Not exactly the terrible drama we are presently seeing unfold in a Parramatta school in Sydney: http://www.theage.com.au/nsw/parramatta-shooting-farhad-jabar-was-recruited-by-western-sydney-extremists-20151007-gk3i76.html, but certainly as cautionary.
Matt Bashir, like Mark Thackeray (Sidney Poitier) in To Sir With Love, sees himself as “a sucker” for a challenge. As the new principal of the notorious Boxdale Boys High, in Sydney’s west, he wants to pull the students into line & make a difference.
Bashir has grown up in the area and was once a student at the school and therefore has cred. He is calm & measured in his dealings with students & staff and is certainly genuine in promoting community support in advancing the needs of the school.
This story has all the hallmarks of fictionalising the aspirational narrative of Jihad Dib: http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/principal-jihad-dib-of-sydneys-punchbowl-boys-high-school-is-a-study-in-success-20140723-zw0nv.html the outstanding ex-principal of Punchbowl Boys High who was recently elected into the NSW Legislative Assembly as an ALP representative for Lakemba: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jihad_Dib
Alex Dimitriades plays a highly credible role as the street smart and compassionate principal. In his first staff meeting he is explicit & hyperbolic in his goals: “This is our last chance to turn this place around. Give me two weeks and I’ll make a difference.” After the students begin to respect him & shake his hand at the school gate, Bashir calls a P&C meeting & urgently states his call to arms: “This school is in crisis. Sitting on the fence is only going to mean one thing: A sore ass.”
The Principal is riddled in clichés but is a powerful and important drama for our times.