Macleans College cancels graduation dinner after students throw boozy before-school parties

Macleans College has cancelled its annual graduation dinner for Year 13 students after a “very large” portion of the year group was caught drinking before school on Wednesday last week - and several are reported to have shown up at the college drunk.

In an email sent to students’ parents and caregivers this morning, which was sent to Metro, principal Steven Hargreaves said that “a large number of end-of-year parties” took place last week, and on the last morning of term three. 

Alcohol was served at the parties, in some cases with parental oversight, the email reads. “The school cannot accept or condone the attendance of students at parties such as these before school or in uniform,” Hargreaves continues, calling the parties a “disappointing breach of trust”.

As a result, the year 13 graduation dinner, which is considered a right of passage amongst students leaving the college, has been cancelled. “We have … lost trust in many of the students to attend Graduation Dinner without having consumed alcohol beforehand.”

Hargreaves wrote he understood the decision would affect many students who didn't attend the pre-school parties, but said the number involved was “very large” - enough that a graduation dinner without the students involved would mean it was no longer a celebration of the student’s final year at Macleans. The email closes by saying a refund has been given to all students who had paid for a ticket.

Metro has approached Hargreaves and Macleans for comment, but did not receive a response by deadline. 

A student spoken to by Metro said the school found out after a neighbour of one of the party's hosts called the school's office. They said the deputy principal turned up and asked the students, who Metro understands were all 18 and on exam leave, to take their uniforms off and not come to school that day. However, several students came to school anyway.

The student, who did not attend the parties but saw the activity on social media, said the year as a whole was "really upset" about graduation dinner being cancelled.

“I’m super upset about it - you buy a dress, you book hair and make up and stuff and then two weeks out the say 'nah, it’s not happening'. Especially because it’s only a minority who really screwed it up.”

In a now-deleted Facebook post from Thursday morning, students expressed their dismay at the cancellation, though many joked about what happened  in the comments under the post. “We should’ve just partied if we knew this was going to happen,” wrote one person. “RIP everyone who went to prizegiving just cos you had to if you wanted to go to grad dinner (that includes me lmao),” wrote another. 

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