Sexual harassment is a routine part of life, schoolchildren tell Ofsted | Pupils say incidents in school and online are too common to bother challenging or reporting

Sexual harassment is a routine part of life, schoolchildren tell Ofsted | Pupils say incidents in school and online are too common to bother challenging or reporting


I went to a private school, so they prioritised their reputation over everything else, lest they lost customers. I was repeatedly bullied in my boarding house and the house mistress managed to pin the responsibility and fault on me. Multiple male teachers were reported for inappropriate behaviour. Was anything done? Not at all. It was only when the police got involved that something was done, and it has really damaged the school's image. When two paedos were exposed (no pun intended) at the same time for different, unlinked crimes, there was a big backlash against the school and their handling of it. But since then, I don't think anyone has said anything, nor has the school lost customers. They did care about our uniforms, though. Having a teacher freely look down our blouses and/or groom the pupils was fine. Having more than two ear piercings or the wrong colour bra was the worst thing you could do. It's fucking disgusting.


> They did care about our uniforms My school ... girls were forbidden to wear tights in summer, on grounds of "hygiene". It was bare legs... or stocking and suspenders. Fucking bonkers.


>It was bare legs... or stocking and suspenders. On *schoolchildren*? Did your teachers need to have a PhD in Nonceology to get a job?


Hmm, well, it was the sixth form only at the time (boys only below that). Still thought it was a disastrous bit of outfit policing.


Nonceology lol


I didn’t go to a private school and this still happened. One teacher was notorious for inappropriate behaviour around students, particularly year 7s, both male and female. He would make sexual comments, sit weirdly close to students and even grope them. Rather than a proper criminal or even internal investigation being launched, he was quietly made redundant and still works for another school to this day.


Naturally. I have a friend who was groomed by and entered into a type of relationship with a teacher, sending each other photos in their underwear etc. Once she got the courage (after she left), she reported it to the police, who then visited the headmaster. The case was dropped after that meeting. The worst part is that my friend doesn't even know what was said, and has only been told that there isn't enough evidence. So he lives to groom and leer another day. I fear how many other girls he's done this to.


Wow. I’m sorry that your friend had to go through that. There’s this weird culture in schools where the faculty seems to permanently be paranoid about students making false claims of misconduct against them, meaning that genuine claims get ignored. In the entire time I was in education, there was exactly one false allegation made by a student against a teacher and the teacher was cleared following an investigation. All of the students stood up and vouched for the teacher in question. The dodgy teachers we had in school were widely known among students to be dodgy. I suspect many of the teachers knew too but were reluctant to get involved.


> The dodgy teachers we had in school were widely known among students to be dodgy. Funny how that happens. The "dodgy" teacher at our secondary turned out to be a nonce, it was in the news and he went to prison a few years ago.


It's not always known though. At my high school, yeah we had a paedo PE teacher. He would try to go in to the girls changing room, but quickly get kicked out by the girls, then he would come in go the boys room and just sit and pretend to do paperwork. The PE teachers had their own office just down the hall. He was never called up for it, every teacher knew he did this but nothing ever happened to him. Heard from someone younger that entered the school after I left that he was fired for inappropriate conduct. But not noncery, he shouted racist stuff to a black pupil in front of hundreds of other pupils and teachers. And about 2 years ago, one of my school's biology teachers was done for molesting students in the 80s and 90s. He was (or at least seemed) really nice and funny! Couldn't believe it when I read about it! He was liked by everyone, no one had any idea about what he had done!


Public school I went to cared so much about uniforms some teachers had to go out to make sure students were still wareing it properly


Intend your pun weakling


Brilliant way to raise the next generation, those places are always run by idiots or paedos


"...yeah, obviously" - almost everyone under 35, and probably beyond. It's a joke, and some of the teachers are worse for enabling or even joining in.


Society at large is responsible here. Look at the latest tune kids are singing to on tiktok "Have you seen the state of her body? If I beat it out I ain't wearing a Johnny" Sexual objectification of women infiltrates every area of kid's lives. The music you listen to, the things you watch, it all forms part of you and your identity. To deny that is wrong. Just ask anyone who went through a goth or punk rock phase. From the music that hits the charts, to the media they consume on social media. 11 year old can watch half naked women shake their arses all day on tiktok. Young girls will see it and think it normal behaviour. Society has become far too over sexualised. Until we accept that then not a whole lot will change. I was at a train station once and there was an advert for Pretty Little Thing. It was women with tight leather trousers and big bums bent over the bonnet of a car. There were kids making their way home stood by this billboard and I just wondered, what sort of body image issues must this create in young girls? And what does this say to young men about women? I remember going to school and there'd be girls who'd stand against the football cage and guys would feel them up, consensually, but it never stood right with me what was going on.


Sex sells, and our society has embraced the marketing gods and eagerly drinks down the blatant anti consumer bullshit as long as it comes with a catchy toon and an attractive smile. Untill marketing is regulated, there is no escape from being exposed to the next thing they think will separate you from your money, be it sex, lies, hype, or just flashing lights and loud noise. It all starts with the masses consuming


Fuckin dire states this. All too true though. I speak regularly to my lad about proper conduct. He's just turned 13 and I remember back to when I was that age, nobody tells you anything. Sex education was all just anatomy and rolling jonnys onto polystyrene dicks. I didn't do anything in school of this nature, but as a drunk teenager at the weekend I definitely got up to some questionable shit with all the other teens I was drinking with. This wasn't just a one way street and I'm not some sort of weird pervert, but I can recall instances and see with hindsight how inappropriate they were, with my adult perspective. The thing is, if nobody is talking about these sensitive issues with kids, how are they to know. I imagine it's a very difficult subject to bring up for many parents. At high school age, kids are going through hormonal changes and are experiencing their first sexual awakenings, etc, without proper education, have no idea what to do with their frustrations. That's a scary fuckin' situation, one I understand completely, and a responsibility that falls on my shoulders as a father. Thankfully I have a very good, honest and open relationship with my boy and there isn't really anything I can't talk to him about. I'll be talking to him this evening about this very subject, just so it's out there.


Fair play to you, it's the least we can do as parents to start a dialogue with our kids about this type of thing.


Luckily in my school we (as in me in the citizenship subject) teach a lot about sex and relationships. Just this past month i've been teaching tear 9 and 10s (13-15 yr olds) rape and consent, rape culture, sexuality, coercive relationships, first time sex, masturbation and sexualtity. Some of these topics are ones that many of these kids have had no education in at home which leads to much of the behaviour highlighted in this report. It is nerve-wracking for new teachers to come in and talk about these subjects to teenagers but as long as you are frank with them and give them plenty of time to ask questions, it's really valuable. Unfortunately, my school is somewhat of an exception because we have a dedicated subject and lesson for pshe and citizenship as well as a department of teachers who really see the value in it.


The only time that most schools would take action against perpetrators is if the perpetrator was wearing incorrect uniform.


Or if they have a non-standard haircut


Man the list of shit that we got stopped doing at school is mad. I never thought about he total lack of action around the physical and sexual assaults at school I and my friends suffered compared to this till now. It's fucking ridiculous. Yo-yo's, tamagotchis and Yu-Gi-Oh cards are the end of the world. Someone old enough to be interested in them gets felt up and they must have enjoyed it or its not an issue.


Remember those candy cigarettes? Guaranteed to send any teacher into a spitting rage!


Yes, man those were great. I was thinking about beyblades too but those were actually kind of dangerous


My school threatened to expel me because I wouldn't cut my hair. I was a little shit in many ways but not for that and I still feel completely justified in not caving to such creepy petty authoritarianism. Meanwhile I saw so many students repeatedly do horrible shit that was ignored. I wasn't a bad student so I think they just gave up so I could still do gcses for the precious exam stats but they really tried to pressure me. Still a long haired git, the whole fiasco was a complete waste of everyone's time


Back in the early 80's I got the occasional threat of repercussions for having a full David Bellamy beard in my last year. Ended up hating the bloody thing but I wouldn't give them the satisfaction. Day after I left I shaved to whole thing off, when I went to pick up my gcse results my year head didn't have a clue who I was.


You could grow a full beard in Secondary School? Still can't do it now!


Or black trainers


I don't hold out much hope for proper action should this arise at my daughter's school - which is likely already had, I just don't know about it. I know there are a group of lads that aren't shy about letting their views on other races known. The N word is often thrown at black pupils, they tell kids that they suspect as gay that they should be set on fire etc. And the only discipline I know they received was an hour in isolation. And this is year 8 kids!


The worst years of my life were years 8 to 11 with 12 and 13 only being slightly better because the biggest arseholes fucked off since they never really wanted to be at school so this does not surprise me.


Sixth form was good for me, but I didn't go to the one attached to my secondary school. I went to one that wasn't attached to a school which I think helped a lot. That was before they mandated education to 18 though. I have a few younger siblings. Two were in sixth form for the transition period and they said the atmosphere changed a lot. One had a year before you had to stay, and said it changed a lot the year they had kids who didn't want to be in education there, and the other had to stay for the first but not second year and said the second year was much better.


It was shocking just how much better 6th form was compared to the rest of school. Once all the shitbags left in year 11 to go to college, it was only the nice normal people left.


My education experience didn't really pick up until college, it was like over night all the lame kids who liked reading and warhammer became cool and all the "bad boy" types got ran out of town in a few weeks. But by then the damage had been done tbh.


School was middling for me. But this was before social media really took off. And we didn't have smartphones. Some of the stuff my daughter's tells me that goes on just didn't happen when I was at school. At least not so open. She was telling me the other night that a group of kids from her school were posting things on Snapchat about how Jews should be crucified and gays tortured. The school don't want to know or just don't care as it's reporting and nothing gets done about it.


It is difficult for schools to issue sanctions and control what is posted on social media. Really that is a parental responsibility, parents need to be monitoring what their children are doing online. It’s harder for a teacher to monitor a class full of pupils social media, than it is for a parent to monitor their own children.


I cant believe the parents aren't being held more accountable. THAT should be the school's job, to publicly shame this behaviour and require the parents to intervene or the pupil is expelled. Bullying behaviour is learned at home. We should be totally intolerant of any nastiness as a society. Instead, it seems to be glamourised? Schools can do more, but parents need to do *better* I would be mortified if I found out one of mine was a bully. The repercussions would be heavy on them.


That is because you are a good parent. Some parents just don’t care what their children do online. I’ve called parents before to let them know what their children have been posting on social media and sending to others and some parents really couldn’t care less I’ve had a lot of “so what? They’re just messing around online” and “it’s not the schools business it’s happening outside of school” I’ve had a parent ask me to give pupils detentions because she let her daughter have a party, lots of students turned up, got drunk, broke some things and threw up in their garden, all while she was there. Teachers can’t be responsible for what pupils do 24/7, we can’t parent them.


> I cant believe the parents aren’t being held more accountable. THAT should be the school’s job, to publicly shame this behaviour and require the parents to intervene or the pupil is expelled. How exactly would a school hold a parent accountable? Give them detention?


They would have to tell the school what measures they were taking to rehabilitate their child. If they refuse, the child is expelled for bullying If they say they will do something and then not follow through, the child is expelled for bullying The parents should also be required to tell the *next* school that is why they were expelled. Bullying flourishes in shadow, in secret. It should be publicly shamed, so the whole school knows what is going on and everyone is looking out for it to squash it. If the parents do nothing, or think it's just 'kids being kids' they are going to find it increasingly hard to get their kid into a new school.


These are some good ideas, but there is far too much systemic and political pressure for schools not to exclude. Until that is remedied, a solution like this would never happen. > The parents should also be required to tell the next school that is why they were expelled. Some parents never engage with the school, that’s the main problem. > If the parents do nothing, or think it’s just ‘kids being kids’ they are going to find it increasingly hard to get their kid into a new school. For this to work, there have to be a complete rethink in terms of alternative provision in education. There currently isn’t the systems in place for this. Nice ideas though.




> I don't hold out much hope for proper action should this arise at my daughter's school - which is likely already had, I just don't know about it. I was in school 15 years ago and all the problems listed in the article were starting to become common back then. We didn't have people sharing full nudes, but having someone send you an up-skirt or under shirt photo of a random girl happened reasonably often. There was a 90% chance that if someone sent you a file on Bluetooth it was some sort of porn that's probably illegal and the teachers just didn't want to know about it because then they wouldn't have to deal with it. Views on race / sexuality were even worse, kids would go on marches for the BNP and the one bi kid got told he was only doing it for attention and bullied so hard he dropped out. There were no outright gay kids in a school of ~750 which statistically is basically impossible, but it was a hell of a lot safer for them that way. High school was fucking awful and I doubt it got any better since I left.


Ah the good old days of "dumb" flip phones and sharing photos and videos by Bluetooth. 15 years ago puts me in Year 9 or 10, and your comment might as well be about my school except it was too posh for the BNP stuff. Likewise, we had no "out" LGBT kids in 800+ pupils, which is statistically impossible, though from Facebook I know a few who came out the moment they left that place.


I was suspended by the Headmaster, for refusing to remove the hoody I was wearing over my uniform, on the way out of school grounds (end of the day), in the middle of December. Depending on who is in charge, and their sensibilities, are what determine whether they will "discipline" you.


Exactly, because it might impact their image. Schools would let kids murder each other if it wasn't a risk to their reputation. Evident by the fact that bullying happens across the country and schools only care if they are at risk of the media hearing about it.


I left secondary school back in 2013, throughout my school career I was subject to physical abuse, verbal abuse and had a few instances of boys groping me from under my skirt or lifting it to humiliate me. I reported every single instance and it was never properly dealt with, and yet Ofsted gave our school a good rating. How is this only just being acknowledged?


In general schools suck when it comes to dealing with bullying (Bullies made my life hell for 5 years - reported everything and fuck all was done about it) so this doesn't surprise me at all.


When I did my prefect training, was chosen to be a prefect in year 11, I almost walked out. We were trained to focus on the bullies feelings when dealing with bullying. Apparantly the bully being told off would make them feel bad... Literally nothing done about the victim.


It annoys me how we still keep getting fed this spiel that bullies so they're bullying because they're insecure, damaged, hurting inside, abused etc etc. Some of them, sure, but the kids who taunted and beat the shit out of me came from happy families, were popular, did well in school. They did this because they just believed they were better and enjoyed stamping on those beneath.


And if you fight back, both are "equally" at fault and get suspended. That's just unfair.


That kind of attitude just encourages escalation. If you know you're going to be suspended as well regardless of what level your retaliation is, then there's no incentive not to properly go for it, beat the other kid to the ground and stamp on his face to teach him a lesson... right?


Violence seems to be the only remedy sometimes as much as we like to pretend it's never the answer. I knocked a kid's front teeth out who relentlessly bullied me after years of making reports that went unnoticed, got in deep shit for it but nobody fucked with me again.


Back when I was in secondary school, there was one kid that just wouldn't leave me alone. There was all the other bullying, but that was more opportunistic, if our paths crossed then there was a problem, but if I stayed away then they didn't care enough to find me. This one kid, though, he'd always seek me out. On reflection he wasn't even that bad (at least compared to the active and violent bullying that I got elsewhere), but it was just relentless. So, one day, I just snapped. I barely even remember what happened, the rumour was that I knocked him out, but I seriously doubt that happened. Luckily, I was on good terms with the deputy head, so he knew that I was good, and that that lad was a twat, so the only repercussions I saw was a bit of a talking to in the deputy head's office. I'm sure my parents got a phone call, but I guess "got into a fight with a bully, and won" wasn't something they considered a big issue. But, in school, that kid never bothered me again, and I got a few weeks reprieve from all other bullying, too. That one act, though risky, did more to protect me from the bullying I received than the teachers ever did, which turned out to be quite a valuable life lesson. When teachers (or anyone in authority) tell you not to protect yourself, but then don't fulfil any need for protection you have, then what they're saying is that they don't care about your safety.


I literally did this at school for this exact reason. This kid decided I was a target and I decided to nip it in the bud because if you let people get away with it it will only escalate. As soon as I had an excuse to fight back (he grabbed me by my tie when I walked past him) I knocked him over and kicked him in the head until he started to bleed and cry. I figured that no matter what I did I would get suspended so I decided to send a message and fuck him up. I never got bullied again, but looking back it's fucked up I had this "kill or be killed" prison mentality when I was meaning to to be getting an education.


Sometimes it gets to the point that the risk of being suspended is worth it just to make it stop. Year after year of being picked on all coming out at once against one person isn't exactly great for them.


It's unfortunately true. Anything to avoid suspensions and having Ofsted ask questions, right? I left school with depression, anxiety and CPTSD, all to preserve their reputation. I filed a report with Ofsted a few years after I left to let them know what had happened to me and multiple others at the school, and they responded saying they couldn't investigate it. Actual bullshit.


At my school, I got the sense they didn't want to follow through on dealing with bullies, because excluding or expelling them meant less money for the school. So long as there is a financial incentive to have as many kids as possible attending, class sizes will keep growing, and bullies won't be properly dealt with.


How many kids have to attempt suicide before they realise they need to fix their shitty cycle of abuse?


Urgh that's totally shit but unsurprising. I know I'm just an Internet random but thank you for trying to make a difference.


I appreciate it. After years of suicidal feelings and plans, it occurred to me that the cycle will continue unless I try to tell some higher authority about what happened - and I was ignored anyway. It's stupid to think things got better after I left, but I truly think they never did.


You went through hell at school and you are not alone in that, I know too many people that did as well. The important thing is that you are still alive in spite of everything you have been through.


It's crazy how common it is that people were abused in school. Each year the age for a child who commits suicide due to bullying gets lower and lower. There isn't enough resources for kids in public schools. I didn't even know we had a fucking school counsellor until I was 18 and doing my A-Levels and had a melt-down in the middle of class. It should be mandatory for adults to know mental health first aid, and children should know they have access to these facilities. Thank you for your kind words nonetheless, I really want to see changes in this country to minimise childhood trauma.


The problem is that a lot of bullying is he-said she-said. Vast majority of incidents have no witnesses and the ones that do, the witnesses are generally too scared of repercussions from the bullies to actually speak up.


Having parents on the board of governers just seemed to make the problem worse, they are too concerned with kids getting good grades (on paper doens't mean they learn anything just coach to a exam), and ensuring attendance and making themselves look good to other parents that bullying pretty much goes unpunished since as soon as they school attempts any disapline the parents complain to board and they back down. Its a god damn joke let the school deal with the parents should only be getting involved with schools to drop their kids off and give them a kick up the rear to do their work. If the kid a danger to other children the school need to be able to deal with it without reprisals which they can't do.


It's fucking horrendous isnt it. as a kid I saw that shit basically every day and no one did anything about it (including me). In the moment as a teenager I didn't even really comprehend just how awful it all was. I hope kids of today are a bit more aware of all this.


I have a really vivid memory of being cornered and beaten up, all in front of my entire class. They all avoided eye contact with me and didn't try to stop what was happening. I hated those people for years, but as an adult I realise that as a kid you're just so scared of being a victim too. I think they felt guilty for not helping me, and I hope it doesn't haunt them. It wasn't their fault, we were all just 15/16 year olds. It's the fault of the people who made my childhood hell and the school that refused to get involved. I hope you don't feel bad for not helping people, you were just a kid and it's seriously scary to see someone else getting hurt in such a violent way.


I was thankfully one of the kids that was pretty in the middle - I got bullied but it didn't make my life hell, and I picked on other people occasionally too to fit in, I wasn't super ugly or super attractive so I didn't get a shit load of attention. I wasn't really cool or really uncool. I had a decent group of friends and my school experience was fairly 'straight down the middle'. I did a lot of stuff I'm not proud of, but I know it was wrong and regret it but I can't change it. I just hope to use my experiences to teach my kids to be better than I was.


> I got bullied but it didn't make my life hell, and I picked on other people occasionally too to fit in, Mine was more extreme. I was bullied relentlessly, because I was at that age where I didn't really care about appearances etc just yet and my unit/peers were all about looking/acting a certain way. The only way to prevent that bullying was basically to find someone weaker and go all in on them, so that the target moved from me to them. Looking back, it was wrong, massively so, but there didn't feel like there was any other choice at the time. The annoying thing for me was, at the time, one of the people who gave hefty bullying abuse was a guy who picked up all the ladies - he got with some of the fittest girls in our group, played them off each other at times, and he would bully me relentlessly for 'being gay'. Bumped into him a few years after school and guess what? He's now openly gay, so thanks for that projection. =/ Seriously, absolute cluster fuck of a school, it's no wonder I never went tbh, but unfortunately home life wasn't really that much better for me at the time. >I did a lot of stuff I'm not proud of, but I know it was wrong and regret it but I can't change it. I just hope to use my experiences to teach my kids to be better than I was. Pretty much.


That's the best anyone can do. None of my abusers from school have ever reached out to apologise to me, so you're already doing better than most people would. Thanks for acknowledging these experiences.




I'm so sorry that happened to you. Honestly fuck this school system.


I developed early and when I went to high school I got my ass groped hard by senior students and people cornering me in the art cupboard to try to stroke my tits. I was only 12. I never reported it because I just thought it was normal lad behaviour. It took me years to realise how fucked up it was and how it had affected me.


I’m so sorry this happened to you. I was the same, I thought that because the boys who would molest me were laughing and jeering while I felt so upset that there was something wrong with **me** for not seeing the funny side (that I was stuck up/a bitch/a prude). And I “knew” it wasn’t SA because it wasn’t at night by strange adults or violent. Those boys didn’t think they were doing anything wrong, so I tried to force myself to think the same thing. It wasn’t until my 20s where it finally hit me how wrong the whole thing was. It’s why I’m such a big proponent of teaching consent, what SA is and how serious it is.


I'm so sorry. I know the feeling of everyone expecting you to laugh it off when you just can't. And you do feel like a stuck-up bitch who has no sense of humour. I understand only realising how fucked up it was later. It's horrible that this is still going on.


That's horrible, I'm so sorry this happened to you. Have you spoken to anyone professional about this?


I'm so sorry you had the same experience. It feels so isolating, but at the same time so many girls go through it. I've been in therapy for other issues and I talked through the sexual harassment. I'm still wary and don't like to be touched much, but I'm getting better as I slowly process things. Have you talked to someone about it?


That's great to hear you've gotten help. I have been in therapy many times and had CBT. I'm mostly over the sexual harassment I dealt with, but oddly enough I'm more traumatised by the physical abuse. I have nightmares sometimes or get triggered by the smallest things like smells and sights, but I'm better than I was when I was 6 years ago. Thank you for asking. I hope things improve for you!


"How is this only just being acknowledged"? I'm still surprised the MeToo scandal only broke 4 years ago


As with the MeToo scandal, people have been making jokes about it for *years*, yet now everyone is utterly shocked!


I left school in 2009 and luckily it was just before the likes of social media and people taking unsocilited pictures but our school was awful at dealing with bullies. On one of my last days of school I saw a known bully picking on another kid (who was tiny in comparison) so I went over to him, gave a few choice words & pushed him back away from the kid for me to then get penalised and threatened with exam exclusion. Schools are a joke.


I know when I was in school at about the same time, often had relatives say that school is the best time of your life. All I could think is do you not fucking remember what school was like? Now 27, still think that. School is fucking shit. Although I once had a guy grab me around the waist and start dry humping me, I punched him in the face causing him to bleed all over the floor which looking back was rather satisfying but kinda wish I also then kicked him in the face when he was bent over in pain.


That's badass. I never once fought back against my abusers, although I wish I did. I keep thinking about if I just let loose I would've caused some serious damage, but I was too scared to become a disappointment to my parents.


Thinking back to my experience in school about 20 years ago, I can think of so many things some of the boys did to the girls. Pinging bra straps, flipping up skirts, slapping bums, pulling up thongs, and then there was the more troubling stuff that happened outside of school... Stories of guys fingering girls down alleys, seeing girls getting touched up inappropriately at parties, and other stuff that seemed fairly normal 'cool kids being cool kids' at the time but now makes my stomach turn to think about as an adult... And then there was the stuff that *I* took part in that was still sexual harassment albeit lower on the severity spectrum: asking girls for hugs, making out with a girl that was perhaps a bit too drunk to really be all that into it. Then there was just all the other stuff. Guys getting their dicks out in class, punching each other in the balls, pantsing people so they had their genitals in display, sexting a nerdy kid from a pretty girls phone trying to get him to meet up so you could mock him later in front of everyone. When I was a kid bebo and MySpace had barely come out and I didn't have a phone until I was 14 and it was a Nokia brick. Yeah, being a kid is running a fucking gauntlet.


Damn this all brought up some memories. I was at secondary school from 2003-08 and I just remember almost every single day being put into interpersonal situations which would probably give me a panic attack nowadays. The guys just in a constant physical display of physical strength and mental wit, girls getting harassed and groped, getting harassed and groped by girls on occasions. Not having any credit or missing the group chats on MSN so becoming a pariah. Bags getting stolen and chucked about, and just constant physical abuse. Most certainly do not miss it.


Totally agree. I think anyone who grew up through the 70s 80s 90s and are on here saw stuff like this on a regular basis. Thing is they're the parents of today.


I had similar experiences with girls at my school. It wasn’t all girls, just that cliquey popular group that seem to be at every single school in the UK! Constant sexual comments, taking pictures of me, groping me as I walked by (literally every time) etc. Went on for about two years. I had dealt with bullying by boys before in the standard ‘let’s just fight’ type of way but not having that option with this situation really frustrated me. Totally destroyed my confidence as I was fairly popular and sporty and it really demasculated me in front of friends which then led to me having behavioural issues and just generally trying to reinstate some form of masculinity with my friends. Every time I complained to staff they would either dismiss it or the girl would burst into tears and that would be the end of it. Really fucked up my view of women for a long time, probably only sorted it out in uni where I socialised with girls that were not of that group generally. It’s not right but I still to this day almost ten years later complete distance myself from a lot of girls that fit the mould (I.e pretty, popular, make up etc) of the girls who abused me in school. I think everyone (male and female) needs to be educated how harmful this is on people’s long term psychology, but depressingly I think there are always going to be people who are just nasty in which case the people in authority at schools need to take complaints seriously. My experiences were 2013-14 for reference.


Has this problem got worse in the past 20 years, or are we just more aware of it? Name calling was rife when I was at school with homophobic slurs being passed around so much it was just part of school life. (Left in 99)


The involvement of smartphones is new, which means pictures of (or purporting to be of) kids can whoosh round a school and the internet. And WhatsApp etc mean the slurs and gossip don't stop when school ends. Otherwise things seem better than in my generation, mostly - school cultures vary a lot as to whether staff turn a blind eye to bra-pinging, homophobia, name-calling etc.


>The involvement of smartphones is new, which means pictures of (or purporting to be of) kids can whoosh round a school and the internet. And WhatsApp etc mean the slurs and gossip don't stop when school ends. Even when I was in school we saw a lot of this with the early camera phones. Though yeah social media and WhatsApp etc means these things can spread a lot further and a lot more quickly.


I'd left school and got two degrees before digital cameras existed! The huge difference is that nowadays it won't be the teachers doing the groping, calling kids racist/sexist/homophobic/disablist terms and telling them they deserve to be beaten up. Well, I'm sure there's still a few, but it's not routine. The male teacher at my secondary who didn't allow short skirts if your legs weren't good enough, but encouraged shorter if they were, wouldn't get away with it now.


Must be horrific being subjected to bullying and humiliation through social media and whatsapp. I saw a taste of it when my freind went back to college as an adult, someone told him about a private facebook group that was set up to hate on him that was racist and sexual in nature. It's likely it was set up because he rejected a girl classmates advances. He wasn't much liked as he kept himself to himself but when it all came out the girl ended up getting comforted by the teacher and he had his complaint dismissed.


Yeah I would agree. It seems to me the issue schools and of course parents really need to deal with is smart phones. Everyhting else seems to be much improved over 20years ago and I see no reason why that improvement shouldn't continue.


Nah, it was just as bad when I was at school 20 years ago. It was completely normal for guys at my school to grope girls in the corridors or make explicit comments. And there wasn't as much awareness of sexual harassment back then, so we just grew up thinking that was acceptable behaviour :-/ On the plus side, there was no social media back then. One of my younger relatives now goes to the same school and says things are far better now, and was quite shocked at what I described.


Agree - that is my feeling, too. Inappropriate behaviour was really rampant back in the days, but often not recognised as such or just ignored. Nowadays, we are aware of it, so we find it everywhere. Attempts to stop it are made and are successful to some degree, but with students, it takes continuous effort.


Same with me and I was in school about a decade ago


Its shocking as a guy when I first heard about the groping etc, like I can't imagine doing it, and never seen it happen to a girl. But then when I really thought back, while I can't remember seeing it happen to a girl, it totally happened to me, slapping, pinching, crotch grabbing. I had more than one girl just stick her hand down my underwear at parties etc. You just don't register it as something bad as a guy at that age. And then there was the guys ball flicking, slapping people arses as hard as they could,.nipple twisting etc, that's also technically sexual assault, but its soo normalised that I never saw it that way till i was much older.


For girls it was mostly bra snapping the pricks at my school would do. The ball flicking escalated to full on punch in the nuts/kneed in my school, I ended up with testicular torsion before leaving school, something that still hurts today sometimes.


You know you can get an operation to fix that??


As a guy, I'm not sure I consider the ball flicking/nipple twisting as sexual assault, despite logically I guess it being so. It was just a way to quickly inflict pain, as teenage boys seemingly have a desire to do to their friends and enemies alike. Being a teenager is weird as fuck looking back at it.


Back when I was at school (early 2000s), puff and fag were pretty common insults along with saying something was gay or calling someone a pussy.


Everything was gay. Maths? Gay. A slightly broken chair? Gay. New trainers? Gay, and you were a Gaylord for wearing them.


I still remember a History lesson when I was in year 8 (2002). Some kid had said the title of the lesson was gay and the teacher just responded with "How is a title gay? Does it have sex with other titles of the same gender?". I think I and other kids had an awakening about that word at that moment.


'Gay' was a super common casual insult 2000-2010. It didn't mean you thought that thing was homosexual though. Your teacher pointed out it doesn't logically make sense but I doubt any of you kids thought it had to or cared.


You might think that but I actually watched a friend come to their senses on this as they were still using our boys school insults, in this case “gay”. Our very good friend who was in fact gay pointed out to him when he said it and he froze up. Until that point he had never actually processed what he was saying because it was so normalised as a negative insult unrelated to its meaning. I’ve watched many friends try and slip up on these things - and I’m sure I do slip up as well. It’s really pretty bad when I think back to school knowing the language that was a permanent part of the vocabulary and considered totally acceptable by everyone - including the teachers... Edit: It genuinely is a big societal problem imo because as children we were immersed in a culture where lots of language and actions were considered fine when you did/said them or when they were done/said to you. People did some truly horrifying things by today’s standards that back then no one blinked an eye at.


This is it, I like to point people to Shaun of the Dead, they use the word "gay" as an insult several times throughout the film, like [here](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4zXvR_jBD8o). While I don't consider the intent is to be homophobic, and is instead meant to portray the immaturity of the characters and them using childish insults against one another, it is hard to ignore the implication of "gay" being used as an insult. To your point IMO we don't connect the etymology of the word to its usage as an insult, if I called someone gay in my teens it wasn't shorthand for "you're a homosexual and homosexuals are bad so you're bad" (even though that is most likely the history behind it), it was just an insulting word to use. I think some of this comes from the fact that we already have hundreds of homonyms in the English language, so people think of "gay" as an insult and "gay" as in homosexual as almost two different words. Similar to how you would with the word "second" depending on the context as in measure of time, or position that comes after first. Also "bat" as in the animal or a piece of sports equipment. I guess that mentally we compartmentalize the meanings, and only draw on the ones relevant to the context of the conversation, hence the scenario with your friends, it doesn't occur to them that there are other meanings for the word. And perhaps another reason for it being used as an insult is as kids (certainly when I was in school in the late 90's/early 00's) we're taught to fit in and conform, any differences are fodder for insults, glasses "four eyes", braces "train tracks" and so on. And so to call someone gay is to imply they're different to us, and the non-conformists must be ostracized. Of course there's also that there are more homophobes in the country then I would like to admit too, sadly.


This is still the case. *Some* teachers pick up on it. Other times you get a class that decides they're going to bully their music teacher, and spread the rumour throughout the school that he's gay, despite his wife literally being one of the instrument teachers. He was a really nice teacher when you get to a small class of 4 at A level that all actually want to be there.


Oh god. We made our music teacher cry on more than one occasion and I feel *horribly* guilty about it. I suppose I couldn't really have done anything about it at the time because I simply didn't have the sway or social capital I'd have needed to burn in order to say something. Children are horrible.


It does make me wonder if music should be a mandatory subject for as long as it is. Many students lack the desire or ability, and it's a really hard thing to teach in a standard classroom format when 90% of then couldn't care less


My school had a phase where gay was so overused and meaningless that some people started using the term "homosexual" for a bit of shock value, a bit like people use the word cunt today because shit or fuck are so common. In retrospect it was fucking awful, but at the time people just laughed. You'd hear things like "I've got detention this lunchtime, that's fucking homosexual".


Sounds kinda gay.


My brother currently goes to high school. They're still very common


I heard this from a very senior member of a company as recent as last year before the lockdown. It’s obviously reduced but it still exists.


Well twenty years ago, kids didn't carry around a camera that could send pictures and videos to their mates.


> or are we just more aware of it? Probably. Looking back it is amazing that some of the stuff that happened under everyone's noses. I remember a group of girls who were basically hanging out with older "boyfriends" and I swear, looking back it's like a grooming gang thing, but at the time I didn't think anything of it, since at that age everyone was going through the horny/relationship/exploration/rebellion phases.


I think people are more aware it’s sexual harassment now. I was in high school during the mid/late 00s and it happened so much and I didn’t even realise it was sexual harassment, the teachers just acted like it was teenage boys being teenage boys.


Technology makes everything worse. In this specific case, there is an entire ecosystem supporting student interpersonal relationships that is completely and utterly beyond the control of the school: I can't stop my students pinging each other on Discord, and you can be pretty sure that my students *are* pinging each other on Discord. And smartphones make life...straightforward and problematic all at the same time. Give every child a camera at a time when pornography has been normalised. What is likely to happen? At a time when they are at their most vulnerable - when they are desperately trying to shape their sense of self - they are exposed to every single person in the world. It's inevitable that they will meet bad actors. Our concept of society has undergone a paradigm shift without anyone really noticing. There is a concern that it is impossible to communicate the longevity and permanence of their actions to children. Teenagers perceive risk differently - can you explain the risks of something this abstract to them? Something *might* happen. Something *might* go wrong. And that is before you start considering the difficulties of explaining the legal situation to kids. You can have sex at sixteen, but you shouldn't send photos of yourself until eighteen, except the CPS interprets that differently to the explicit statement of the legislation. You're going to experiment with your sexual preferences, and that's part of growing up, but whoa hold up not those ones! But looking at porn is normal and.... and....and... It's much less black and white than other areas. Murder is easy. Killing people is bad. Killing people is wrong. Killing people is illegal. Don't do it kids! Sex is much harder to explain in a way that doesn't scare people for life. Edit: which is probably why there has been a 267% increase in issues in this area in the last eight years. If you're looking for the numbers from the report.


While I dont disagree with most of your points. I dont think this has increased and I think the reason the numbers suggest it has is because no one really surveyed this properly before. I mean they are using homophobic slurs as an example. Calling something or someone gay not even that long ago was basically universal and daily occurence


Yeah, I'm a little sceptical about the conclusions of the report, mostly because I'm not sure that the questions focused on the school experience sufficiently. It is possible, for example, for 64% of teenagers to have been sent unwanted videos, but for most of those videos to have come from external groups. There appears to be a general presumption that the primary social group for teenagers is their school friends and their school community, and I'm unsure to what extent that is actually true. This is relevant because it's hard to establish what can be done by schools to stop behaviour that happens on, say, Discord. Or Twitter. Or Facebook. Or Instagram. Or TikTok. Or Snapchat. All of which are blocked on staff *and* student wifi at the school I teach at two days a week. I'd be in support of a national ban on phones in schools if I thought it would achieve anything whatsoever. But heyho. We have that snazzy 5G internet now. Kids have faster, less restricted, more convenient internet. Doesn't matter what restrictions the school wifi has when the ones with unlimited data plans and 5G are letting their friends hotspot off their phones. I'm also unsure to what extent the report reflects the individual experience. It is very easy to find a place online where women talk about being harassed. Because that happens a lot. The media also discusses it frequently and loudly. So is asking teenagers whether they think this happens a lot a good way to find out how often it happens at a localised level? The phrasing of the questions is such that anyone watching the news will give the answers that increase the numbers... and kids are more connected than ever. And yet I can't think of a better methodology for doing a broad scale review of something like this. Asking whether a child has *personally* experienced these things (as we do in adults) is problematic. You're basically asking them if they've broken the law and the ethics can get tricky... The broad strokes of the report paint a generally grim picture however, so it has least established a context for conducting further detailed work into these problematic areas.


Yeah its definitely a difficult situation. I know its not popular here but I do think the Internet, particularly social media needs huge regulation and far more ability in every app and phone for parental controls. We have developed this incredible technology and we are still using regulations designed more than 20 years ago by people uneducated in anything close to the same technology to manage it... its ridiculous.


I was subject to inappropriate touching in school by a male classmate. Did the school do anything about it? Did they fuck. I'm not surprised to see nothing has changed in the past 12 years.


Same, and in my case it was a constant thing for at least a year. Nobody gave a shit


Yup. Guys in my year used to grope girls as they walked through corridors. Teachers saw this happening and did nothing. They only stopped when they did it to one girl who punched them straight in the face.


Its disgusting how many things happen in schools that are serious crimes everywhere else in society.


What fucking annoys me is we allow and make kids put up with behaviour that we would NEVER tolerate as adults. Imagine if a colleague threatened to stab you and followed you after work and kicked your head in. Would you be happy with them coming back to work two weeks later? Permanent exclusions are very much discouraged, as it's seen as passing the buck, and argued that you cannot deny the perpetrators an education. I think kids should have the right to an education without fear or violence and sexual assault.


I remember when I was 12/13 in boarding school, girls had to wear skirts. One of the lads in the year above me decided to throw my bag onto the top level of the fire escape, just so I had to go and get it, in order for him and others to look up my skirt. Then I got made fun of because I cried. Another incident when I was about 10 involved the son of one of my mum's friends, who decided to reach up my school dress on the playground and 'tickle' my vagina. Even my mum defended him (he had some kind of learning difficulty iirc) by saying he didn't know what he was doing. Nothing was done about either of these incidents. Not a thing. They both happened on school grounds, during school hours.


> Another incident when I was about 10 involved the son of one of my mum's friends, who decided to reach up my school dress on the playground and 'tickle' my vagina. Even my mum defended him (he had some kind of learning difficulty iirc) by saying he didn't know what he was doing. You've just reminded me, the pricks in my school used to get the learning disability kids to do these sorts of things for their own amusement, and they'd pay them with sweets. Horiffic.


That is fucking disgusting. How is funny to watch someone be sexually harrassed/abused? The boy who did this to me was aware that is wrong, as he held his finger to his lips after, implying not to tell anyone. I told my mum and she still maintained he didn't know it was wrong. We talked about it a couple of years ago, and she gets it now, but I was 10 and I hadn't long hit puberty.


Having a learning disability does not excuse you for sexually assault people. If you really are that disabled you should not be allowed out without assistance for the protection of others. Or not at all.


I listened to a Radio 4 File on 4 podcast on this several weeks ago, it's really quite disturbing: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000w9vn


had two teachers that were caught grooming and was sexually active with some of the students. one was a P.E teacher who had two kids himself and a wife. the amount of times I've heard from friends they had a creepy, strange teacher from school and them getting caught is more so funny, than surprising and horrified.


Of course it was a PE teacher...


Honestly I'm not surprised no one reports anything. At my school (which I thankfully just got out of) you could literally be on fire and everyone would turn away and pretend to not see it. Some staff in schools are genuin scum and give the whole 'boys will be boys' whenever the girls complain about anything. It's scuffed and change is needed, but why be taught how to be a decent functioning human being when you can learn mental maths!


We can’t measure a persons decency for a long time, maths is easier to plot on a league table.


PE teachers were the worst. They would actively bully the unathletic kids and wouldn’t give a fuck if one injured themselves. The teacher actually left me on the football fields outside, lying on the ground crying after I ripped my calf muscle. Cemented in my head that PE teachers are actual scum and thick as pig shit. Yet to be proven wrong. Another PE teacher said we weren’t allowed to wear converse for basketball because “they’re not sport shoes”. The mind boggles that someone that dumb could ever get into teaching. He was the department head too.


Oh for sure! On top of that, they didn't actually teach you anything. I've only just learnt in my 30s that you can learn techniques to be better at sports... I know that sounds so basic now but how it was at school taught me you're either naturally good at sports or don't even bother. The class was getting you to do whatever sport it was this time, if you were good then great, if not you got no tips or guidance, you were just bad at it.


My 5 years doing PE in school taught me absolutely nothing. I was quite athletic in a lot of ways and did things like rugby and judo outside of school. But school added nothing to my skill set at all. It hasn’t improved either, my son has a natural athleticism and flair for sport way above my own and he excels at his chosen sports with external clubs. He detests PE, the teachers get them to do the most basic games and he’s bored out of his skull.


That's a shame but good that you've got him going to external clubs. I think for many people that aren't lucky enough for the exposure through family or friends, PE can put them off sports for life.


Yeah I hated my PE teachers. Always overweight and old but treated you like shit for not being good at stuff. I hate sports in general so my heart wasn’t in it anyway but they were always so cruel. I remember visiting the secondary school in year 6 for our experience day or whatever and didn’t take a PE kit because I wasn’t aware I needed to. The bloke who would be my teacher shouted at me in front of the whole group of various schools saying he could make my life hell for the next five years etc. I stopped doing PE in year 9. Just bunked off for three years. Got my exercise that way.


My PE teacher forced me to play rugby, which meant not wearing glasses for obvious reasons, despite me being legally blind. I got smashed by some brick shithouse who played Rugby for the local town and hit the ground before I even knew he was coming, bashed the back of my head real hard. School didn't give a shit. Mind you, they also didn't care that we filed numerous reports about one specific teacher constantly upskirting the girls, so...


They didn't care about a teacher upskirting? That school needs to be fucking closed. I hope the parents knew about it.


> They didn't care about a teacher upskirting? That school needs to be fucking closed. For many, MANY reasons. > I hope the parents knew about it. No idea, I couldn't speak to my folks about anything, but that doesn't mean noone else didn't mention it.


My school hired a semi-permanent supply teacher who didn't have a degree or teaching license. He caught someone viewing porn on the school computer once and suggested other things to look up to them. We only found out about it in the local paper when he was in court, because a different school had done background checks. My school never checked with any students to see what he'd done in the 6 months he was teaching unsupervised.


Converses aren’t sport shoes though, right?


The all-stars are a basketball shoe (albeit from the early 1900's), Chuck Taylor (on the side of the shoe) was a basketball player at the time. That said they're not very good as sports shoes now (aside from lifting perhaps).


They’re pretty much the OG basketball shoes. Not very good for sports, but definitely designed for sports.


It’s not much better when girls are the perpetrators- the popular girls at my secondary school used to chant horrible things at one girl and make her cry in the changing rooms (they were teasing her because she had small breasts and eczema). Our PE teacher walked in once and literally said ‘girls stop being silly’ and that was that…reducing another girl to sobs on a daily basis was ‘silliness’. I despair. It’s sad because hearing them chant and cackle gave me a fear of changing in public that’s lasted into adulthood and *they weren’t even targeting me* so guess how bad that poor other girl had it.


I agree and have similar experience, after being harassed at school myself I was told "lucky me" and not to complain, although that was 10 years ago now. I really do think many teachers just do not care and want to brush off dealing with it.


Girls in high school would slap my backsixe, pull my pants down, etc... all because I was shy and not the best looking. It has genuinely scared me for life.


I think what the #MeToo movement brought to light is how unbelievably, shockingly common this kind of behaviour is and how pitifully few times people report it.




What does modern sex education look like?


i was sexually harassed by boys in my class and some a year or two above me (usually skirt lifting and ass grabbing which made me change to trousers just so i could avoid it) and the times i did try and report it the teachers would just say it’s ‘boys being boys’ and that i should just ignore it????


I'm 33 now. But as a teenage girl sexual harassment was just part of my day, every day. It was just what boys did to us. None of us reported anything because it was so frequent that it was normal. Everything in that article was rampant back then with the exception of photos/videos, and I'm so grateful camera phones weren't a thing until I was older. I'm glad people are speaking up now. I just hope something is done.


I'm 40 and I agree it's always been there. Just now picture messaging etc. has made it worse. I went to school in the early 90s and this stuff was regular in later years of school: boys trying to look up girls skirts, girls having boyfriends who were in their 20's arguing about who was the most slutty, pervert teachers trying to look down girls shirts, parties that were a free for all for kissing/groping/maybe more.




Now that i think back to my childhood, there really was a lot of this and you just dont really think about it much then. Its crazy. ​ When i have kids that are that age im going to have a serious chat with them about this kind of thing whether it be not doing it or reporting it if it does happen. I think every parent should do something similar from as early as possible. Id be horrified to learn that my child was being sexually inappropriate or worse to someone, or if they were receiving it they were just accepting it as normal. I'd hang a kid up to dry if they were harassing my daughter for images.




Do they talk about Violence in school anywhere? Im curious whether physical acts of violence have increased or decreased over the years. I remember when I was in High School, the number of fights that would happen was a weekly event, for mates in other schools it's was a daily event.


Having read a few autobiographies, rape (buggery) seemed to be extremely common in all boys boarding schools - as well as sadistic corporal punishment and other bullying by prefects. Orwell’s account of his education (1920s) is good, as is Christopher Hitchens (1950s). I remember in an interview on male mental health, John Snow (broadcaster) said he got on well with one of his teachers at boarding school (in the 1960s), but even then was wary, as he thought it could turn sexual.


Roald Dahl also writes about that in his autobiographical book called "Boy". I think he went to Eton? I read it a long, long time ago but even as a child I thought it sounded horrid haha


There is evidence that physical violence in schools has dropped, significantly. Violent bullying has also dropped. But online bullying is now pervasive, and unlike bullying in the past, online bullying is impossible to escape.


Thanks for the info, it's much appreciated


From what my kids report the number of fights (and other unpleasant behaviour) has dropped dramatically from when I was at school thirty or so years ago. They have fairly frequent talks on respect, equality, etc, etc and the kids are generally kind and pleasant towards each other. There's still that toxic 10% though that just don't listen or learn. Let me make it clear, I don't in any way blame the school. The problem is the parents, every horrible child has horrible parents and there's only so much the school can do to correct that.


I left secondary school literally last month. Violence is absolutely a problem - fights aren't just at least a weekly occurrence, they will also generally lead to not insignificant injuries. The big issue, tho, is its glorification. Fights are _events_, they create floods of students across the playground, and it's honestly quite distressing to see. However, I would say physical violence is much less of a problem than less physically obvious issues. Smoking and soft drugs are everywhere, one kid even pulled out a bong in the middle of a lesson and wasn't even punished, mostly because of the inconsistency between lenient and strict teachers. On my last day, I basically watched a teacher turn a blind eye to kids talking about watching sexually explicit content on the internet, yet different teachers will come down like a ton of bricks on sitting posture or choice of coat. The sex culture is awful, casual homophobia and transphobia are particularly omnipresent but there are still too many people with a laissez-faire attitude to racism and sexism too. It's broken and disgusting.


There was great debate about the length of skirts at our school - one male teacher said I know if it’s too short it’s when it turns me on. He then looked at one girl and said your skirt is too short


I got gang raped on a school trip after having my medicine tampered with and being rendered unconscious and the teach punished me for dampening the mood when someone ran to them to get help for me. A girl in my year got locked in a cupboard in a party and wasn't allowed to leave until she fucked one of them. Their compromise was she could keep her shirt on. They then told everyone in school the next morning and the teachers had the audacity to pull her aside and call her a slag and punish her for it. During GCSE'S it was a weekly occurance for a girl to get raped in a party, either from being locked in a room or cupboard until they agreed, or they were drugged, or they had been plied with enough alcohol where they would suddenly consent or were unconscious. The whole school found it the following morning, and the girls were always punished for being slags. In younger years groping girls, shoving their hands up their skirts and in their underwear, slapping their arses and unhooking their bras was an hourly occurance. Teachers told the girls to stop whining. One girl got into serious trouble when a student did the full combo in a lesson infront of the teacher. She threw water at him to get him to back off and damaged a laptop. She was punished for damaging the laptop and causing a scene when she should've just ignored him. This whole 'teachers aren't aware it's happening and need to just assume it is' is the biggest fucking load of bullshit I have ever heard. The problem isn't that girls aren't coming forward, or that teachers aren't aware of it. The problem is that girls learn quickly to not bother coming forward, because at best they're told to just ignore it, usually their chastised for being a bore, a nag, a drama queen, and an attention seeking slag by their teachers. The teachers act like HR. They protect the reputation of the school first by blaming girls and gaslighting them into not going straight to police, and will only step in when the press or police get involved, and even then they do the bare minimum then go back to how they were. Stop blaming young girls for not coming forward enough. The issue is with the teachers who don't stop this behaviour when they see or hear of it, or don't treat it seriously and downplay it as teasing. They only need to fail a girl once to teach every kid in the room that such behaviour is standard and acceptable.


Suddenly kinda glad I was not invited to any parties during school


Jesus, I'm suddenly wondering if my school was a relatively good school now or if I was just oblivious to this kind of thing happening with not going to parties or anything. This sounds awful. I certainly didn't see this stuff happening in classrooms or anything.


>This whole 'teachers aren't aware it's happening and need to just assume it is' is the biggest fucking load of bullshit I have ever heard. This was such a shock to me when I used to work as a supply teacher here in the UK - the levels of violence and disgusting behaviour that were just allowed to run rampant, and completely ignored. And when I asked "uhm, do we allow that to happen?" I was looked at like I'd asked to strip in front of the kids. If I sent kids out of the classroom for bad behaviour, 9/10 times I'd have the headmaster in within minutes, shaking their head and saying "you're done here".


>If I sent kids out of the classroom for bad behaviour, 9/10 times I'd have the headmaster in within minutes, shaking their head and saying "you're done here". What do you mean "you're done here"? Wtf! I also recently started teaching in a UK private school and for now I've not seen or heard anything bad happening


It means I got a call from my agency in the evening telling me not to return to that school the next day.


That's ridiculous


Yeah, I don't work as a supply teacher any more..


It's such a deep rooted problem it affects mothers when their children come forward to them with abuse. My mum dragged my brother to a police station and made him write a statement at 13 when another kid cornered him and forced him into a fight. When I was 13 and broke down in tears and managed to tell her someone had groped my breasts that day, she called them a dirty slag at a dance club, then went to the school and told them what she did because she was worried she'd taken it too far and was apologetic. She wouldn't listen to me when I tried to tell her it wasn't an isolated incident, I was told to forget about it and move on. When she found out I was raped, she initially went into denial. She tried to make out it was just an assault, they were only kids so it wasn't a police matter. It took her a few months to come to terms with the full gravity of what happened. She's changed so much for the better in the last couple of years, and was the one who persuaded me to go to therapy. But I know so many like her who struggle to see sexual harassment and rape as a serious problem if it occurs in school between students, because that's exactly what they were taught when they were growing up.


True story. There was an American girl at a UK boarding schools, 14 I think? She complained of bullying and inappropriate touching (apparently there's a stereotype this is allowed in America??). The School officials dismissed this as "adjusting to the culture" but an internal letter from one of the teachers indicated that the girls general well being was at risk. The UK government was forced to relocate the entire family back to the US and also pay the fathers employer (a UK pharmaceutical company) for lost expenses/contract. I think it was all kept very quiet...


Are there mixed boarding schools?


Mixed boarding schools exist, but the boarding houses are single-sex.


At my old boarding school, there was talk of creating a mixed 6th Form-only boarding house as a way of helping them prepare for university life. Haven't checked in a while but I don't think that ever happened.


Yes, the often more "liberal" ones but just as pricey like Bedales and Millfields. Also, Gordonstoun and Marlborough. As others say they just have separate houses and dorms.


>The UK government was forced to relocate the entire family back to the US and also pay the fathers employer (a UK pharmaceutical company) for lost expenses/contract. True Story - lol - it sounds very far fetched that the government would have to pay for relocation and a (private?) schools lack of action.


why do I get the feeling the schools will deal with this serious problem about as effectively as they deal with bullying.


I don't think this really stops when you leave school for men or women. There's *loads* of people whose entire lives revolve around gossiping about their work colleagues.


Not just gossiping, either. Talk to any woman who has been clubbing over the past 50 years and the vast majority of them have been sexually assaulted at one point or another. https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201719/cmselect/cmwomeq/701/70109.htm > Evidence demonstrates that sexual harassment is the norm in the night-time economy. Kent Union, the students’ union at the University of Kent, told us that “harassment isn’t just expected, it’s accepted. It is a cultural norm and women are no longer surprised to be hassled, harassed or assaulted. Many never report it, they just see it as a normal part of a night out.” https://metro.co.uk/2019/06/18/night-clubs-are-the-world-metoo-has-left-behind-9978862/ > A 2017 YouGov poll found that 72% of young people have witnessed sexual harassment in some form during a night in bars, pubs and clubs. > Worryingly, 79% of women also said they expected inappropriate comments, touching and behaviour when they went out – either to themselves or to their female friends.


Back when I used to go to nightclubs this was totally the norm. I've been sexually assaulted numerous times and I've even done it myself although I wouldn't dream of doing it these days. I always kind of felt there was something kind of off about doing that and have felt a degree of discomfort about it for a long time but oddly enough it never bothered me when it happened *to* me unless I was actually working (I used to work in bars and nightclubs) in which case it did bother me. I don't really know why I draw the distinction there. Possibly because when you're working you're can be stressed and when you're partying you're drunk and enjoying yourself. If you were to say to someone back then that they were "assaulting" someone they'd probably have laughed in your face and there were plenty of men and women who did it.... a *lot*.


Yep, when I was at school it was normal for boys to grab your arse, put their hands up your skirt etc. When I was 12 I used to get the bus home and would be harassed for my phone number. It just seemed like something you had to deal with.


This doesn’t surprise me in the slightest, schools don’t even take bullying seriously most of the time :/


I really wish we take the issue of access to the extreme hardcore pornography that young teenagers have access to seriously. All the way upto the about the mid 90's the worst most teenagers would have to access to is a copy of razzle, penthouse etc.. your basic very softcore magazines. If you were really lucky you would have a mates dad who had a few VHS videos of 70's / 80's German porn. The mags at most contained pictures of naked women, stories and the occasional image of a woman masterbating. The videos would have sex, group sex, some anal and that's it. It wasn't easy to watch a porn vid back in the day, sometimes it was a kin to a military operation lol. Now teenagers have instant access to the most extreme hardcore pornography ever made. Sorry but a group of young teenagers watching hundreds of videos of extreme hardcore sex is going to effect their views on how to treat women and sex. I have a 9 Yr old son and I'm already well aware that in a few years, when he starts High school, I'm going to have to sit him down and talk about the real truth behind pornography videos because no matter what I do, he will encounter it at some point in school. I'm going have to tell him that the vast majority is staged, how the vast majority of women are absued and forced to make the videos against their will, how high the suicide rate is amongst adult performers, the amount of drugs used when they are making these films, how many underage girls are used, especially in videos made in Russia, Eastern European countries and East Asia, the list goes on and one. Personally I think they should make teenagers in high school watch Louis Theroux's Twilight of the Porn Stars so they can see what the pornography industry is really like. I'm not advocating banning pornography because that is utterly pointless. I'm usually against banning anything because it solves nothing and is the lazy way out. What we need is real education on the subject and not just a teacher saying Porn is bad!!!!! Parents also really need to stand the fuck up and take responsibility for the education of their children, especially their sons regarding sex and how to treat women. Yes schools play a role but ultimately you are the parent and its your responsibility. Schools are not meant to replace your responsibility of bringing up your kids.


Great advice and you are clearly a really good parent thinking through all of this. Can I ask do you moderate / plan to moderate their internet time and/or content filter your home internet? Trying to decide what's best / approaches others may take. Obviously when they're at friends house / school it's pretty much impossible to regulate (other than as you have said, sit them down and explain how it is).


> moderate their internet time and/or content filter your home internet? Kids are a whiz at getting around filters and the like. Back when phones were shit, the best method was to put the PC in a common room, because there's no way of getting around your mum walking up behind you. My router has a feature by which you can ban specific devices off the wifi on a schedule, which forces them to use their own, but 4G means you can still stream Mucho Porno. It's pretty much impossible to regulate at all without draconian measures that most people don't have the technical chops to put in place or manage - and if you do, then you're degrading any kind of trust relationship you have with your kids. Better to be open about it than pretend it's not happening - talk about it.


Yeah, even with the device in a common room, whats to stop them downloading it there in the corner without actually viewing it, then accessing it offline from a phone? Although one upside of strict filtering is that it teaches them valuable technical skills.


Both me and wife have always worked on a you need to earn our trust kind of thing and knowledge is power. I also have a 13 Yr old daughter. When she was first given a device it was fully locked down, she had a child's account so we had 100% control over what she could do and see. As she got older obviously she wanted more freedom to watch what she wanted, play games etc.. So we sat her down, told her how a child account work, we could see every site she visited, watch YouTube videos (her account didn't let YouTube work, it was a third party YouTube app that you could modify) she was watching, what games she was playing etc. We gave her a time window when her device would be accessible, outside of those times her she wouldn't be able to unlock / login into her device. We advised her on what to do if she saw something she wasn't sure off and what have you. We always tried to supplement what she was also learning at school regarding internet safety. As she got older we often had to make judgement calls on whether we thought we could trust her and give more time, more access. The deal has and still is we can have full access to her devices at any time we want. As you can image this didn't go down well as she always brought up the issue of privacy. As we told her, if it's on your phone, it isn't private. It took a bit to sink in but she got the message that what you do on your in regards to social media, whatapps etc isn't private. Once you hit send / post you lose all control over who gets to see it. You can send private messages on WhatsApp but that doesn't mean whoever your sending them to can't copy them, show other people them. That for me has been one of the most important things to teach my daughter, the minute you hit send / post you lost all control over who sees it. When she started High School it did get a lot more difficult due to peer pressure. She wanted full freedom on YouTube, she wanted a tik tok account, twitter, Instagram etc... Tik Tok, Instagram were a firm no. We were open and honest why, she, wasn't happy about it, we had plenty of fights lol but we we stayed our ground. Now she is 13 she has both a Tik Tok and Instagram, I'm confident in her ability to know right from wrong, what not post, how to keep herself safe. Ultimately I know that I can't keep her safe 100% all the time so I need to give her the tools and knowledge so she can keep herself safe.


I went to mixed catholic secondary and boys groping and sexually harassing girls was so commonplace I really don't think we even thought of it as harassment or assault at all. It was so normal and happened pretty much every day it was a non-event. Only looking back as an adult do I realised how messed up it is. Finished secondary in 2009, remember even then videos of girls from school who had been filmed doing things at parties etc. being sent around the boys a lot. I don't recall having a single lesson/assembly or discussion of any kind about consent, sexual assault etc. But god help you if you came in with the wrong type of shoes or a slightly quirky hairstyle..


Over ten years ago a boy ran up to my sister and pulled down her skirt in the middle of the school yard, the school did nothing about it. I'm so disappointed that nothing seems to have changed.


I knew a girl at uni, who got pantsed by the guys in her halls. She recounted it like she wasn't bothered by it at all, but even as a guy, I'd be pretty upset if other guys pantsed me.


I'm a guy and another guy pantsed me in front of the whole class once in high school. Was really embarrassing to have my knob on display like that.


Oof, I didn't even think about the possibility of the underwear coming down too. Sorry you had to experience that 😣


>Inspectors visited 32 unnamed schools and colleges in both the independent and state sector – including a number which were named on Everyone’s Invited – and spoke to more than 900 children and young people. >Nine out of 10 girls and half the boys who took part in the review said being sent unsolicited explicit pictures – so-called “dick pics” – or videos happened “a lot” or “sometimes” to them or their peers. A similar proportion of girls (92%) and three-quarters of boys complained of recurrent sexist name-calling. “The frequency of these harmful sexual behaviours means that some children and young people consider them normal,” the report said. >The report, published on Thursday, concluded that school inspections by Ofsted and the Independent Schools Inspectorate were “sometimes not robust enough” on sexual harassment and there was not always effective joint working between schools and local safeguarding teams. >Presenting the report, the chief inspector of schools in England, Amanda Spielman, said she was shocked by its findings. “It’s alarming that many children and young people, particularly girls, feel they have to accept sexual harassment as part of growing up. Whether it’s happening at school or in their social life, they simply don’t feel it’s worth reporting.” >Ofsted was asked to conduct a rapid review of sexual harassment and abuse in schools and colleges in England after thousands of harrowing testimonies detailing sexual abuse and misconduct in schools were posted on the Everyone’s Invited website this year.Soma Sara, the founder of Everyone’s Invited, welcomed the report but said many of the findings had already been established in a landmark report by the Commons women and equalities committee in 2016. “Why hasn’t anything happened since then? How can we be sure that real change will come about after the Ofsted report? We’ve had reports in the past and nothing has happened. What’s different now?” >On Wednesday evening, the Everyone’s Invited website published for the first time the names of 2,962 schools in the UK mentioned among the 16,554 testimonies now posted on the website. The list includes both secondary and primary schools, from both the state and private sector, and their locations in every corner of the UK but gives no further details of the nature or number of allegations made against them. >“The schools we should be worrying about are the schools not mentioned on Everyone’s Invited,” said Sara. >“Some school heads have told their pupils not to share their testimonies with Everyone’s Invited. Why are some headteachers silencing survivors? Why is the reputation of institutions being prioritised over victims of rape and sexual abuse?” >Responding to the Ofsted report, the Department for Education promised more support for schools to tackle sexual abuse and strengthened safeguarding guidance. The NSPCC helpline set up in April to support children reporting abuse in education will run for a further four months until October. It has received 426 calls so far and 80 referrals have been made to external agencies including police and social services. >At one school, inspectors cut short the visit after uncovering serious safeguarding failures that triggered a full inspection. Although the review focused mainly on secondary school-aged children, inspectors went to two primary schools and found there were already concerns about children viewing porn and inappropriate images on social media.At the end of their eight-week inquiry, inspectors were so struck by the widespread prevalence of the problem they told school leaders to “act on the assumption” that sexual harassment was affecting their pupils, even where there were no complaints. >Ofsted wants headteachers to take a whole-school approach and develop a culture where all kinds of sexual harassment are addressed and sanctioned. It calls for sex education to allow sufficient time to cover consent and sharing explicit images, and urges the government to take its findings into account as it of the review as it develops the online safety bill. >“This is a cultural issue; it’s about attitudes and behaviours becoming normalised, and schools and colleges can’t solve that by themselves,” Spielman said. “The government needs to look at online bullying and abuse, and the ease with which children can access pornography.” >She told a media briefing there was a legitimate discussion to be had about the appropriateness of mobile phones in schools. “We found they were frequently enabling harassment and abuse, through sharing nudes,” she said, adding: “Banning phones in schools does not stop harassment and abuse going on outside schools.” >The education secretary, Gavin Williamson, said: “Sexual abuse in any form is completely unacceptable. No young person should feel that this is a normal part of their daily lives – schools are places of safety, not harmful behaviours that are tolerated instead of tackled.” >Paul Whiteman, the general secretary of school leaders’ union NAHT, said: “Sexual harassment and violence is a problem that reaches far beyond the school gates. There is no doubt that schools can and should play a key role in this work, but they can’t solve it alone. We need government and other agencies to play their part too.” Survey of schoolchildren. https://www.amazon.co.uk/photos/share/jQZpEQdgL2hY4nDD74ZMUSmrcTl1Hsbq7Z94fNUPqwV Links from article. https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201617/cmselect/cmwomeq/91/9102.htm https://www.theguardian.com/education/2021/apr/07/ofsted-inspectors-to-visit-schools-facing-sexual-abuse-claims


Completely true, I was sexually assaulted repeatedly in school because of my perceived sexuality (nothing like rape but stuff like inappropriate touching from dumb kids) and the school turned a blind eye to it and said nothing despite seeing it. Around the same time I also told the school I was severely depressed and had a history of mental illness in my family - they told me to take a long walk and if it gets worse come back. I did go back and received no follow up appointment with the school nurse. When I finally snapped one day and punched someone in the face, I said it was in response to continued homophobic bullying and they said it was my fault for not saying something - which is hilarious because I was a quiet 15 year old who had no confidence and multiple teachers/staff knew this was happening and did nothing. They told me that I had no right to react that way because there’s kids in care who want to commit suicide which I found insane to say to someone depressed. Anyway, I’m glad they’re reporting schools to Ofsted because it seems like it hasn’t improved for anyone in school in the 10 years since my own experience. I wish I’d been brave enough to report my own school at the time as I think about it everyday and worry that the same staff are there letting the same shit happen to school kids. Edit: of course I know my own response was wrong now as an adult and I wish I had handled it differently, I’m glad kids are doing it this way.