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'Don't just give me worksheets' - pupil suspended over scathing speech about her teachers

A row is brewing over a Hawke's Bay student who says she was suspended for giving a speech which criticised her school - a claim the school now denies.

A classroom Source: 1 NEWS

Napier Girls High School

Last Wednesday, Year 10 Napier Girls High School student Anela Pritchard was asked to speak on a subject she felt strongly about, and took aim at the school in a speech which has since been posted on Facebook and shared almost 2,000 times.

"School should … teach us more valuable information that we'll actually need for our futures", the speech said.

"Teachers are PAID to TEACH us … not paid to hand out a piece of paper with words on it and sit around and do nothing."

"Don't just give me worksheets to do and expect me to take a test on the topic 2 days later."

The following day, Ms Pritchard's father was contacted by the school and told to "keep her at home until we can schedule an appointment", which the Pritchards interpreted as a suspension.

He heard nothing more from the school until today, when he says the strong reaction to her speech on Facebook forced the school's hand. But rather than being suspended, the Pritchards were told that Anela had actually been asked to stay away from the school for her own safety.

She was told she was free to return to school tomorrow, but doubted whether she would because of continuing ill-feeling over the speech.

"I've had a lot of support for what I've said but apparently some teachers and students aren't very happy either", she told ONE News.

She says most students have been supportive and she has "no regrets" for delivering it, while her father says he "absolutely stands by her".

"I was expecting an apology from the school today and we didn't get one", Ms Pritchard said.

Napier Girls High did not respond to ONE News' repeated requests for comment today.