Here we go again! In the same week, two glaring examples of the nefarious consequences of the ageing ‘elephant-in-the-room’ in Australia’s education system. The Courier last reported on this issue in 2013.
Firstly, several former female staffers to Federal MPs disclosed that they were raped, not just harassed, in parliamentary offices, by a serial offender. At best their political masters, male and female, were ‘sorry’.
Secondly, a young woman in Sydney’s eastern suburbs started a petition about sexual assaults during her school years by students from nearby private boys schools (Cranbrook, Scots, Waverley, etc.), and quickly gathered signatories with hundreds of alleged incidents.
Odds-on that the alleged rapist in Federal parliament attended a private boys school. If so, both series of revelations are directly related to the archaic continuation of boys only schools, particularly those private bastions of privilege in wealthy suburbs.
It’s really simple. Boys at gender-apartheid secondary schools miss the opportunity of developing normal social skills in a daily setting of learning alongside girls and working out their intimate relationships respectfully. Cranbrook head prefect Asher Learmonth agrees.
Meantime it’s a recipe for gross misbehaviour by males with a rampant sense of their own importance and male entitlement. Deprived of the leavening influence of female company in formative adult years, they are predisposed to exercise their ‘power’ in the crudest sexual way.
Cranbrook headmaster said the school tried to socialise students and improve their education about consent. But new lesson plans won’t do the trick. The essential ingredient, girls in the classroom, is missing and can’t be simulated. The culture of entitlement is also learnt by osmosis in a privileged home. The only solution is to go co-ed!
Naysayers of co-ed secondary schools quote studies showing that girls schools may perform better academically. But do high-achieving girls look forward to a future work environment where male colleagues are potential rapists? Maybe they could score a few less HSC points for the common good.