Farewell year 12s

When the year 12s leave they often play up on their way out the door. The private schools talk about “muck up day” in their vaguely old world manner, in city-fringe state schools it’s “fuck shit up day”. Time for payback for any wrong you perceive the school did you. That or embracing the security of the mob to do things you wouldn’t normally have the guts to.

Most schools pay to get the police to attend. They charge per officer, but if the principal feels really cashed up they’ll get a car. Cars are most effective, they look imposing and imply the threat of the chase if you fuck up too much.

The staff squat in the staffrooms or look busy in the library stacks. Rumour has it a few junior students will be targeted, so they’re hidden away in the staffrooms too. It’s exciting for them. Two hours in a staffroom and the teachers forget you’re there and start talking freely again: saying fuck and referring to kids as arseholes or dickheads, maybe even sledging the parents.

The cops get bored and start ticketing cars parked in the school grounds. Teachers swing between righteousness at others’ misfortune and irritation that the cops forget whose side they’re on.

The breakout from the sports hall where the graduation ceremony’s held usually involves a lot of banging on doors and windows of classrooms where lessons are being taught. It takes teachers a few minutes to calm their classes down again, Hardly punk-kid delinquency.

Then the eggs and shaving cream are unleashed. Classrooms, staffrooms and teachers’ cars are targeted, staff purse lips and knowingly explain to eachother how shaving cream can actually destroys a car’s paintwork.
Occasionally there are beatings. Younger kids who have offended specific seniors in some way during the year wander into their path during the mad hour or so. A few cuts, a bit of blood, then they’re gone.

From the staffroom bunker, you know they’ve left the school when you hear the engines revving in the carpark and at the shops across the road. They hover for a while then leave one by one, cruising out slowly to gain maximum exposure, then laying down some rubber and fishtailing their way to schoolies week.

Some make a stop at the school oval on the way for a bit of circlework to tear up the grass that they played football on or were forced to play games on in their soft option, no theory, Physical Recreation class. Teachers and groundsmen with mobile phones snap photos of number plates so that the kids’ initiation to the grown-up world, their first adult court appearance, can be at the school’s behest.

Sunrise, sunset.

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