The only first thing I can think is: “at least Australian kids are allowed to go to school.”
In America, we’re still locked on Zoom, potentially forever.
Parents and male students were left ‘mortified’ after their school forced them to stand in assembly and apologise to their female classmates for sexual assaults committed by males.
Brauer College in the south-western Victorian town of Warrnambool held an assembly on Wednesday where boys were told to stand up in a symbolic gesture of apology to girls and women.
The move has since sparked outrage among parents of the school who say their children were made to feel ashamed about something they had no control over and didn’t understand.
Brauer College student Craig Daniels told the Today show the assembly was ‘wrong’ and should ‘never have happened’.
Craig’s mother, Nicole Daniels, said the school had ‘completely messed it up’.
‘What they’ve made the boys do, they’ve labelled and categorised them into the same category as a perpetrator and a rapist when these boys have done nothing wrong,’ she said.
‘Nothing at all.’
Another mother, Rebecca Croft, said she immediately called the school to complain after hearing about the bizarre assembly.
‘I was just absolutely horrified about my children having to stand up and apologise for something on behalf of their gender they have no control over,’ she told the morning show.
‘My 12-year-old has no idea about rape and sexual assault and he was made to apologise and he doesn’t understand why.’
Earlier, 12-year-old Levi, who had only been at the college since the start of the year said he was forced to apologise to many of his classmates whom he hadn’t even met.
‘They told us to stand up and turn to a girl in our class and say sorry,’ Levi told A Current Affair.
‘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 there were several girls in the assembly hall that began crying because they’d been revealed in front of everyone as having been victims.
‘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.’
The boys’ mother said the decision from the school was making it seem like the boys would be ‘perpetrators in the future’.
One parent said her son in Year 7 was left confused about why he had to stage the bizarre apology.
‘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 told 7News.
A male student also criticised the assembly in a Snapchat post.
‘Today at Brauer they made every guy stand up and apologise to every girl for rape, sexual assault,’ the student said.
‘Guys go through as much s**t as girls do.’
Yeah, except it’s actually much worse for guys.
But it’s good to see kids are getting just how insane this is.
Nature could be making a comeback.
Brauer College Principal Jane Boyle said the apology part of the assembly was ‘inappropriate’ but defended the school’s intentions.
‘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,’ she 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.’
One mother said on Facebook their son had told her the exercise was simply intended to ‘raise awareness’.
‘My son explained they stood not to apologise, but to stand in support and solidarity,’ another parent wrote.
‘You’ll find all schools will be teaching consent over the next year – Brauer won’t be the only one.’
It comes after 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 one 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.
Thousands of schoolgirls shared their experiences after Kambala School alumni Chanel Contos, 22, launched a petition on February 18, demanding students be taught about consent.
And their experiences touched our very souls…
…and made us hate women even more.