WHO needs school? Good question, according to at least one of Justin Bieber's ''Beliebers'', whose parents were oblivious to their teenage daughter skipping school yesterday to try to sneak a glimpse of the Canadian teen pop star.
The 18-year-old Bieber, in Melbourne for a round of interviews and a taping of Channel Seven's Australia's Got Talent, reduced his tween and teen fans to a hysterical, sobbing mass as they moved with the speed of a wildebeest herd in their efforts to snatch a glimpse of the pop star.
About 100 ''Beliebers'' - clutching mobile phones and cameras and trying to avoid being pushed out of the way - terrified passers-by in South Yarra when they rushed Bieber's vehicular convoy as it left Chapel Street's Olsen Hotel. Screams and shrieks could be heard for several hundred metres well after the singer left the overwhelmed teenagers in his wake.
''Oh my God, we just met Justin Bieber!'' shrieked one.
Hanna, 17, said she had been waiting to see the singer for almost four hours and her parents did not know that she had taken the day off.
''I got to touch him, so I don't care about school any more,'' she said.
One girl hysterically sobbed down the phone to a friend: ''Sarah, Sarah, he touched my hand.''
''I just saw Justin f---ing Bieber!'' sobbed another.
Another was overwhelmed that the diminutive pop star had used her marker to sign her clothing. ''He signed my jumper - with this marker! Nobody touch this marker!'' she demanded of nobody in particular.
In one group of four friends, there was some jealousy of 15-year-old Paige, whose hand Bieber touched.
Bianca, 13, said she had been quite close to Bieber's car, and was trying to take a video, but ''got pushed so much''.
''All these girls were swearing at me,'' Bianca said.
There were reports of Bieber's car doors being opened by desperate fans, and any girl lucky enough to have her jumper or hand signed by the singer was a hero among her friends - and hated by the rest.
After Bieber left the area, two friends sat on the footpath and planned their next move.
Melody, 15, described seeing ''the most amazing person in the entire world''.
''I saw my future husband,'' she declared. ''I saw him. I have a video.''
Her friend, 16-year-old Georgia, said: ''I saw an angel … He is so beautiful.
''I've never run so much in my life,'' she said of trying to catch a glimpse of her idol.
In his interviews with Austereo Radio, to air on Fox FM today, Bieber told Fifi Box and Jules Lund that he was some times annoyed by fans interrupting his meal times.
''I try to give [my fans] as much time as I possibly can, you know?
''There are times when I'm eating and that's not the time to ask me for a picture, but any other time, I try to give the fans as best an experience as possible.
''I wouldn't come to your house in the middle of you eating and ask you for a picture.''
Bieber - who also admitted in another interview that he has only two real friends - recorded Australia's Got Talent last night and is expected in Sydney today for a secret performance.
His latest single, Boyfriend, is number 35 on the ARIA singles chart and the iTunes singles chart after 15 weeks.
The story Justin time: True Beliebers catch up with their hero first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.