West Auckland schools are blaming Three's show Westside for driving thousands of students away.
Five local secondary school principals have issued a statement saying the show portrays "petty" criminal lives.
And they say that makes it hard to get positive news about their schools out to local parents.
Massey High School principal Glen Denham told The AM Show that as a result, students are travelling outside the area to go to school.
Some are taking bus trips to the schools that take more than an hour.
"Westside is a part of west Auckland history but it doesn't define who we are," Mr Denham said.
Mr Denham says he just wants parents to send their kids to their local school.
"That's really what this is about. Just stay home - just be with us. I promise you, I can guarantee you, that you'll get a world class education."
"At Massey High School we sent more kids to university in the last five years than ever before."
"Waitakere College won the Prime Minister's Award for teaching and learning, Kelston Boys' and Kelston Girls' are top of the table for achievement and attainment throughout New Zealand."