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Sexual assault in schools

(20 Posts)
CeeBeeBee Mon 09-Oct-17 22:28:49

This is something that troubles me deeply and I'm worried for both dcs, ds(12) and dd(9) as they get older.


Rape victim sharing class with rapist

I went to an all girls school so this was not a problem at our school but I worry about sexual bullying/assault and how it's handled (or rather, not handled) in school. Take a look at the second article, also from the BBC, the perpetrator has been allowed back in school because they were keen for his right to an education but no consideration has been shown to protect the victim's rights. sad

DermotOLogical Mon 09-Oct-17 22:34:50

As a teacher I once had to teach a pupil who had been arrested on suspicion of rape, strongly enough to get taken to court and convicted in the end.
I did not feel comfortable.

CeeBeeBee Mon 09-Oct-17 22:37:59

Dermot, how do school handle it if it's something that's happened on site? I suppose you may not know given it's sensitive nature and perhaps dealt with by the safeguarding team?

DJBaggySmalls Mon 09-Oct-17 22:47:23

Justine Greening was told this was a problem a year ago and has done nothing; now faces legal action;

CeeBeeBee Mon 09-Oct-17 22:53:51

Quite. DJBaggy, schools need clear guidelines on how to deal with the situation that will protect their victims. They are left to make things up as they go along, as the article says, but ultimately it is unsatisfactory.

theendisnotnigh Tue 10-Oct-17 00:33:11

There used to be extensive advice available to schools about these difficult issues. When the Tories originally came into office they literally tore up all the guidance that schools had in relation to bullying, behaviour etc. The previous government had invested heavily in providing guidance about difficult issues - bullying of SEN children, sexual harassment and sex based bullying, homophobic bullying etc. Although it was was excessively long, it did mean that brilliant insightful information was readily available for teachers - online and in large files. This was all binned.
The Tories boasted about 'getting rid of red tape' and they issued totally inadequate brief guidelines about behaviour, bullying etc. Of course, as the weeks and months went on they had to keep 'amending' the guidance to put back much of the legal advice which they had merrily thrown out. They demonstrated then their complete lack of fitness to be in charge of education - it was just about their 'soundbites' and nothing to do with schools or children.
The situation with the onslaught of sexual harassment of girls in schools is totally unacceptable - and frankly that is one of the many places where feminists ought to be giving our attention to rather than dealing with all the rubbish currently being foisted on women by transgender activists with their divisive and dangerous campaigns angry

Ekphrasis Tue 10-Oct-17 12:27:23

I agree the end.

I’m hopping mad after watching the panorama programme that was on last night.

I remember much more coming from the government than now. I’m primary, but there was a clear understanding that sex Ed including consent needed to start young.

I’m becoming seriously worried about what it’s going to be like for my own son in the years to come.

What makes me mad is the the amount of time the tories spent on getting the history curriculum as detailed and as full as possible while forgetting about things like this. Consent should be on the curriculum at primary level, in terms they understand. Private parts of the body, places, consenting to games, holding hands, hugs etc. From reception level. Fuck times tables ffs.

Gentlemanjohn Tue 10-Oct-17 12:29:29

The internet.

theendisnotnigh Tue 10-Oct-17 12:48:14

Absolutely right Ekphrasis.
I know that it's dreadful when schools fail to intervene effectively in sexual bullying and that must change, but to a certain extent that's the stable door syndrome. Schools are torn all ways by conflicting demands - especially with the dead hand of the exam system and Ofsted looming over them.

Both schools and parents need to be working together and teaching about relationships, consent, emotional literacy, resilience, assertiveness etc. We are almost leaving children alone to navigate the most complex and contradictory society ever. If we don't ease back a little on these excessive expectations of children and start ensuring that they have the tools to manage society, then we will continue to see young people 'groomed' by the bad guys.

Ekphrasis Tue 10-Oct-17 12:53:06

Emotional literacy- that was the big buzz word when I started about 15/16 years ago. No one now seems to have a clue what it is now.

Sure, there’s a lot on e safety, but not dealing with the real world effects and impact of access to anything on the internet.

PricklyBall Tue 10-Oct-17 17:46:43

theend - that's depressed me. I recently went on a round of secondary schools, and when I asked about sex ed in one it was so depressing. All "well here's how we teach the biology", and nothing about the stuff I wanted to know like how did they teach consent.

theendisnotnigh Tue 10-Oct-17 18:11:11

I know pricklyball . Schools will fail an Ofsted if their students don't make the right levels of progress academically and to be fair they do measure to see that children are able to identify and 'resist' extremism and understand British values. And an inspection will look at the quality of peer relationships but of course it is hard to drill down in too much detail. Yet it is these skills (understanding consent, personal assertiveness etc) that are essential.

mycatsmellsnice Tue 10-Oct-17 18:46:24

Sorry OP, I hadn't spotted this thread when I started mine.

CeeBeeBee Tue 10-Oct-17 19:06:48

No need to apologise mycat. smile

I hadn't seen the panaroma documentary myself and
I'm not sure whether I can bring myself to at the moment.

WitchBitchHarpyTerfThatsMe Tue 10-Oct-17 19:52:02

I agree that the situation is dire and as previous pps have said we need to be having conversations with our kids from an early age about this stuff. It's not easy but we have to.

Got a 13 year old DD and we've been having conversations about porn, internet, misogyny etc for a few years now. You don't want to scare them to death but with what they can access online you don't have much choice. Mine still has no unsupervised internet access at home and at school it is heavily policed. However I can't protect her from what other people have on their phones.

Ekphrasis there's a good video available online called 'cup of tea and consent'. It's not a bad place to start with young people.

Ekphrasis Mon 16-Oct-17 09:52:58

Witch, I’m thinking of younger children - my son is almost 5 and I’ve had to start talking to him about what to do if he doesn’t want a child hanging on to him (trying to play but not getting that my son doesn’t like it) and also about ‘when daddy doesn’t want to be jumped on’ - sometimes he does, sometimes he doesn’t. I think it’s an early type of consent.

I’ve found several books on amazon on the subject which I’ve just sent off for.

Ekphrasis Mon 16-Oct-17 09:54:44

It also can start at home - a child should have to kiss aunts and uncles if they don’t want to which many don’t. The “hug, hi five or hand shake” approach is a good one.

WitchBitchHarpyTerfThatsMe Mon 16-Oct-17 18:59:57

I agree totally Ekphrasis.

DJBaggySmalls Mon 16-Oct-17 19:07:39

I still cant get my head round adults who make a child who has been raped take a class with her rapist.
I mean OK, the govt hasn't given them clear guidelines. But would they do this with a case of severe bullying?

theendisnotnigh Mon 16-Oct-17 19:36:07

This is not to defend what happens but it is innocent until proven guilty -
and that is where the problem lies.
If a school is 'lucky', the police will be involved, there will be bail conditions and it's straightforward to remove the perpetrator. That's the ideal situation - clear cut.
Where the issues are 'less clear cut' legally it is difficult for a school to act in a way that seems to allocate blame. If you remove the alleged aggressor, then claims are made (and they WILL be made) that the school is taking sides, that you are prejudicing a case by assuming guilt.
I always wanted to err on the side of protecting the victim and excluding the aggressor - but sometimes legally that was not possible, usually where parents were in mega 'my child is innocent' mode. Legally it is very hard to remove a child from their education without clear evidence of guilt - they are still entitled to an education and often challenge any lack of it supported by lawyers.
I know that sounds awful and completely lacking in support for victims - but just wanted people to understand that schools often have demands made on them by many sides and sometimes their legal responsibilities made it impossible to simply remove alleged perpetrators.

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