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  1. James
    James at |

    Bloody hell.

  2. Kathy Rose
    Kathy Rose at |

    I saw the big sign out the front said Remembering Jai and his family, and I wondered what it was about. Also, there were a couple of cops watching from the other side of the road from the school, near the co-op as I passed this AM. and I wondered why, but I didn’t connect the two events. Also, there is now a horrible temporary (I hope) fence, like a construction fence, all along the front, and it had lots of flowers hanging from it.

  3. Danya
    Danya at |

    when i was in year seven there were fights (pre-organised) every friday afternoon behind the pool during the free period. i was largely unaware of the scale of it, as the bus went the other way, but ramon remembers big crowds of kids would always gather to watch until the police starting putting in a presence there.

    after about year nine the incidence of fighting tailed off, or else we just moved a bit higher above it and didn’t notice just because it was puny year seven and eight kids who were doing it.

    there was even a time in year seven when i was pushed into a fight with one of my classmates. not because of any disagreement but because i was a teacher’s kid and on the whole far removed from that scene. i remember i was offered a free punch, and maybe one or two half-hearted swings were exchanged, and then we just gave up. after all, why bother? it was only because the people pushing us into it thought it would be amusing.

  4. Kathy Rose
    Kathy Rose at |

    Was I ever told about this fight? And why not? I had no idea! The atmosphere in the school had deteriorated a lot by ’98 when I was last there, helping poor readers. Kids hanging in the stairwells spitting at anyone they chose (and no teacher moving them on), kids showing almost total disregard/disrespect for adults, esp ones without status, like me. Also, kids regularly went over to the oval at lunchtime, with no supervision, and there seemed to be even more ‘proprietorial rights’ over sections of the playground. It wasn’t a pleasant atmosphere even that long ago. It felt like the teachers were less engaged because of the level of disrespect from the kids, compared to when I was teaching there. More teachers were just getting by and counting the months until they could get out.

    I keep wondering who was on playground duty last Fri. . . .

  5. James
    James at |

    It was pretty much all sweetness and light (as much as high school ever is, I suppose) from my perspective. I saw a maybe couple of fights, but nothing organised or serious as far as I could tell. It just didn’t seem to be a thing people did anywhere near me. Or else I was very good at unconsciously ignoring it…

  6. Kathy Rose
    Kathy Rose at |

    Updates: The local rag down-played the bullying aspect of the whole thing and talked instead about how much mis-information was out there floating around. Gossip: Apparently Jai’s mother went to see the principal just two weeks before. . . to complain about bullying. . . . and the principal pooh poohed it!!! The person who told me this also mentioned how short, and how lacking authority, the principal was.

    Someone’s little brother saw the whole thing and he talked about Jai being on the ground and being kicked.

    James, as I remember it, you decided in primary that fighting was stupid, so I suspect you ignored it.

    Rick, I didn’t expect Danya to duck out of a fight by running to a parent, but I thought over the years he might have mentioned it.

    Was it Bart Ward?

    Back when you and James were there, there were maybe 6 kids in the whole school who might have been trouble-makers or troubled. It was a very different place. Most of the parents respected education and instilled that in their kids, and a high regard for authority. Not so these days.

  7. Kathy Rose
    Kathy Rose at |

    There was definitely a town country divide, at least among the girls. The town mob were incredibly smug and very down on hippies of any variety, ie, anyone who wasn’t just like themselves! It went on at the primary and carried on to the high school. And still goes on from what I hear.

    I think the kids you hung with then were the kids from my bottom year nine class who sort of took you under their wing for a while (until the trouble started and you got smart enough to find somewhere else to hang out.) Tony Neclerio would have been one of them. I forget if there was an Essery. I think there was a Kevin.

  8. Kathy Rose
    Kathy Rose at |

    I just realised/remembered that it was Bert Ward. Maybe Kevin was Watson. Does that ring any bells? Scruffy kid with hair hanging over one side of his face, who tended to look down all the time and slouch. Skinny.

  9. Kathy Rose
    Kathy Rose at |

    Kevin had dark hair, and Bert’s hair was very short and brown(?)

    Update from Ros’s grandson who was there: one kid bashed Jai’s head repeatedly against a brick wall until he was unconscious, had his hands around his throat still while he was on the ground, and another kid repeatedly kicked him in the head. Four teachers who were there said they couldn’t get through the mob surrounding him!!!!!! Even when they were trying to resuscitate him they didn’t clear the by-standers. So many kids must be so in need of counselling. . . unless what they watch on-screen has inured them. Both Ros and I had been thinking of Lord of the Flies. I was wondering if it’s still on the syllabus, and figuring it should quickly go back on, if it’s not. Ros tells of organised fights and of fights over table ‘rights’ when her boys were there. Her son Reuben stood up for his smaller mate, a guy head-butted Reuben, and no one listened to the fact that Reuben wasn’t the initiator, so they both got expelled, and before that Reuben had to walk to the hospital to get his broken nose attended to, as no one at the high school thought it was worth looking at.

    It’s certainly not the school that you older ones went to. But when a whole generation of parents head to the hills to satisfy their hedonistic egos, and let their kids run free and undisciplined, what can you expect but a mob of savages trying to assert their own needs and rights? That’s why I wanted to home school Danya. It was evident a long time ago what was happening with that generation of kids: immense emotional/nurturing deprivation.

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