Identity and Belonging Essay

Submitted By ajlaroya
Words: 535
Pages: 3

The extract from the report of Ms Smith, Principal of Anyton Secondary College, to the Annual General meeting of the school council on 24th September 2011 addresses the ‘rising levels of absenteeism among the middle school students.’ The principal believes ‘regular truancy’ should not be tolerated and urges the school council to put an end to the ‘epidemic of truancy.’ In contrast, Tom Frost oppositional speech delivered in direct response to the report, urges listeners to see the policy as ‘hounding (the) students.’ In his opinion, students who ‘wag school’ are just being kids and should not be punished too harshly for wanting to escape being ‘chained to their desks all day.’ The informal and colloquial tone employed by Frost in his claim, ‘let’s face it, school can just be plain boring!’ challenges the firm and authoritative tone Smith uses when she urges the school council to ‘take a firm line to ensure...students are in school.’ In doing so, he seeks to generate sympathy from the council for the poor students ‘hound(ed)’ by Ms Smith.

Even though Ms Smith employs the use of emotive language and facts to inform the school council her concern about truancy, and Tom Frost makes use of a personal anecdote to make the school council realise ‘school isn’t always (a) safe, happy place’, both create a sense of fear and responsibility through their messages. Ms Smith states how concerned she is at the ‘rising level of absenteeism among the Middle School students.’ By implying the level is ‘rising’, she encourages the school council to feel worried that the level is unstably high; her use of present tense suggesting that these levels are not yet under control and may continue to increase if immediate action isn’t taken. The council’s position of responsibility is exploited by Smith, as their role dictates that they support the school principal to ‘take a firm line to ensure...students are in school.’ Furthermore, Ms States reminds the council that ‘legally, all children up to 15