The Ministry of Education is encouraging parents to complain to a Hamilton high school if they're concerned by it's principal's remarks to students that truants are highly likely to be rape or suicide victims.
Fraser High School principal Virginia Crawford's speech to a full school assembly yesterday already has some parents vowing to pull their children from the school.
In her speech which was secretly recorded by a student and uploaded to YouTube, Ms Crawford said in part: "Every student who walks out of the gate to truant is already a statistic of the worst kind - highly likely to go to prison, either commit domestic violence or be a victim of domestic violence, be illiterate, be a rape victim, be a suicide victim."
The Ministry of Education has told Newshub it has been in contact with the school following Ms Crawford's speech.
"We are aware that some of the comments made by the principal have been upsetting to some people," the ministry's deputy secretary sector enablement and support Katrina Casey said in a statement.
"The school has a complaints process in place and we would encourage any parents who are concerned about the content of the speech to contact the school directly."
In her speech, Ms Crawford said: "When I drive out of school during class time for meetings, and I see groups of students sitting outside the dairy, fish and chip shop, bus stop, some of the things I am thinking is that is another group of students without a future."
She urged students to work hard in school to make better lives for themselves.
Ms Casey said it's really important that children go to school every day, saying international surveys have shown that attendance is one of the strongest drivers of student achievement.
It appears, however that Ms Crawford's speech has backfired with angry students now said to be planning a "mass wag".
A staff member told Newshub students had mentioned they're planning on wagging next week, probably for one period.
A parent commenting on the YouTube video, said they would pull their daughter out of the school, describing the principal's speech as disturbing, revolting and tormenting.
"This revolting tormenting speech has only proven that YOU madam principal are the FAILURE in this matter. Disgusting inappropriate accusations. I'm pulling my daughter out until you are replaced," the parent wrote.
Another commenter said his stepson would no longer attend Fraser High School after hearing the speech.
“After seeing this speech I was literally shaking, this kind of offensive culture should not be permitted in New Zealand,” he wrote.
Fraser High School Board of Trustees chair Jeff Green has told Stuff the school has received a "great deal of positive feedback on the speech".
"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, Mr Green said in a statement.
Meanwhile a Year 12 student, Cody Barron, told Newshub one girl started crying in the assembly.
"When you go to a school, you don't expect to hear your principal be talking trash about suburbs 90 percent of the students come from - which seemed to be racial - and how she's so much better than us," Cody said.