Parents are fed up with a Victorian school for forcing male students to stand in assembly and apologize for sexual assaults because of their gender, according to The Daily Mail.
Brauer College held an assembly and forced the boys to stand up in a symbolic gesture of apology to girls and women.
Levi, a 12-year-old student that attends the school said that he was forced to apologize to his fellow classmates, many of whom he had never met.
‘They told us to stand up and turn to a girl in our class and say sorry,’ Levi said.
‘I don’t think it’s okay to be sexually assaulted. I felt a bit under pressure to stand up and if I didn’t I felt like I was a bad person.’
Another student named Vini said that many girls in the assembly began crying because they had been revealed as sexual assault victims in front of the entire assembly.
‘I had girls behind me crying because they’d basically been exposed to the entire school and we had to apologise for stuff we didn’t actually do.’
A parent whose son is in year 7 said her son was confused why he had to apologize that women are raped and sexually assaulted.
‘He said that he was made to stand up and basically apologise… it wasn’t explained properly to the male students what they were doing or why they were doing it,’ the mother Danielle Shephard said.
‘They really should have made more of an effort to notify the parents.’
‘Wow just wow… this is actually disgusting Brauer College… not at all impressed that you made my son apologise for something he’s never done nor considered doing,’ Shephard wrote.
On student said on Snapchat, ‘Today at Brauer they made every guy stand up and apologize to every girl for rape, sexual assault,’ the student said.
‘Guys go through as much s**t as girls do.’
‘The assembly included the screening of a video message by Brisbane Boys’ College Captain Mason Black about being proactive in stopping incidents of sexual assault and harassment,’ Brauer College Principal Jane Boyle said in a statement.
‘As part of this discussion boys were asked to stand as a symbolic gesture of apology for the behaviours of their gender that have hurt or offended girls and women.
‘In retrospect, while well-intended, we recognise that this part of the assembly was inappropriate.’
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From term two, the directive will compel state schools to teach the government’s Respectful Relationships training on free agreements.
Mr Merlino said Victoria and other states should not be complacent on ensuring consent was taught well in classrooms.
‘Respectful Relationships is proven to make a real difference and is a recommendation of the Royal Commission into Family Violence,’ the education minister said in a statement on Sunday.
‘It is a program that should be rolled out nationwide. But we have to listen to students, who say they want and need a greater focus on this issue in the classroom.
‘It is why we will mandate the teaching of consent in all government schools in an age-appropriate way.’
Mason Black stood in front of his peers last Thursday and told them he ‘feels sick’ about the claims of sexual assault and that the ‘narrative needs to change’.
‘It makes me feel sick and it makes me feel embarrassed that our school is featured in the testimonies of young women who are victims of sexual assault,’ he said.
Brisbane Boys’ College is another of several schools in Australia that has been named in testimonies from private and public school girls who say they were either sexually assaulted, harassed or raped.