Hundreds of teenagers have stormed out of class in protest over controversial comments made by their school principal.
Students from Fraser High School, in Hamilton, New Zealand, staged the mass walk-out on Monday morning after being angered by remarks saying truants are likely to become rape victims and develop drug addictions.
Principal Virginia Crawford had made the bold statement when she spoke to students at an assembly last week.
‘Every student who walks out of the gate to truant is already a statistic of the worst kind,’ she said in her speech, which was secretly recorded and uploaded online.
Students at Fraser High School in Hamilton, New Zealand walked out of class on Monday morning in protest of their principal
The protest came after principal Virginia Crawford (pictured) gave a controversial speech saying truants are likely to become rape victims
‘(Truants are) highly likely to go to prison, to commit domestic violence or be a victim of domestic violence, be illiterate, be a rape victim, be a suicide victim.’
Ms Crawford added truants were also likely to be unemployed, die at an early age and ‘have an addiction – drugs, gambling, alcohol or smoking’.
Some parents had joined with students in taking a stand outside the school, with one pupil even sporting a t-shirt scrawled with ‘F*** you Ms Crawford’.
Student Cody Barron, 16, told The New Zealand Herald pupils had been upset following the speech and ‘it’s definitely divided the school’.
He called on Ms Crawford to issue an apology ‘to the community and everyone else she’s offended really’.
The school has also been tagged with ‘F*** you Mrs Crawford’, while a fire alarm was kicked-off a wall and property at the site had been destroyed.
But student Carlos Tuimavave said he supported the principal because ‘I feel like she had to go to the extreme to be able to get our attention for us to listen’.
‘Obviously she got her point across if this is the outcome. Obviously her point got across to every student here,’ he said.
Ms Crawford said students who truant were highly likely to go to prison, be a rape victim and a suicide victim. Pictured, Fraser High School, in Hamilton, New Zealand
Ms Crawford had claimed in her speech what she was saying has been backed up with ‘economic research’ and students had been proving her claims are correct.
She told the students when she sees them at the fish-and-chip shop during school hours, she claims they’re ‘another group of students without a future’.
‘That’s another loser. That’s another wannabe who will go crying to their parents with some lame, sad story. That’s another student who is desperate for friendship. That’s another person we’ve lost,’ Ms Crawford said.
Two formal complaints were lodged with the Ministry of Education following the speech, which will be referred to the Board of Trustees, Stuff reported.
In a statement, Board of Trustees chair Jeff Green said: ‘We consider that even if just one student reconsiders the path they are taking and takes steps in a more positive direction after this speech then that could have huge impact on their future lives and those of their family and friends and the wider community.’
The Ministry of Education had also thrown their support behind Ms Crawford.
‘It’s really important that children go to school every day,’ Katrina Casey, deputy secretary sector enablement and support, said, Newshub reported.
Ms Crawford (pictured) told the students when she sees them at the fish-and-chip shop during school hours, she claims they’re ‘another group of students without a future’
The YouTube clip of the recording has been viewed more than 30,000 times.
One mother commented on the video saying she found the speech ‘disturbing’ and is ‘seriously concerned’ about her daughter who attends the school.
Some people commented in support of the principal’s speech saying ‘she’s encouraging kids to do their best’ and ‘sometimes the only way is tough love especially when it’s a last resort.’