Backlash after young boys forced to apologise for their gender in school assembly

Backlash after young boys forced to apologise for their gender in school assembly

A school who forced their young male students to apologise on behalf of their gender to their female classmates has sparked fire and fury.

Brauer College in the south-western Victorian town of Warrnambool held an assembly on Wednesday, where boys were told to stand in apology to girls and women.

Mother Danielle Shephard said her Year 7 son felt confused by the bizarre apology where they were told to say sorry that women are raped and sexually assaulted.

“He said that he was made to stand up and basically apologise... it wasn’t explained properly to the male students what they were doing or why they were doing it,” she said.

“They really should have made more of an effort to notify the parents.”

In a separate post on Facebook, Ms Shepherd shared another parent’s thoughts on the assembly.

“Wow just wow... this is actually disgusting Brauer College... not at all impressed that you made my son apologise for something he's never done nor considered doing,” she wrote.

A male student also criticised the assembly in a Snapchat post.

“Today at Brauer they made every guy stand up and apologise to every girl for rape, sexual assault,” the student wrote.

He went on to claim that “Guys go through as much s**t as girls do.”

Image: 7News screengrab

Brauer College Principal Jane Boyle said the apology part of the assembly was “inappropriate” but stood by the school’s intentions.

“The assembly included the screening of a video message by Brisbane Boys’ College Captain Mason Black about being proactive in stopping incidents of sexual assault and harassment,” she said in a statement.

“As part of this discussion boys were asked to stand as a symbolic gesture of apology for the behaviours of their gender that have hurt or offended girls and women.

“In retrospect, while well-intended, we recognise that this part of the assembly was inappropriate.”

Victorian Acting Premier James Merlino is moving to make consent classes compulsory in government schools.

“Respectful Relationships is proven to make a real difference and is a recommendation of the Royal Commission into Family Violence,” the education minister said in a statement.

“It is a program that should be rolled out nationwide. But we have to listen to students, who say they want and need a greater focus on this issue in the classroom.

“It is why we will mandate the teaching of consent in all government schools in an age-appropriate way.”