A school in Victoria, Australia caused a huge outcry from students and parents alike by forcing its young male students to apologize to their female counterparts on the behalf of the ‘male gender’.
Brauer College, the school in question, held a school assembly about a week ago, where boys were told to stand up and apologize to girls and women on behalf of their entire gender.
One of the parents said that her son in 7th class felt confused as to why he had to issue this bizarre apology, wherein boys were expected to say sorry to girls and women who are raped and sexually assaulted by the male gender.
‘He said that he was made to stand up and basically apologize… 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. They really should have made more of an effort to notify the parents,’ Ms. Shephard added.
On a Facebook post, Ms. Shephard shared another parent’s complaints regarding the school-sponsored apology, which the parent described as a “joke”.
‘Wow just wow… this is actually disgusting Brauer College… not at all impressed that you made my son apologize for something he’s never done nor considered doing,’ the parent wrote.
A male student took to Snapchat in order to criticize and denounce the school’s assembly forcing male students to apologize for something they haven’t done.
‘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.’
Response for Brauer College
The Principal of Brauer College Jane Boyle said regarding the controversy that whilst the assembly itself was “well-intended”, she recognized that the symbolic apology part of the assembly was “inappropriate”.
“Schools play an important role in the promotion of safety and respect of all students, and discussions in schools around respect towards girls and women are a key part of this vital work,” the principal said.
The Principal later explains the context within which the male students were forced to apologize, “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.”
“As part of this discussion boys were asked to stand as a symbolic gesture of apology for the behaviors of their gender that have hurt or offended girls and women. In retrospect, while well-intended, we recognize that this part of the assembly was inappropriate.” the principal Jane Boyle said.
Principal Jane Boyle has also made it clear that the school will contact parents to “explain the reasons behind the assembly” in order “to ensure that any student who requires support is aware that it is available.”