Principal calls for national response to ‘misogynistic attitudes’

by Robert Ballantyne10 Apr 2017

The principal of an elite Sydney school has spoken out against an alleged rape of one of her students.

SCEGGS Darlinghurst principal, Jenny Allum, wrote to parents in the school’s April 6 newsletter, saying she was “deeply outraged and angered for all of the young women who have had to fight off (sometimes unsuccessfully) unwanted advances.”

The teenage girl was allegedly raped by a boy – who was a student at Cranbrook School at the time – while she was unconscious at a party in Bellevue Hill on March 4.

A 15-year-old boy – who attended Rose Bay Secondary High School – allegedly filmed the assault on a mobile phone.

“As a woman and leader of a community that has its heart in the education of girls, I cannot stand by without commenting on how abhorrent I find this and the many other such stories I am confronted with regularly – both in my professional life and every day in the media,” she said.

“We know that women encounter misogynistic attitudes daily through the smallest and subtlest of ways and through demonstrations that are more overt too.”

Allum pointed to statistics which show that approximately 17% of all sexual assaults are reported to the police and that one in five women in Australia will be subjected to sexual assault in their lifetime.

“This is a national issue that requires a large scale and comprehensive response,” she said.

“So I ask myself what part I can play as educator and what part you can play as parents in keeping our girls safe.”

Referring to the saying: ‘it takes a village to raise a child’, Allum said that she asks herself “if we have forgotten this sometimes in our fast, modern world”.

“I pen this letter as the leader of a community where I hope that we all can be the village for every child who walks through our gates, where we as adults are the custodians and protectors and educators for the next generation of adults,” she said.

The Cranbrook student was charged three weeks after the footage allegedly circulated between students in a private Facebook messenger group.

Magistrate, Sue Duncombe, continued an interim AVO, banning the student from contacting the girl or going near her school.

 

COMMENTS