College girls have organised a protest at parliament to highlight the issue of rape culture.
The protest on Monday at 4.30pm will call for the compulsory teaching of consent and the rights of women in secondary schools.
There will be a variety of speakers, say the organisers, a group of Wellington East Girls’ College students.
The protest follows a furore over comments made by Wellington College boys on Facebook and the suspension of four year nine students at St Patrick’s College Silverstream following an incident of sexual harassment towards female staff.
One Facebook comment was “If you don’t take advantage of a drunk girl, you’re not a true Wc [Wellington College] boy”.
On Friday Wellington College headmaster Roger Moses, ONZM, released a statement to parents in which he thanked the boys who alerted the school.
“They did the right thing and they represent the best of Wellington College values. I applaud them and I hope you will all support them.”
He said he was appalled at the attitudes of the boys who wrote on the Facebook page and those who liked the page or who saw it and did nothing.
“It is not OK to talk or joke about women and girls in that way. New Zealand has a shocking record of violence against women. This is not a subject for ‘banter’. It is real, it hurts and it has serious consequences.”
He said the young women at Wellington Girls’ and Wellington East Girls’ Colleges were angry and upset at what had been said.
“We should take the time to listen to what they have to say.”
The Principal of Wellington Girls’ College, Julia Davidson, will come to Wellington College on Thursday to speak to assembly accompanied by some senior students who will also speak.
“I also intend to visit Wellington Girls’ and Wellington East Girls’ Colleges in coming weeks to give them an opportunity to talk to me and also to let them know what we are doing to address the attitudes and issues that have led to this,” Mr Moses said.
There is a process under way relating to the boys involved and they will face consequences, he says.