Reading these testimonies was an extremely scary experience.
Being a student in the lower years, as well as sixth form, I came onto this page fully expecting it to be filled with just the one event I was aware of, and hundreds of complaints about horny year sevens, and nothing much more.
How wrong I was!
Going through every testimony almost brought me to tears. I realise how I watched many of my friends get away with this behaviour, how I even engaged in these things myself, and how many of the testimonies could have even had my name written in them. I realise how complicit I was, and the worse thing is, at the time, I didn’t even realise that what I was doing was wrong or really having a negative effect on people.
I write this testimony to apologize to all those who I may have hurt during my time at the school. This is also a plea to the school. Although I take responsibility for my actions, I was truly not aware at the time how my actions were impacting people. I was fully immersed in this toxic culture which now clarifies and explains so many of the terrible experiences that I experienced during my time at the school. I am grateful to the school for helping me get to where I am today, academically. However, I feel entirely let down at how I was allowed to become fully immersed in this culture without even realising it, and it is only now, after reading these testimonies, that I realise how poor the behaviour of myself, my contemporaries, and even many of my teachers was.
I fully understand that overturning generations of institutional culture is not a small task, and honestly I’m not expecting things to change over night. But I do hope this issue is dealt with seriously by the school and acknowledgement of the issue is given.
I realise that for a teacher, who may feel as though they are being accused of neglect of sorts, many of the testimonies may cause you real upset and make you feel as though you’ve let students down. Many of these testimonies are very accusatory and put blame on members of staff at the school. I think, as I hope my testimony has made clear, we all play a role in this, and no single person can be held responsible. Sexism is not new, misogyny is not new, gender inequality is not new, and sexual manipulation is not new. This culture is a result of generations and I don’t personally hold anybody at the school accountable. The staff have been a victim of this cultural brainwashing just as much as the the students.
However, change is needed!