“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.