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HomeLive StreamPlea for tolerance as school sex abuse site deluged with complaints

Plea for tolerance as school sex abuse site deluged with complaints

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Headteachers told today how they are trying to tackle sexual harassment and support pupils amid a surge in the number of sexual assault allegations made online.

Some of London’s top independent schools have been named on the Everyone’s Invited website, set up for students and former pupils to report claims of sexual harassment. Almost 5,000 testimonials have been published on the site.

Some schools have informed police of the online allegations, which are published anonymously and name the school which the perpetrator attended.

At the same time, some boys are distressed to hear the allegations, and there are some fears for the mental health of innocent boys who are anxious they will be wrongly implicated.

The site was set up last June by Soma Sara, 22, who said: “We have to expose it before we can change it. We are trying to educate our generation and the older generations at the same time.” Many schools have drafted in experts to speak to pupils about consent, pornography and lad culture.

Alun Ebenezer, head of Fulham Boys’ School, said: “If our boys, and all boys and girls, have behaved in a way that is wrong it needs to be faced up to and dealt with. I do not think trial by social media is the right way to do this.”

Gill Cross, deputy high mistress of the all-girls’ Streatham and Clapham high school said: “It worries me that boys will feel targeted, or there will be a backlash which suggests that girls are moaning about things and exaggerating the issue. It is also a worry that boys will face another anxiety at a pivotal moment of their development and we don’t want them feeling guilty for the behaviour of others.

“That’s why it is so important that schools help boys to have healthy and respectful relationships with girls and with their ideas about how to treat girls or their sexual partners.”

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