Fraser High School principal's truancy rape comments spark protest

Students at a Hamilton high school upset by comments their principal made are planning to protest.

Fraser High School principal Virginia Crawford told the student body they were more likely to end up victims of domestic abuse, or even be raped, if they wagged school.

"Every student who walks out of the gate to truant is already a statistic of the worst kind, highly likely to go to prison, highly likely to 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 or problems, die at an early age, have an addiction - drugs, gambling, alcohol or smoking," she said at a full-school assembly on Thursday.

A staff member told Newshub students are planning a "mass wag" for Monday in protest.

They supplied Newshub with a photo of a flyer that's being passed around amongst students. It reads, in all-caps, "F**K! MRS CRAWFORD WAGGING PROTESTING @10AM MONDAY IN FRONT OF THE SCHOOL".

At the bottom it says "SPREAD THE WORD".

The letter being passed around Fraser High School.
The letter being passed around Fraser High School. Photo credit: Supplied

"These kids know that wagging is detrimental to their education," the staff member told Newshub. "They are standing up against sexual assault and domestic violence victim-blaming, which is a very brave and commendable thing to do."

The protest is expected to last one period.

Year 12 student Cody Barron told Newshub Ms Crawford's comments were "disrespectful".

"One girl started crying in the assembly. Some people took it serious, some people were just laughing, like, 'What the hell?' They were not expecting this."

In an email to staff, Ms Crawford said the school had received "positive feedback from the public, parents and students".

Later on Friday the school put out a statement saying "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 [sic]".

Ms Crawford's speech made headlines not just in New Zealand, but Australia and the UK.

The Ministry of Education said anyone who has a problem with Ms Crawford's comments should complain to the school directly.