A Hamilton high school principal has been condemned for a speech in which she said truants were highly likely to end up in prison, be illiterate, a rape victim or commit suicide.
A student secretly recorded the school assembly speech by Fraser High School principal Virginia Crawford and uploaded it to YouTube.
In the speech, Crawford called any truant 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, be unemployed for the majority of their life, have a major health problem, die at an early age, have an addiction, gambling, drugs or smoking,” she 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.
"That is another student who will end up as a statistic, that's another loser, that's another wannabe. Another student desperate for friendship, another we've lost."
She urged students to work hard in school to make better lives for themselves.
One parent commented on the YouTube video, saying they would pull their daughter out of the school.
“This is actually quite disturbing, I'm seriously concerned as my daughter attends this school. Yes she's had days off school, and there's been a time I've forgotten to call...... But wen u say such things like this?” the parent wrote.
“You have failed my daughter as an educator, you have failed the system, my daughter hasn't failed as a student and I haven't failed as a parent. 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.”
Another commenter said his stepson would no longer attend Fraser High School after hearing the speech.
“I'm glad too (sic) say that my wife's son…will no longer be attending 'fraser high school'. After seeing this speech I was literally shaking, this kind of offensive culture should not be permitted in New Zealand,” he wrote.
Board of Trustees parent representative Milton Ngaruhe told Stuff that he had been sent messages about the speech, but hadn't had parents complain to him about it.
"Personally I haven't had a chance to listen to more than a minute of the video and there is a process that we go through."1
1 NEWS has tried to contact the school.