Public schools expel boys for cannabis
Wednesday 18 March 1998
Two sixth-formers, aged 17 and 18, were excluded from Eton (fees pounds 12,000 pa) when a policeman caught them smoking cannabis in Windsor, less than a mile from the school. They escaped with a caution, but were automatically expelled because of the school's strict anti-drugs policy.
A third boy, named as Tom Wilson, the sixth-form son of a housemaster, was withdrawn from Charterhouse (fees pounds 13,500 pa), in Godalming, Surrey, after an investigation by staff uncovered a "suspicious" substance in his room. Two other boys, both aged 15, have been suspended.
The headmaster of Charterhouse, the Reverend John Witheridge, said: "Due to the school's vigilance and the discovery of suspicious material in a boy's room an internal investigation was carried out. As a result of the investigation two boys in the second year have been suspended and a boy in the first-year sixth has been withdrawn from the school." The two 15-year-olds would be allowed to return in the second week of next term but Mr Witheridge said they would face random drug tests for the rest of their time as pupils.
At Eton, one member of staff said: "It is a source of dismay to us all - anything of this nature would be. But drug-taking is regarded extremely seriously here." Tests are carried out on boys suspected of taking drugs, with those who test positive being either expelled or suspended. A spokeswoman for Windsor police said: "[The boys] were interviewed by officers and offered a caution because of the small amount of drugs and the fact it was a first offence. They were given a stiff talking to and hopefully they will be discouraged."
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