"F*** you Mrs Crawford". Mrs Crawford's speech on truancy, and what sort of person you become, appears to have been a little late if the graffiti around Fraser High in Hamilton is a good indication of the quality of the attendees.

F*** up Mrs Crawford is sadly what Mrs Crawford was worried about. A group of young punks who have no respect for establishment, for elders, for adults, for themselves, for advice.

It's always a little hard to judge the fine detail of these things when you're not there. But my assumption was she wasn't being literal.


If you bunk off, you're not literally going to end up in the various predicaments she suggested you might. And even if you did end up in some of those predicaments, truancy alone would not have been the sole reason for it.

The point I am assuming Mrs Crawford was making was that truancy is connected to a certain type of thinking and behaviour. It's connected to an outlook and attitude.

It's representative of nothing particularly productive. And if that attitude and outlook pervades your general thinking, it becomes habit.

And when it becomes habit, other aspects of your life and outlook slip as well. And cumulatively things don't tend to go well from there.

It's the same speech we've all received at one point or another from our teachers, our principals, our career guidance adviser, our parents. Work hard, do good, try your best, respect your elders.

Be basically a decent, go-ahead sort of person. Except in this day and age it's recorded, it's put on the net. Cue a bit of outrage, cue a bit of self-entitlement, cue a bit of literal misunderstanding, cue a bit of poorly placed self-importance - and you're off and running with reaction 2018 styles.

No wonder teachers find life so tough. It's not the money or the hours or the paperwork, it's the little snots in the classroom.

Somewhere along the way, and you will find a lot of the answers at their homes, kids have decided they're important. You might even find some of the answers in the classroom - we live in an age where everyone needs to be heard.


We all have a voice and a point and a plight and rights. So that leads to placards and marches and protests, and in this case walkouts.

And sadly, instead of all being lined up and sent to detention and threatened with suspension, they will be seen by some (sadly the wrong sort of people) as some sort of modern day heroes.

I assume what keeps Mrs Crawford coming back is the hope that although 100 students didn't hear her, many more did. And that the majority are decent, the majority want to do the right thing, the majority don't bunk - and Mrs Crawford's voice isn't wasted.