By Tara O’Connor, local democracy reporter
A private boys’ school in Croydon has responded to “deeply concerning” allegations of misogyny and harassment.
Whitgift School was named at least nine times on the Everyone’s Invited where website which collates anonymous experiences of sexual, harassment, abuse and assault.
Whitgift’s headmaster, Chris Ramsey, said that the allegations on the website are concerning and that no form of harassment or abuse should be tolerated.
One anonymous post said: “A boy at Whitgift pressured me into doing stuff and then later on when I came forward about it, blamed and slut shamed me.”
While another submission claims that the problems are so commonplace that they “don’t know a single Whitgift boy who hasn’t sexually assaulted/ raped someone, or who doesn’t know who someone at their school who has”.
The submissions relating to Whitgift School boys refer to incidents outside of school, all nine currently on the website outline sexual assault of varying degrees.
One awful submission recalls an experience of abuse at a party which finished “I now get panic attacks anytime i’m not sober in fear of being taken advantage of, again”.
Everyone’s Invited was started by Soma Sara in June 2020 in a bid to tackle what she claimed is an abuse and rape culture.
More than 14,700 people, mostly girls and young women, have since posted testimonies of experiencing misogyny, harassment, abuse and assault on the site.
Mr Ramsey said that discussions around respectful relationships take place in the school’s personal, social, health and economic education (PSHEE) lessons
“The serious allegations concerning students and former students of many schools across the country, including ours, are deeply concerning,” the headteacher said.
“We take the issue of respectful relationships very seriously and the discussion forms part of the PSHEE programme at Whitgift as well as being covered by our ongoing work in the area of diversity and inclusion.
“It is right to acknowledge that we, along with all schools, have a part to play in helping to address this issue affecting the whole of society, and that no form of harassment or abuse should be tolerated.”
Please make cheques payable to “MSI Media Limited” and send by post to South London Press, Unit 112, 160 Bromley Road, Catford, London SE6 2NZ
Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has encouraged everyone in the country who can afford to do so to buy a newspaper, and told the Downing Street press briefing recently: “A free country needs a free press, and the newspapers of our country are under significant financial pressure”.
So if you have enjoyed reading this story, and if you can afford to do so, we would be so grateful if you can buy our newspaper or make a donation, which will allow us to continue to bring stories like this one to you both in print and online.