Date registered: Sep 2005
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Police could lay criminal charges over claims year 12 students from one of Melbourne's most exclusive schools romped through the streets like an angry Lord of the Flies mob.
Students of Xavier College in Kew are accused of jumping on cars and frightening residents in the prosperous inner-east suburb.
One woman, identified only as Chris, said she saw two students wearing Xavier socks jumping on her car roof and bonnet, while others cheered around them.
Police estimated damage to the car at $5,000 and said criminal damage charges could be laid if the culprits were found.
All 250 year 12 students from the 130-year-old private Catholic school on Tuesday were suspended from the last three days of classes before VCE exams following their misbehaviour at their end-of-year muck-up day.
But the misbehaviour allegedly continued after their suspension, when Chris said she saw about 40 students parading down her road about 7pm (AEDT).
"They were just like a mob, you know like Lord of the Flies," she said referring to the fictitious tribe of wild teenage boys in William Golding's classic novel.
Chris said the mob was angry, aggressive and noisy.
"I was inside and there was this awful noise, lots of singing, beer songs, saying: 'Here we go, here we go,'" she told reporters.
She said the mob gathered around her car and two boys jumped on top of the roof while others cheered them on.
"I spoke to my neighbour and a wheelie bin was thrown at her car when she was driving past," she said.
"There were bottles smashed all down the street."
One of the students wrote to the Herald-Sun website, admitting his classmates were destructive.
"Our year level has always had a bit of a lust for wanton destruction with the types of guys who think car jumping is a fun pastime," he wrote.
The boy, who described himself as the King of Xavier, also accused the Jesuit school of being more interested in its appearance than caring for difficult students.
Acting Senior Sergeant Rod Phillips said police were working with schools to identify who damaged the car.
Police responded to several calls from Kew residents on Tuesday, with one reporting about 100 students in the street and another reporting students setting off fireworks at a train station.
"A muck-up day is a muck-up day, but if a crime actually occurred we will be following up," Snr Sgt Phillips said.
He said each time police arrived at problem scenes, dozens of students fled.
The students were suspended after a ball game left a boy in hospital with leg fractures and three students streaked through assembly wearing school ties as g-strings.
In a statement issued on Tuesday, Xavier College director of development Graham Sharp said students had been told to finish the school year in a "positive and effective way", but had instead "exhibited unacceptable behaviour".
Principal Chris McCabe wrote to parents on Tuesday, saying the behaviour of the students in the ball game was "reckless" after being warned against such behaviour.
"We deemed it necessary to take decisive and unpopular action to ensure year 12 students committed to their studies could use the remaining day effectively without distraction," Mr McCabe wrote in the letter published on The Age website.
"In addition students at other levels need to understand that irresponsible behaviour will not be tolerated."
Victorian Premier John Brumby said the school had acted appropriately.
Xavier College has more than 2,000 students across three campuses, with year 11 and 12 fees reaching $20,000 a year.
The head of the Jesuit order in Australia, Father Steve Curtin, said he was saddened by events at Xavier.
Father Curtin was briefed by Mr McCabe and Rector Michael Ryan about the incident and he is confident it was being dealt with "satisfactorily".
"That said, some of the alleged incidents are outrageous and I would urge anyone involved to cooperate fully with school authorities and Victoria Police so that issues can be resolved and they, along with all their Year 12 colleagues, can focus on this all-important last stage of their secondary schooling," Father Curtin said in a statement.
The school on Tuesday was surrounded by security guards and road spikes were placed at the exit to its grounds.
Â© 2008 AAP
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