‘Very sexual’: Teachers reveal sick problem
Teachers at elite private boys' schools in Australia say they have been subject to upskirting, stalking, vicious sexual rumours and propositions from students.
Following thousands of freshly unearthed testimonies of sexual assault and rape from students around Australia - uncovered by a viral petition by Sydneysider Chanel Contos - an education expert has revealed its not just students on the receiving end of a toxic culture.
Many of the testimonies in Ms Contos' petition show a particularly big problem in private all-boys schools, and Dr George Variyan from Monash University says teachers in these schools are often the subject to troubling sexual behaviour. And, he says it's not just students who are causing the problems.
In a piece for The Conversation, he said he spoke to 32 teachers in three elite private boys' schools in two capital cities for a yet-to-be-published study.
One young teacher described a troubling account that had her almost leaving the profession:
"I had year 9, year 10 boys, being very sexually explicit to me ... making nasty rumours up, being quite, very sexual, very, very sexual," she said. "Telling me I'm wearing hooker shoes and I look like a hooker to claiming that they saw me on the weekend doing particular things with particular people."
Dr Variyan said other teachers described stories of upskirting, while boys participating in sexually explicit discussions about their teachers on social media, and propositioning them.
One teacher even reported a harrowing experience of a boy stalking her, saying the student had hundreds of pictures of her and filming her.
Dr Variyan added that parents, other teachers and staff members at the schools were adding to the problem by creating a culture of denial and victim-blaming.
The revelations comes as Ms Contos' push for earlier and more holistic education about sex picks up pace - with the new federal Education Minister Alan Tudge Sex revealing that sex education will focus more on respect and consent.
He hailed the "bravery and strength" of hundreds of young women who spoke out in Ms Contos' petition.
"Their voices have shone a light on an important issue and given it the attention that it deserves," Mr Tudge said in a speech to the Menzies Research Centre yesterday, according to The Daily Telegraph.
"They have alerted us to situations that are completely unacceptable. We must all redouble our efforts to ensure that girls and young women are safe and respected in schools."
Mr Tudge said the federal Education Department would roll out new teaching materials on consent and respectful relationships, through the Respect Matters program, in coming weeks.
Meanwhile, Ms Contos petition has amassed more than 3100 testimonies and more than 32,300 signatures.
The testimonies now come from students in South Australia, Western Australia, Victoria, Queensland, the ACT and NSW.
To sign the petition, visit Ms Contos' website
Originally published as 'Very sexual': Teachers reveal sick problem