Jackson, Chris, Chia, Sam, Zac and more, they're all part of the mix at Geelong's school for teenagers who couldn't quite find a fit in mainstream learning _ and they're over being stereotyped.
They say the way they choose to express their individuality means they are often at risk of being bullied.
``Kids in town recently tried to kick the cr ap out of me because of what I was wearing, a lot of people can't accept who you are because you look like someone else,'' Chris Miller, 16, said.
``They want you to be sheep and follow the flock.''
The kids know about acceptance because they've come from diverse backgrounds and met many personal challenges but they don't like carrying the emo tag. Emo is short for emotional and is used to describe a teen culture which is descended from Goth and characterised by the wearing of dark clothing, body piercings, lank hair over an eye and avid interest in metal and Goth music.
The teenagers from Diversitat's Success with Education, Employment and Training program, SWEET, reckon the term also comes with insinuation of depressive behaviour.
``Some people are actually proud of it (being called emo),'' Zac Janev said. ``We're not them. We're dressing how we dress for individuality.''
Many of the teenagers in the SWEET program have experienced bullying because of their choice of appearances and have lived with issues including homelessness, drug and alcohol use and mental health complications.
Trainer and youth worker Deb Isaacs said they focused strongly on respect during their studies in areas including literacy, numeracy, art, electives and environment.
``It's less school based and more jobs based, and we're all entitled to our opinions,'' Chris Miller said.
``We have this instead of dropping out of school and doing nothing. This is our corridor into the workforce.''