July 14 2014, updated 9:16pm

Schoolkids pop out for beers at lunchtime

Last updated 00:00 03/09/2007

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Pupils at a Wellington secondary school are indulging in lunchtime beers at a nearby university student bar before returning to the classroom.

Wellington High School Board of trustees chairwoman Karen Day has confirmed the school would investigate after complaints were put to her.

Bar worker Dominique Servos said about 30 Wellington High School pupils - who are not required to wear a uniform - visit Massey University's Tussock Bar and Cafe at lunchtime each day.

"I've served a few (of them beer), with ID, at lunchtime.

"They buy food, play pool, sit outside and smoke, and even pash up.

"Our chef said to one couple, 'Go and get a room,' because they were intimate on the wall."

Bar manager David Wong said high school pupils were being served alcohol "about once a week", but only if they could prove they were 18.

A group of high school pupils who were playing pool in Tussock last week said some pupils had a "celebratory beer" in the student bar when they turned 18.

High school principal Prue Kelly said though drinking during the school day was not appropriate, "we don't forbid them to go to Tussock".

She said the school's grounds supervisors regularly patrolled the bar to ensure the high school pupils were not drinking.

Mrs Kelly said she was aware of only one incident in which a high school pupil had drunk alcohol in the university bar.

If this was happening regularly "the Tussock people need to be kicked up the bum", she said.

However, Creative Hospitality, the organisation contracted to run the bar and cafe, has a policy of serving anyone who is legally entitled to be served.

Site and marketing manager Jennifer Lennox said that, if the high school pupils provided their ID, they would be served.

"How are we to know if they are from high school?

"It's not our place to police that," she said.

"If they (Wellington High School) don't want that, it should be their responsibility to police that."

The high school pupils were "quite a heavy chunk" of the bar's revenue in the lunch period, she said.

"We are not a restricted bar. Our licence is supervised. People can be under 18 to be in the bar but have to be 18 to drink."

Ms Day said that, as a parent, she would be "pretty annoyed" to learn pupils were drinking during the school day.

"They go to school to learn, not to buy a beer at lunchtime.

"I can see that it is a problem," she said.

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"(But) if there are 30 kids doing that then there are hundreds that aren't. You can't change the rules because of the naughty ones.

"We need to look into it. I can assure you I will be following this up."

An Education Ministry senior adviser said each school had the responsibility for its pupils during the school day.

- The Dominion Post

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