The Southport School. Picture: Richard Walker
The Southport School. Picture: Richard Walker

Teachers stood aside ‘telling students to take off trousers’

TWO teachers at a prestigious Gold Coast private school have been "stood aside" after a field excursion in which Year 9 students were allegedly told to take off a shoe and trousers - and then watched with night vision goggles.

The Southport School says it has launched an internal investigation into the actions of supervising teachers during a Year 9 activity earlier this month.

The school says the students were participating in a planned activity involving a "blackout challenge", during which each boy was required to remove a shoe and/or an item of clothing, throw it into the black out room and then work cooperatively to locate their clothing in the dark and put it back on.

A teacher supervised the activity with night vision goggles, TSS says.

The Southport School. Picture: Richard Walker.
The Southport School. Picture: Richard Walker.

However, one of the teachers decided to increase the challenge by allegedly asking boys to each remove a shoe and their trousers.

In a statement, TSS headmaster Greg Wain said the removal of trousers in any circumstances was never intended to be part of the exercise.

"This changed activity was not authorised and, understandably, several boys objected to removing their trousers and doing the activity in their underpants," Mr Wain said.

"Changing the activity and asking the boys to participate in their underpants was completely unacceptable."

Several parents had contacted TSS to express their concern about the incident.

One parent, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said there had been consultation with those involved but not the wider TSS community.

"I think they need to work out what's happened, and I understand they're investigating it, but I think they need to be transparent."

The matter has not been reported to authorities, a Queensland Police Service spokeswoman confirmed on Tuesday.

Mr Wain said an investigation was promptly undertaken and support has been provided to boys who were upset.

"They should not have been placed in that situation," he said.

"The boys were well within their rights to object."

Furthermore, an external investigation is underway, the school said.

The two supervising teachers have been stood aside from teaching duties pending the outcome of the investigation.

Originally published as TSS teachers stood aside for 'telling students to take off trousers'


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