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Today's lesson: scoring drugs

smh.com.au, 10th August 2006

IT ALL turned to pot when John Fitzgerald Kennedy, a mathematics teacher, found his year 9 class at Epping Boys High too unruly.

The topic he chose to address was his enjoyment of alcohol and cannabis. His candour got the attention of the teenage boys and then the principal. Later police charged Kennedy, 28, with supplying cannabis to a 14-year-old.

The downfall of the part-time teacher and his sacking last month was revealed in a police statement to Ryde Local Court yesterday.

Kennedy had pleaded guilty to supplying cannabis to a student and was ready to be sentenced by the magistrate, Hugh Dillon.

But Mr Dillon, after reading the police statement, ordered a report on Kennedy's background and chances of rehabilitation. Police said he lived at his parents' home in Pymble with his two brothers.

Police said Kennedy had admitted after his arrest last month to supplying a 10-centimetre stick of cannabis leaf to a student for $20 in March.

According to his record of interview presented to the court, the drug deal unfolded during Kennedy's second-last maths lesson for his year 9 class in the last week of the first term.

"During the lesson the accused was having difficulty in gaining the students' attention and settling the class," police alleged.

Kennedy became involved in a discussion with a number of students, during which he said he drank and used marijuana at weekends, police said.

One student asked Kennedy if he could supply marijuana. "The accused said that he could and that the price would be $20."

Police alleged the student gave Kennedy $20 in front of the class and arranged to collect the cannabis at the next maths lesson.

The following week the student approached Kennedy in the classroom and "the accused removed a stick of marijuana from his personal wallet and handed the marijuana to the student". The transaction was witnessed by the class of 12 students, police said.

One student reported Kennedy to the principal, who called police. "The accused stated that his actions were extremely regrettable and showed remorse," the police said.

Kennedy's sentence was relisted for hearing before Ryde Local Court on September 20.

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