I’m currently in Year 12. Reading these testimonies has made me reflect on some of the things I’ve seen and heard during my time at KEGS. Bear in mind that these are a few anecdotes collected over 6 years, and KEGS isn’t comprised of just bullying and “lad culture”.
Many boys throughout the whole school are addicted to porn. I heard about one boy who was masturbating up to four times a day in year 8. I heard about one boy who masturbated in the toilets in KEGS. I heard about one boy who would change his phone background to a different Instagram Model every day for a year.
In year 7, the school had the last ever slave auction, an event where Sixth Formers would be “bought” by a lower school form for a day. One of the group of slaves was a few girls dressed in bunny outfits, the sight of them made the crowd go wild.
In year 9, several Sixth Formers were playing a netball game to raise money for charity, students were encouraged to come and watch the game, and give their change to charity at the event. When this was announced in assembly, the announcer, a Sixth Former himself, mentioned that the players would be “in extremely tight clothing”. He was encouraging students to go so they could check out the girls. He said this in front of the whole school, including teachers. He was probably half-joking when he said it.
In year 10 I overheard a boy in my year complaining to his friend that the girls he’d been talking to weren’t attractive enough for him, and he wanted to meet a girl that was as sexy as Sommer Ray, the Instagram Model.
In year 10 I saw two boys bullying one of the gay boys in our year. They were pushing him around, and told him not to get turned on because they were touching him. A while later, I saw this same gay boy hanging out with one of the bullies, as friends.
In year 10, in the changing rooms, there was a boy bragging about how he’d been messaging a Sixth Form girl on Snapchat. In that same changing room, I overheard a conversation between two boys about their excitement at uncovering a picture on social media which featured 3 of their favourite girls in the Sixth Form.
In year 10, I heard about the worst anecdote in this testimony. At a house party, a boy in my year locked himself in a bathroom with a drunk girl and coerced her into giving him a blowjob. I also heard another story about a house party, where a boy had taken the hand of a passed out girl and used her hand to masturbate while she was unconscious. This second one might be just a made up story.
In year 11, a boy in our year asked a girl in CCHS to send a topless picture of herself. The school only had the first name of the boy, and couldn’t prove any of the boys with that name did anything, so he went unpunished.
In year 11, someone made a TikTok listing the body counts of four girls in a different school. One of the girls who was in the TikTok posted it to a large WhatsApp group chat I was in, with the caption “Someone made a TikTok about me”. This anecdote has nothing to do with KEGS, but I included it because I felt it was relevant.
In year 12 I overheard a conversation between a few boys about messaging some “sketty” girls on Instagram. I assume they were trying to sleep with them.
In year 12, in a discussion about the testimonies on this website, a friend of mine said he might’ve been one of the boys in these testimonies, and that he hadn’t realised how his words could’ve affected the people around him. I never would’ve suspected that this particular friend was one of the boys in these testimonies.
It’s much easier to identify a problem than come up with a good solution. The open letter already contains many good suggestions, and I’d also like to give a couple.
I think educating boys about healthy masturbation and the dangers of porn addiction on one’s sexual and mental health would be a good place to start. This should be done from year 7, when many boys will have their first orgasm.
Showing boys stories like the testimonies on this website will provoke empathy and get them to think about how their actions will affect others. This should be done at an appropriate age, of course.
PSHE lessons have a tendency to go in one ear and out the other, something more substantial will be necessary to ensure these lessons stick. I’ve had two PSHE lessons about consent in my time at KEGS, but they were only one hour each and accomplished fuck all.
There are several boys that lean conservative politically in the school, and if they feel that the school is trying to promote a political agenda they disagree with, they’ll never listen.
There are some boys who will behave inappropriately around girls no matter what the school does. I have no idea how the school should go about punishing offenders, but here are a few things to consider when making the decision.
Encourage victims to come forward to the school, perhaps give them an option to report the incident anonymously. Often in cases of sexual harassment or assault, there is no evidence, it’s one person’s word against the other’s. Believing victims unequivocally might create the opportunity for a victim to lie, false accusations are far rarer than incidents of harassment or assault, but they are still possible.
The harsher and more public the punishment, the more potential offenders will be deterred, but if the punishment is too harsh, the parents of the offender might protest. Alternatively, the school could try a reformative treatment to ensure offenders don’t reoffend. This is more effective in the long term, a harsh punishment will only work as a deterrent while the offender is in KEGS, but reformation is a slower and more complicated process, and some offenders won’t let themselves be helped.
Finally, if you’ve read these testimonies and think one might be talking about you, you can’t change the past, but you can learn from it, and use that knowledge to improve the future.