Students banned after gun incident

THREE Tweed River High students have been suspended in the wake of a gun scare. As reported in the Daily News yesterday, school students and staff endured a dramatic 45 minutes on Thursday afternoon after two young men were reported to have exchanged a gun outside the school. --------------- --------------- Police were later seen question- ing two youths at length in Enid Street, Tweed Heads. The boys, who appeared to be in their late teens and matched the de- scription of the suspects, were later released. Police had earlier failed to con- firm rumours whether one of the suspects was a former student of the school. --------------- --------------- A NSW Education Department spokesman yesterday said the sus- pended students, whose identities have not been released, may be asked to stay away for as long 20 days. "Three students have received long suspensions," the spokesman said. "They will receive counselling and their families have been informed. The school is certainly work- ing with the police." The spokesman de- nied the school was ever in lockdown mode fol- lowing the incident. "The incident was out of school and after hours," he said. "People were able to leave safely, but the gates were temporarily secured as a precaution on police advice." Yesterday no-one could be contacted at Tweed River High School for comment, but the department spokes- man said students were briefed at morning as- sembly and a letter re- garding the incident was sent to parents. "There have been no requests for any coun- selling (from other stu- dents or teachers)." Tweed River High School Parents and Citi- zens president Rose Stegeman said she was unaware of the incident but had full faith in the school. "I think they handle any such emergencies quite well," Ms Stege- man said. "With anything, chil- dren's safety comes first and I know they would look after them." The school's past P&C president Linton Alford said the incident highlighted the lack of government support given to public schools. "It has taken us 12 to 18 months to get a fence built around the school," Mr Alford said. "Public schools' hands are tied as to what students they can accept. "They are inheriting kids, who no matter what schools they go to, are going to be a problem." Police said yesterday that investigations were continuing. School police liaison officer Paul Adams said he had conducted of a re- view of the school's lock- down procedures and was happy with how the situation was handled.



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