Warwick High silent as past student in sex assault claim
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Two Warwick schools have been thrust into the national debate on consent education after a former student detailed her alleged sexual assault.
The student posted her story in the Teach Us Consent petition, where almost 3000 anonymous testimonies have been shared as part of a viral petition calling for earlier sexual consent education in schools.
According to the testimony, the former Scots PGC student was friends with her alleged assaulter and Warwick State High School student.
She claimed the pair attended a local event together before the WSHS student took her back to his house as she was "very intoxicated" and she fell asleep.
He went back to the event but later returned and proceeded to assault the "barely conscious" teen, she said.
The testimony alleges the young girl drifted in and out of consciousness during the incident and at one point "passed out on top of him".
"I still feel so much shame and fear of telling anyone what happened as I do not think I will be believed/I will be blamed for what happened," she wrote.
"There NEEDS to be more education around this in schools, particularly around what constitutes consent, the absolute necessity of respecting another person's right to say no, how to recognise the absence of consent, and more understanding around victim blaming, especially the way this can be internalised by victims so that they blame themselves."
Scots PGC principal Kyle Thompson said the school "admired the courage"of the former student and he supported a change in consent education,
"It's upsetting and saddening to see the stories shared relating to sexual consent among young people," he said.
"Schools have an important role to play in educating young people and facilitating these conversations.
"Our students engage in age-appropriate discussions around respectful relationships in wellbeing lessons and more specifically, sexual consent, as part of our health and physical education program.
"It's critical we work together and in partnership with parents - and the community more broadly - to ensure respectful relationships are not only modelled and discussed at school, but at home and in the workplace, too.
"Everyone must be part of the conversation and we all have a role to play in providing a safe environment for our young people."
Warwick State High School principal Joy Craig and Education Queensland said they could not comment on the allegation.
Education Minister Grace Grace said the Palaszczuk government would move to examine whether existing sex education adequately addressed sexual consent and reporting on Wednesday.
"Young Queenslanders have been sharing their personal stories of disturbing behaviours, including sexual violence, during and after their school years," she said.
"It is a responsibility of parents, carers and society more broadly to educate and support young people in addressing issues of sexual harassment, assault and consent.
"I have asked the director-general of my department to work across the non-government and state education sectors, P & Cs and school communities to explore whether current Australian curriculum and respectful relationships education adequately address all issues, including consent and reporting."
If you or someone you know may be struggling with sexual assault trauma, contact Lifeline on their 24 hour crisis line via 131 114 or the 1800 Respect national helpline on 1800 737 732.