Evacuated HSC Students in Sydney Won’t Be Penalised

Evacuated HSC Students in Sydney Won’t Be Penalised
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian at a press conference in Homebush in Sydney, Australia on Aug. 17, 2020. (Brook Mitchell/Getty Images)

The thousands of Sydney students who had their HSC exams interrupted by bomb threats won’t have to re-sit the test.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian says the threats made to around 20 Sydney schools on Oct. 27 were being investigated by the Cyber Crimes Squad.

“The students do not need to re-sit the exams so we are working out the best way to make sure they’re assessed,” she told Sydney radio 2GB.

“It was a very scary thing but I know police are on to it and I’m confident police will get to the bottom of it,” she said.

Willoughby Girls’ High School in the premier’s north shore electorate was the first to receive threats about 11 a.m. via an anonymous email, followed by at least another 18 high schools across Sydney.

The schools all enacted their emergency response plans, evacuated students, and contacted police.

The stunt was a cruel hoax on the class of 2020 with those students already being subjected to so much stress in their final year because of COVID-19, she said.

“The class of 2020, gee haven’t they learned resilience,” she said.

Education Minister Sarah Mitchell said the stunt was “a disgrace, not a funny prank” and warned severe penalties would be applied when the culprit was caught.

The main exams affected were legal studies and visual arts in the morning but most afternoon exams went ahead as planned.

Any HSC student whose exams was disrupted by an evacuation, would get special consideration when their exam was marked, she said.

“They won’t be penalised but it is an unfortunate thing to go through on top of the pandemic as well,” she told Channel Nine.

By Maureen Dettre