Schools will make changes based on evidence of sexual harassment and violence

Schools look for new initiatives and then make changes Sarah EverardDeath and testimonies of Sexual harassment in education have sparked calls for more action to combat abuse and support the safety of women.

A headmaster told The independent one Students have formed a new society to tackle the narrative of harassment, while another headmaster said self-defense classes could be added to the curriculum for younger students.

The murder of Ms. Everard, who walked home on a main street in London earlier this month, sparked talks about women's safety.

It is therefore that allegations of a “rape culture” in a number of private schools have caused concern among politicians and industry leaders.

Young people have thousands of testimonials about sexual abuse posted on the website Everyone is invitedMany, including the name of the school or university, in which the abuse took place or in which the perpetrator participated.

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Portsmouth High School principal Jane Prescott said an eighth grade student raised concerns about uniform school policy after reading a testimonial online about women criticized for their clothing.

Some girls had suggested that the rules for inconsistent days were "pretty old-fashioned," she said.

The headmaster said the rules were first introduced to "stay smart" which was then interpreted as "staying decent".

"I adjusted it in light of what you said because I think it's pretty important that we listen to their experiences and how they think we should react," said Ms. Prescott.

“We had a rule that you can wear jeans, but they can't have rips. All designer jeans are ripped now. Why do we have this? I mean, I think it's a hangover from the past, so we have this got rid of. "

She added, “There have been others who wore sleeveless tops with straps that were too thin. Again, it's now irrelevant so we got rid of that. "

Ms. Prescott said there was only one explanation that it was a "work environment" and that students "should dress appropriately".

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Gareth Doodes, principal at King's School in Worcester, said The independent one After Ms. Everard's death, he decided to look into misogyny in schools and "encourage all students to change the narrative" and "understand that through some level of collective inactivity we are all involved in such behavior were at fault ”.

"The subject went from taboo to open discussion in class," he added.

The students then formed a new society called Change the Narrative with plans to have conversations, welcome guest speakers, share testimonials and meet with the leadership team, he said.

In Durham, headmaster Andy Byers told about Framwellgate School The independent one His school decided to do a few things to "educate" the students after Everard's death.

In addition to a meeting, he sent a letter to parents' home on the subject of harassment and support for women.

"It's important that all boys understand how their actions (innocent as they are) can make others feel (getting too close to girls who are alone, hanging out in groups, making comments or making sexist remarks)," he said Principal .

Others have opened conversations for students and staff to share experiences of sexual harassment and promote dialogue about women's safety. Leicester College spoke to several students and staff live about the topic earlier this month.

Headmistress Julie Keller said Nottingham Girls' School intends to start self-defense classes from the seventh grade after parents asked for the training to be offered earlier in school in light of recent events and discussions.

"Parents are aware that their daughters are talking, and they want things, they want support, they want help, and they want their daughters to feel safe when they are out of school," she said.

She added, "We say, 'Yes, we are going to introduce things like self-defense,' but more important than that is talking about what is appropriate and what is not, and educating boys and girls about respect and what is not Consent and all of those things. "

Geoff Barton of the Association of School and University Directors said "a lot of work" has been done to combat sexual violence and harassment in schools, including new government guidelines following reports and recommendations from the Women's and Equal Opportunities Committee four years ago.

He said his union would "share this information with our members today, given the statements made on everyone's invitation".

"We will also discuss what else can be done to support schools and colleges in this work and to combat the horrific behavior described on the website," he added.

Additional coverage by the Press Association

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