Home Breaking News London school in rape culture scandal accused of ‘encouraging victim-blaming’ say students

London school in rape culture scandal accused of ‘encouraging victim-blaming’ say students


Students of a London non-public school dealing with rape culture allegations have stated “victim-blaming” has been inspired.

A raft of allegations have been made in opposition to Latymer Upper students and academics on the web site Everyone’s Invited – which inspires teenage victims of sexual harassment and abuse to share their tales anonymously.

The £20,000-a-year school, which counts Alan Rickman and Hugh Grant amongst its former pupils, has reported a quantity of sexual abuse allegations to the Metropolitan Police in addition to to the native authority, Hammersmith and Fulham Council.

Compelled by the revelations on Everyone’s Invited and pissed off by the school’s response to the scandal a gaggle of students have arrange a web site demanding additional modifications referred to as latymer-rape-culture.com.

Answering questions from My London the group, whose members want to stay nameless, alleged the school “has an extended historical past of punishing its students and so we felt unable to boost subjects by means of the ‘official channels’.”

“The school structurally engages in victim-blaming,” the coed collective added.

“We really feel that if we come ahead and convey our experiences to the school that we’ll get blamed for our actions.

“The school will do its greatest to cowl itself, slightly than acknowledging the hurt [it has] brought about us in earlier dealings with the school [on] the problems of sexual harassment, assault and rape.”

Latymer Upper, in King Street, Hammersmith, strongly denies it engages in sufferer blaming and has commissioned an impartial report to contemplate the school’s “programs, insurance policies, procedures, schooling and coaching in addition to its culture.”

‘There is nothing the school can do’

Students allege it’s “not simply ‘the one’ incident that the school disregarded, it’s many” (inventory picture)

The students claimed members of the group had first-hand experiences of reporting incidents and having academics specializing in their actions as a substitute of the perpetrators.

The group stated: “Recounting our personal experiences of reporting incidents involving sexual misconduct to the school, we collectively started to understand that it isn’t simply ‘the one’ incident that the school disregarded, it’s many.

“Many of us have been subjected to victim-blaming from the school and this has left us feeling unable to report something additional, fearing the school will simply repeat their victim-blaming cycle and never take us critically.”

Students who approached the school as a result of they’d found specific footage they’d despatched had been shared with classmates allege that academics typically targeted on their actions.

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One instance shared with My London was of a pupil who spoke to a earlier Head of Year 10 a few pupil who had shared their nude footage with others in the 12 months group.

The pupil alleged they had been repeatedly requested “why did you share the image with the boy?” by the instructor and was instructed “what you’ve got carried out is illegitimate”.

They felt this was a “simple expertise of sufferer blaming”.

In a separate incident one other pupil claimed they got detention after approaching the school for assist as a result of they’d been coerced into sharing nude photographs with a pupil.

In private, social well being and financial (PHSE) classes it was alleged academics have on a number of events instructed feminine students they “should not be out late” and “should not drink”.

Students felt this was a “type of sufferer blaming” and that the emphasis ought to have been on boys not sexually assaulting ladies.

The Latymer Rape Culture web site creators alleged that some academics had been failing to know the difficulty to the extent {that a} senior member of workers was “aggressively minimising the school’s involvement in rape culture”.

A senior instructor is alleged to have stated that “extra folks want to come back ahead to the school in order that we can assist” and with out students coming ahead “there’s nothing the school can do”.

They declare the instructor was additionally “placing the blame on the truth that extra victims do not come ahead, failing to recognise the reasoning behind why victims aren’t capable of come forwards to the school [the fact] the school [is] participating in victim-blaming and in addition not doing sufficient to help the victims”.

Although they add that “a big proportion of the workers perceive that the school has received a component to play in the issue.”

Laytmer Upper’s response

latymer upper

My London put ahead each allegation to the school

Latymer Upper strongly denies it engages in sufferer blaming and challenges the concept it hasn’t carried out sufficient to help victims of abuse.

My London has put ahead every allegation to the school.

In an announcement offered a school spokesperson stated: “Sexism, misogyny, sexual harassment and abuse are essential points for all of society, not only for colleges.

“We are dedicated to taking part in our half in altering attitudes and behaviours. Handling the problems that come up is difficult and a matter for continued studying and overview.

“We at all times attempt to cope with points sensitively and pretty, in retaining with statutory pointers and our school insurance policies.

“Before Easter we used type time to talk to each pupil on this difficulty. These discussions will proceed subsequent time period, alongside ongoing work with exterior intercourse schooling organisations to discover what extra we are able to do.

“We are listening to all suggestions and are dedicated to significant engagement with our entire school group to grasp how we are able to result in optimistic change.

“We have additionally commissioned an impartial overview to contemplate the school’s programs, insurance policies, procedures, schooling and coaching in addition to our culture.

“To the extent that they haven’t already been addressed, the problems and solutions highlighted on the web site will very a lot be thought-about as half of that overview.

“We encourage anybody with issues or solutions to talk on to us with the reassurance that they are going to be listened to, supported and any disclosures dealt with sensitively.”

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‘We at all times knew that rape culture existed’

The group behind the Latymer Rape Culture web site defined they felt compelled to set it up after studying the quite a few testimonials about their school on Everyone’s Invited.

They stated: “We at all times knew that rape culture existed at Latymer. We simply by no means knew how large of an issue it was.

“When a whole bunch of Latymer students started sharing their experiences, we recognised that we now have to do one thing and so we pulled an all-nighter over Zoom and arrange the Latymer Rape Culture web site, which we launched the next day.”

The pupil collective has made six calls for for reform on the school together with coaching for workers, modifications to the intercourse schooling programme, a zero tolerance coverage to abuse and elevated feminine illustration.

More than 600 students and alumni have signed a web based letter calling for the group’s calls for to be carried out.

But to date there was no official response from Latymer Upper to the group immediately.

How the school dealt with the scandal

(Left) Latymer Upper School headteacher David Goodhew; (right) stock image of a school pupil

(Left) Latymer Upper School headteacher David Goodhew; (proper) inventory picture of a school pupil

Emails shared with MyLondon present that because the school got here underneath larger scrutiny final month as a result of of the revelations on Everyone’s Invited head instructor David Goodhew despatched an e-mail to students and oldsters.

In it Mr Goodhew set out the school insurance policies in relation to sexual abuse in addition to assets for these effected, including that he was “deeply disturbed” by the allegations on the location.

“Our students are utilizing their voices to spotlight this essential difficulty and we’re listening,” the e-mail said.

“What I would like all Latymerians to know is that we’re right here to help you, you may be believed and your disclosures might be acted upon.”

Attached to the message had been copies of the school’s safeguarding and anti-bullying insurance policies.

The students behind the web site felt the message, despatched on March 10, targeted an excessive amount of on victims coming ahead and never sufficient on structural change on the school.

“This e-mail implied that extra students must be coming to the school with any issues they might have had, whether or not it’s having skilled sexual harassment or rape, and that the school would then cope with it,” the coed collective instructed My London.

“[It] gave the impression to be like a ‘masking our backs’ e-mail that averted blame from the school.”

They additionally questioned the relevance of the bullying and safeguarding materials.

“This isn’t just bullying,” they added. “We are livid that individuals’s experiences of severe sexual harassment and assault and even rape are being handed off as ‘bullying’ by the school.

“This is a totally misjudged and misinformed response to what’s a really delicate difficulty.”

A second e-mail despatched per week later by the pinnacle instructor once more inspired victims to come back ahead, however included particulars of extra substantial measures being taken by Laytmer Upper in relation to the issues raised by the Everyone’s Invited testimonies.

“I want to reassure everybody that any present or former pupil who comes ahead might be handled with respect and care, and might be listened to,” wrote Mr Goodhew.

“We will help them; their disclosure might be dealt with sensitively and in accordance with our safeguarding procedures, adopting a child-centred method and involving exterior authorities the place applicable.”

The head then set out what the school is doing following the Everyone’s Invited allegations, together with fee of an impartial overview and the announcement of a sequence of “guided conversations” designed to get pupil voices heard.

Latymer Upper students themselves have already engaged in discussions about how they’ll deal with the difficulty.

“There has been mass dialogue across the subjects from the students’ angle. We are actively having discussions in friendship teams and in addition in type teams,” they added.

For the coed collective that is simply the beginning, they wish to drive long-term change.

“We will proceed to talk actively about this; we do not need this to be ‘the factor’ for just a few weeks after which for it to be put again into the tin and by no means mentioned once more,” they stated.

“It is partly by means of dialogue and schooling that we’ll totally have the ability to deal with the rape culture at Latymer.”

But as a primary step they really feel the school must acknowledge the position it has performed in the allegations printed on Everyone’s Invited.

The group defined: “We desire a well-put apology and acknowledgement from the school to all of the students and alumni, notably geared toward those that the school has failed.”

Have you been affected by sexual abuse scandals which have hit the schooling sector? contact [email protected]