School under fire for not notifying police of overdoses

A GOLD Coast high school has come under fire from a local MP for not notifying police when four of its students overdosed on prescription sedatives.

Four female students from Southport State High School were rushed to hospital on Friday after reportedly overdosing on Valium or Xanax tablets.

LNP Member for Mudgeeraba Ros Bates says police and parents were kept out of the loop and left to find out through the media.


Speaking to reporters on the Gold Coast on Saturday, Ms Bates took aim at the school on Saturday and blasted staff for tying to sweep the overdoses under the rug.

“Hiding the fact that these incidents occur and do occur in schools is not sending a strong message to other kids to let them know how dangerous these drugs are and to not take them,” she said.

Ms Bates said the school never informed police, who only became aware of the incident through media reports.

“I think the bigger issue is that the police weren’t notified, they actually found out from media reports,” she said.

“As an Education Queensland school, obviously the authorities should have been notified and parents should have been notified as well.

“It probably would have been quite scary for parents to hear about it outside the school gates or from the media.

“If I was a parent at that school I would have liked to have been notified.”

RELATED: Schoolgirls rushed to hospital after mass drug overdose

The Shadow Minister for Health and Ambulance Services said Friday’s incident “must have been very frightening for the parents”.

Ms Bates said the drugs the girls are reported to have taken were “Benzodiazepines” – a group of drugs known as minor tranquillisers which are often used to treat panic disorders, stress and anxiety.

“It really shows that we need to educate our children on the danger of prescription drugs.”

“They’re both Benzodiazepines – drugs that actually put you to sleep so I don’t understand why they would have taken them.

“I would have been horrified as a parent to know one of my children took something like that.

“Kids don’t realise what those drugs can do to them – they’re dangerous prescription drugs.”

RELATED: Teens released from hospital after mass drug overdose

All four girls involved in Friday’s incident at Southport State High School, some of whom are reported to be as young as 12, have since been released from hospital and are expected to make a full recovery.

It’s believed one of the girls had pocketed the prescription pills from her parent’s medicine cabinet at home and brought them to school.

Queensland Ambulance confirmed paramedics were called to the school multiple times on Friday and transported four females to hospital on separate occasions.

The Education Department on Friday said “the health and well-being of students is the Department’s highest priority”.

“The school will continue to work with authorities as the incident is investigated,” a Department spokesperson said.

The Queensland Police Service is investigating the circumstances the incident.

If you have information for Police, please contact Policelink on 131 444 or provide information using their online form 24 hours per day.

You can also report information about crime anonymously to Crime Stoppers by calling 1800 333 000 or via 24 hours per day. Crime Stoppers is a registered charity and community volunteer organisation.