The principal of Hastings Boys' High School says there is a lot of community support for his decision not to sack the head prefect over a drink-drive conviction.
Rob Sturch says 17-year-old Luke Bradley made one poor decision, but has made thousands of good ones in his four-and-a-half years at the school.
The Hastings student lost his licence after rolling his car in January this year and being found to have an excessive breath alcohol level.
Mr Sturch says he understands criticism of the school's decision to retain the student has head prefect, but says all factors were considered, including the image of the school and the message that it sent.
Rob Sturch the student has been dealt with by the court and has lost his car and his licence so has paid enough for his mistake.
The Students Against Drunk Driving group believes Luke Bradley had got off lightly and are disappointed he has not stood down as head prefect.
However, SADD national manager Anna Reid says the students do feel for him and and are worried has been thrust into the centre of a controversy.