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Hi
How did your yr 12 students finish the year out?

Ours had a smallish water ballon fight in the streets outside of school yesterday - very tame and they did move on when told as in spite of it being a public street they were creating hassles for parents picking up kids etc. Today we join them for breakfast and asssembly before they head to our secondary location - the stadium and theater for their 'muck up' day. We are yet to see what that means as it is the first year we have said that is what we will expect.

Of course each year we also protect ourselves from willful damage with all night security on this last day of their formal classes. I always wonder what stories I will hear when I get to school on days like today.

I see there is some outrage that Brumby has decided not to ban muck up days in this state in spite of a spate of violence and willful damage. Where I Currently work there has been an effort to refuse to use the label 'muck up day', to provide students a series of planned and structured activities to enable a little letting down of the hair, lots of talk of don't do the wrong thing or forfeit sitting your exam at this school's venue etc. There have been calls to really eliminate the 'fun' altogether which disappointed me so what we have now is a compromise between the views f those who wish to 'let them go' and those who want to remove anyone doing so much as not wearing their uniform.

I believe we have as much control as we can have at our school - what they do on the streets out of our sight is not really within our control. To ban the muck up days would be an extreme overreaction and a declaration of the kind we may expect from fun police who would have it that no-one is capable of making sensible decisions about how to celebrate the end of school life. Such a ban would bring about stronger public irresponsibility from students in protest surely.

I have very fond memories of my own muck up day in a country highschool in remote south west NSW. I remember the yr 12's before me and my own year. We were organised, generally had the approval and support of staff, and we were packed up and gone by 10 am so the rest of the school could get on with the business of learning. But - we would never have dreamed of taking to rival students with bats, caused willful property damage or thrown urine filled water balloons. Maybe we just simply had more respect for society? Maybe what I experience at my current school is a sign that in spite of often feeling a lack of respect in our students there is in fact a level of respect that they at least see as acceptable and is certainly better than what some schools in Melbourne are experiencing.

I would hate to see the 'right' to celebrate the end of 13 years of school taken away from students. However, they can't be violent or cause damage if such traditions are to continue...so here is a question. How does your school manage the antics of yr 12 students at this time of year?

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