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Police investigate muck-up violence -

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Police investigate muck-up violence

Alison Caldwell reported this story on Tuesday, October 20, 2009 12:37:00

ELEANOR HALL: To Melbourne now where police are investigating reports of an attack on school
students during break-up celebrations that put several teenagers in hospital.

The victims say they were attacked by men wielding baseball bats and sticks.

The school is providing all Year 12 students with counselling today and the principal says he is
considering suspensions if any student is found to have misbehaved.

Alison Caldwell reports that it is the third case of school break up violence in Victoria in a
week.

ALISON CALDWELL: It's the last week of classes for Year 12 students across Victoria, ahead of their
end of year VCE exams and after twelve years of school, for many it's a time to celebrate.

Last night was no different for Year 12 students at Mount Waverley Secondary College in Melbourne's
south east.

It's been reported 200 students had gathered in a local park and were drinking around bonfires when
at around half past eleven they were attacked by men allegedly wearing balaclavas and wielding
baseball bats.

A student calling herself Jenny told Fairfax Radio she was at the park when the random attack
happened.

JENNY: Three random guys just laid into whoever. My friend was standing at the bonfire and everyone
just ran because they were being attacked by just three or four guys.

They didn't say anything. They just ran out of the bushes and then just hit whoever they were -
girl, boy like whoever - they just hit them. It was targeted at just whoever.

ALISON CALDWELL: It's the third report of violence involving Year 12 students in Victoria in the
past week.

Premier John Brumby was asked about the incident on Fairfax Radio this morning.

JOHN BRUMBY: I don't understand that sort of assault when that occurs. I am alarmed by this. Any
act of unprovoked violence is completely unacceptable in our state.

ALISON CALDWELL: Last week nine students at Melbourne's exclusive Xavier College were suspended
from remaining classes after throwing water bombs and eggs from cars as part of their end of year
celebrations.

Emerging Sydney Swans recruit Dan Hannebery was confirmed as one of the suspended students.

And late last week police received complaints that up to 60 St Bernard's College Year 12 students
were being unruly at local pubs in Melbourne's west.

There's nothing to suggest the Mount Waverley students provoked last night's attack. The school is
offering counselling to all Year 12 students.

MARK KOSACH: The staff, the students are quite upset about the incident. We have got in place our
student counsellors and our social workers to talk with those students who are visibly upset.

ALISON CALDWELL: Principal Mark Kosach says the school tried to prepare students for the week
ahead.

MARK KOSACH: We'd held a number of programs with students to help them guide their celebrations
because it is a big time for students after 13 years of school to finish and they do want to
celebrate and we want them to have fun but we also guide that celebration in a healthy and safe
way.

ALISON CALDWELL: There have been reports that three teenagers were taken to hospital, one with
serious injuries. Is that true?

MARK KOSACH: Three of our students that I am aware of were hurt. Two of them were released fairly
quickly but one remains in hospital and suffered severe concussion and I have just heard that there
was a very small fracture of the skull which they are monitoring closely.

So it is a very serious assault and the police are investigating with that in mind.

ALISON CALDWELL: There is another school in Melbourne which this year, because of behaviour from
last year, suspended some students from taking part in any of those sorts of activities. Would you
consider doing the same thing?

MARK KOSACH: If I became aware that some of our students were engaged in inappropriate behaviour, I
would look at all the options in terms of consequences because if they are involved in violence or
inappropriate behaviour then we have got to take a firm stand on that sort of thing.

The students need to know where the boundaries are and what is acceptable in both social behaviour
and anti-social behaviour.

ELEANOR HALL: That is the principal of Mount Waverley Secondary College in Melbourne, Mark Kosach,
ending that report by Alison Caldwell.