Wesley College details plan to stamp out misogyny30th March 2021
Wesley College says it has “entered a phase of deep listening” and will introduce respectful relationships programs, psychologists and teacher training to stamp out sexism and violence against its female students.
The coeducational independent school faced criticism after The Age revealed boys in Wesley uniform were heard making loud misogynistic comments following the Melbourne women’s March 4 Justice.
More than a dozen instances of alleged sexual assault, harassment and disrespect to girls by male students were then disclosed, with one former student accusing the independent school of failing to inform her parents or the police after she reported being sexually harassed and assaulted by a group of boys when she was in year 9.
Wesley College has referred allegations of abuse and assault to police.
Principal Nick Evans wrote on Tuesday to parents who had applied to enrol their child that the school had “entered a phase of deep listening” in response to the alleged incidents.
Mr Evans said the school had established lunchtime forums to discuss school culture, was hiring educational consultants to survey students and engaging “external trauma-informed psychologists” to support students and deal with Victoria Police if required.
In addition, child protection agency Bravehearts would provide programs on respectful relationships and personal safety for adolescents at the school, including consent, sexting, pornography and seeking help.
Teachers will also be offered a program to “expand their knowledge about managing trauma in the classroom, to understand problem sexual behaviour and sexual harm, teach personal safety, recognise and respond to grooming, respond to disclosures and mandatory reporting, create Child Safe Classrooms, the indicators of harm and an explicit understanding of Wesley College policy and procedures”.