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Christian Brothers' school 'sorry' for rampage

The headmaster of Waverley College in Sydney's eastern suburbs has apologised after drunken students went on an end-of-year rampage at Bondi Beach, smashing cars, breaking windows and ripping up road signs.

Police warned they would charge culprits from Wednesday night's vandalism, much of which was caught on video by witnesses.

The school also warned that students who took part in the rampage could be denied their HSC.

Police at one stage used capsicum spray to control the mob of up to 100 teenagers, who swept along the famous beach strip after emerging at around 8.30pm from a club where they had celebrated the end of school.

Teenagers used beer kegs and wheelie bins to cause thousands of dollars worth of damage to cars and to property, including smashing a bus shelter and breaking windows at a surf lifesaving club.

Police tonight said they would interview up to 40 students. Nobody had been charged by late today, but police said if the culprits were identified they would be charged.

Headmaster Br Robert Wallace said it appeared a great number of the rampaging teens were Year 12 students from his school.

The students' HSC's were now in jeopardy, he warned. "If boys are charged by police, we'll deny them their HSC," Brother Wallace said. "They would still sit their exam ... and they would still get a statement of their results but not an HSC.

"This is significant because they will spend the rest of their lives explaining why they've got a blank sheet of paper."

Br Wallace apologised for the incident and said the school had cancelled graduation celebrations tomorrow. It would also consider restitution for damage caused.

"On behalf of the college, I apologise very sincerely to those affected by this appalling behaviour," Brother Wallace said. "It is clear that the college has failed to inculcate into those responsible the correct values."

Police Minister Michael Costa said at the very least the teenagers and their families would be asked to pay for the damage.

Premier Bob Carr said the incident was serious because it involved the "likelihood of secondary supply of alcohol" to underage drinkers.

Sunday Mail (Brisbane)

Waverley College | Media Statement from the Headmaster Br RJ Wallace (26/9/02)
Bondi Beach Incident (NSW Police)

27 Sep 2002