What happened was they (students) were sitting in the park waiting for the bus when a person approached the students and gave them dry leaves to smoke. I don’t think its a continuous thing.”

Meanwhile, police have urged parents and guardians to speak to their children about the evils of using illicit drugs.

Police spokesperson Ana Naisoro also urged students to be more responsible when posting comments and pictures on social media sites.

“The initial step taken was to send officers to the school and confirm the students’ identities before we decide on the next course of action,” she said when asked about the photos that went viral on social media.

“We ask parents and guardians to speak to their children about the consequences of getting involved in such activities, and now that it’s going viral on social media they should really be thinking about the impact it has not only on them as students but their families as well.”

While attempting to obtain comments from the school principal about the incident, a news team from this newspaper witnessed the students being expelled from the school.

They were present at the school with their parents.

The school principal said he could not comment on the incident, however, he said, the Education Ministry was aware of the incident.

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