A large group of girls armed with sticks and mops barricaded themselves into a Djarragun College school building on Friday night.
A large group of girls armed with sticks and mops barricaded themselves into a Djarragun College school building on Friday night.

Girls expelled from boarding school following ‘riot’

STUDENTS have been expelled from a Far Northern boarding school following a wild rampage involving a large group of female pupils armed with sticks and mops.

Described as "riot" by police officers from Gordonvale and Yarrabah were called to defuse the disturbance at Djarragun College on Friday night.

A police spokesman said two calls for assistance came from the school's onsite security guard who was unable to keep the situation in hand after 48 girls boarded themselves inside school buildings and refused to comply with requests to toe the line.

"I can definitely (say) police attended a disturbance at the school," he said.

"It was described as a riot and an incident where students were destroying property.

"Students (were) armed with sticks and mops and (the police log is) saying some female students were threatened."

Djarragun College will not push for wilful damage charges against the students.
Djarragun College will not push for wilful damage charges against the students.

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Police said an initial call was attended and a short time later officers were called back to the Cape York Partnerships-managed school after the disturbance escalated.

"A larger group of students became involved and that's when plates and cups were smashed," he said.

It's understood Djarragun College will not push for wilful damage charges against students and will deal with the disturbance as an in-house disciplinary matter, the police spokesman said.

Following a request for comment the school said the disturbance lasted 15 minutes and was in hand when police arrived.

Djarragun College Principal Michael Barton said student conduct breached the college code of behaviour after "a small group of girls acted" out.

He disputed the number of girls cited by police alleged to be involved in the disturbance.

"The behaviour of the girls goes against the Djarragun way. Their enrolment has been cancelled and travel arrangements made to their homes in the Northern Territory," he said.

Nine students involved have been expelled from the school.

"The families of the girls are very disappointed in their behaviour," Mr Barton said

"The behaviour of the nine girls was disappointing, however the situation was quickly defused. Our school has a variety of support systems in place for our students but in this instance we have responded for the good of the whole school community.

"There are 45 girls in boarding. A small group of girls acted out and the police were called as a precaution but the incident had already resolved."

In 2018 285 students were enrolled at the coeducational school which predominantly educates Indigenous pupils. The vision of the facility states the college is   "the school of choice for students, parents and communities in Cape York and the Torres Strait Islands". 

Originally published as Girls expelled from Far Northern boarding school following 'riot'


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