‘Molested and groomed’: Schools rocked by graphic claims
Numerous Townsville high schools have been rocked by disturbing sexual assault allegations and have been called out for sweeping the situation under the rug.
Women and girls across Australia have told their stories of sexual assault on a viral petition set up by former Sydney schoolgirl Chanel Contos.
Since the Teach Us Consent petition was launched more than 35,000 people have signed calling on earlier and more comprehensive sexual consent education in schools.
More than 3400 young women have also anonymously shared their own allegations of rape, sexual assault and sexual harassment during their high school years.
A former William Ross State High School student shared her story on the platform.
"When I was in primary school, 8-9 years old, I was molested and groomed multiple times by a 16-year-old friend who went to William Ross High School," the victim wrote.
"When I attended William Ross from Year 8-10 I have multiple experiences of having boys shoving their hands up my top and grabbing my tits, shoving their hands up my skirt, and bragging about not only this but other instances of sexual assault to other girls."
The victim also blasted William Ross State High School for their handling of the situation.
"This school didn't want to deal with these situations let alone discuss consent in the bare amount of sex ed we received," she wrote.
A spokeswoman for the Department of Education denied the school had ignored the student's approach for help.
"Like all Queensland state schools, William Ross State High School is committed to providing
a safe, respectful and disciplined learning environment," the spokeswoman said.
"The school has not received any complaints from students or families in regards to the
alleged assaults in the specified period.
"Any situation that threatens the safety and wellbeing of students or staff is treated extremely
seriously, and dealt with as a matter of priority.
"Support is available through the school's guidance officers and wellbeing program."
A second Townsville woman, who didn't name her high school, also made harrowing claims about a party she attended while at school.
"In high school I got drunk at a party and fell asleep on a couch in the living room," the woman wrote.
"When I woke up two boys from my school had pulled down my shirt and bra and were touching my chest.
"There were other people in the room and no one said or did anything to stop them.
"One was in my graduating class of 2013 and one was a year below me."
The spokeswoman for the Department of Education said Minister Grace Grace had announced a sweeping review into sexual consent and education in light of the published allegations.
"The Department of Education will work across the non-government and state education sectors, P&Cs and school communities to explore whether current Australian curriculum and respectful relationships education adequately address all issues, including consent and reporting," the spokeswoman said.
"We strongly encourage parents with concerns to address the principal or their nearest DoE Regional Office.
"Any victim of sexual violence is urged to make a report to police and seek support or advice by calling DVConnect's sexual assault helpline."
*For 24-hour sexual violence support call the national hotline 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or MensLine on 1800 600 636.
Originally published as 'Molested, groomed': Townsville schools rocked by graphic claims