The two Wellington College students who triggered a social media scandal that spread through mainstream media and resulted in a protest at Parliament this week have had the consequences of their actions publicised.
The comment that started it all: If you don’t take advantage of a drunk girl, you’re not a Wc boy”
Wellington College has stood down two students for five days as a result of comments they made about rape, and the unnamed students have issued apologies.
The school’s board of trustees made the announcement on Wednesday afternoon.
These are the consequences issued to the two students:
- Both students will be stood down for a period of five days.
- School leadership responsibilities have been withdrawn.
- Neither student will be allowed to represent the school in any sporting or cultural activities for an agreed period of time.
- Both students have made personal apologies and will undertake community work over the next months.
- Both students will undertake education about consent and healthy relationships.
“We have been unequivocal with these students and the rest of the school that the views expressed online last week have no place in our school or our community,” the board said in a statement.
“The school will continue to strengthen our existing education programmes on healthy relationships and consent. These have been in place for more than a year but we know we can do better. We are also going to be working with our parent community because it is clear that everyone has an important part to play in keeping everyone safe.”
As both boys are under the age of 18, some details are being withheld.
The unnamed boys both issued apologies:
“It is a really destructive attitude that leads to these sort of comments and I don’t want others to make the same mistake as me because it hurts lots of people and it is not OK under any circumstances to write and say what I did, or to joke about it,” one of the boys said.
The other wrote: “What I said was completely out of line and I deeply regret saying it”.
The attention these two boys have had to deal with is also a major consequence, as will the stigma they will carry for some time.
This may seem disproportionate given that they are probably unlucky to have been outed – stupid comments are often made – but girls who are raped while under the influence of alcohol often suffer disproportionately to other girls who drink and get away with it unscathed.
But if it takes a media furore to raise attention and force these issues to be exposed and dealt with then so be it.
It is for the greater good if disrespectful and abusive behaviour is reduced and responsibility amongst teenagers improves.