Head teachers say social media firms should also tackle 'rape culture'

Head teachers warn parents and social media firms should also tackle ‘rape culture’ scandal because many incidents happen at parties outside school

  • Geoff Barton said school’s could not tackle problem of ‘rape culture’ on own 
  • And said many reports were sex crimes that should be dealt with by the police
  • Came as primary schools became latest to be named on Everyone’s Invited site  

Parents and social media companies must also help tackle ‘rape culture’ rather than leaving it all up to schools, the leader of the head teachers’ union warned today. 

Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said parents, said many incidents of sexual harassment happened at parties outside schools beyond the reach of teachers. 

And he argued that many of the allegations on websites such as Everyone’s Invited were sex crimes that should be dealt with by the criminal justice system.  

Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said parents, said many incidents of sexual harassment happened at parties outside schools

Signs outside James Allen’s Girls’ School, in south east London, in the aftermath of allegations of rape culture at a number of other independent schools

He said: ‘The testimonies posted on the Everyone’s Invited website are utterly horrifying and the behaviour described is not only unacceptable but in many cases constitutes a serious sexual offence.

‘Media reporting of these testimonies has focused on the role of schools. In fact, these testimonies involve young people, in schools and universities, in a wide variety of circumstances, often outside school premises in settings such as parties.

‘This is not to minimise the vital responsibility of schools in tackling sexual violence and sexual harassment, and instilling good values in young people and respect for one another. Our experience is that schools work very hard on all aspects of safeguarding, and take these matters extremely seriously.

‘However, it is also clear that this is a wider issue than what happens in schools. Parents have a responsibility to talk to their children about how they behave towards others.’

He also called on social media giants to start policing the content on their platforms.

‘Social media companies have a responsibility to take more care about how their platforms are used,’ he said. 

‘The criminal justice system has a responsibility to show young people that it can be trusted to prosecute and bring to justice sexual offenders.’         

It came as primary schools were the latest to become embroiled in the ‘rape culture’ storm after former pupils posted claims of sexual assaults.

Everyone’s Invited, on which thousands of older children have reported harassment and abuse now has allegations involving pupils as young as five.

The 11,000-plus claims include one alleged assault by a child at the £22,000-a-year Fulham Preparatory School in west London.

Mr Barton said: ‘Social media companies have a responsibility to take more care about how their platforms are used’

Head teachers have urged anonymous victims to come forward and speak to teachers so they can respond, saying staff were struggling to ‘act effectively’ because many of the testimonies have no named victim, aggressor or date.

In addition, the leader of the secondary school head teachers’ union said schools alone should not bear the burden of dealing with the issue, as much of the abuse detailed happened away from school premises, such as at parties.

The latest claims involving primary pupils included one which read: ‘In Year Four I had to change school because this older boy in Year Seven who was [on] my school bus was harassing me.

‘He tried to apologise by offering me a Haribo. A couple [of] weeks later I told my mum – I was so young and clueless of the situation that I thought it was because he liked me because he thought I was pretty, how naïve.’

The alleged victim claimed Fulham Prep, where the boy was a pupil, did ‘very little’ when her family reported it.

Another former pupil at an unnamed Roman Catholic primary school told how a boy would ‘try and stick pencils and his hands’ up her skirt.

And an ex-student at Meersbrook Bank Primary in Sheffield told of ‘years of sexual abuse during primary school between the ages of five and ten’ by older boys.

They subjected her to ‘kissing, genital touching and manipulation’ but she was afraid of ‘snitching’ on them.

The allegations follow an explosion of claims against pupils of top private secondary schools, including Dulwich College and Highgate School.

Pupils stage a protest against rape culture at Highgate School in London

Yesterday, the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference, which represents heads at such schools, urged victims to make themselves known to schools so teachers can provide support.

General secretary Dr Simon Hyde said: ‘Our members are listening and willing to act, but it is more difficult to act effectively on anonymised allegations, and we urge those affected to seek support and redress through their schools.’

In response to the allegations, Fulham Prep head teacher Neill Lunnon told the Telegraph the school takes safeguarding ‘incredibly seriously’.

He added: ‘We fully support the open dialogue that is currently taking place in the media about sexual assault and harassment.

‘We are fully committed to doing our part in educating our children about what is acceptable and what is not.’

Gemma Harvey, head teacher at Meersbrook Bank, said: ‘We do not tolerate abuse of any kind.

‘We have robust safeguarding policies to protect our children and maintain clear and effective procedures for reporting any incidents.’ 

I was attacked by Eton boy, says claims dossier activist

By Lizzie Deane and Josh White

Zan Moon wrote open letter to headteachers of eight schools over ‘serious misogynistic culture’ that ‘thrives’ in their institutions

The organiser of a dossier of sexual abuse allegations against boys at top private schools has told of being assaulted by an Eton pupil.

Zan Moon, 24, wrote an open letter to the headteachers of eight leading schools over the ‘serious misogynistic culture’ that ‘thrives’ in their institutions.

Miss Moon, a former pupil at girls’ private school Benenden in Kent, said she was overwhelmed with responses after asking for testimonies on Instagram from females who had been harassed and assaulted by private schoolboys.

She compiled 95 harrowing accounts, including her own in which she detailed how she was assaulted by an Eton boy when she was 15. She told the Mail: ‘I was at a party with a bunch of Eton boys.

Someone had rented accommodation  for a party on a beach with no parents for the whole weekend.

‘There was nowhere to go – we were sort of trapped in this house. One of the boys made a beeline for me and I tried to escape the room. He followed me out and grabbed me by the neck and choked me.’

She said he then indecently assaulted her and pestered her for the rest of the night.

Miss Moon added: ‘That’s five to seven hours of him relentlessly trying and me continuously saying I didn’t want to. All of the boys there were just being complicit in that and seeing what was happening.’

She said she did not take the incident to Benenden, Eton or police at the time, adding: ‘We weren’t really educated on what sexual assault was.’

Miss Moon, who now works for the Prince’s Trust youth charity, said there was ‘definitely’ a coverup culture at schools, stressing: ‘It just seems the priority was always to uphold their reputation.’

Pictured: Eton College says it insists that all its pupils treat others with kindness, decency and respect and has condemned criminal behaviour which it says ‘has no place in society’

She insisted there had been ‘multiple people’ who complained to schools but headteachers had not acted.

Her dossier also contains allegations from female students at Bristol and Exeter universities.

Miss Moon’s letter said chauvinism ‘runs deep within the environment of private boys’ schools’. She added: ‘It is finally coming to attention how boys from the most elite schools and universities have mistreated girls for years and somehow got away with it. This ends now.’

An Eton spokesman said: ‘Criminal behaviour of this kind has no place in society. Eton always takes specific allegations such as this extremely seriously.

‘Eton insists that all our pupils treat others with kindness, decency and respect.’ 

Some 11,000 allegations have now been made by school pupils on the Everyone’s Invited website. At least two top private schools have called in police.

‘Sexually assaulted in a tent… humiliated by nude photos… groped on the bus’: Read the harrowing ‘rape culture’ allegations that have rocked Britain’s top schools

Some of Britain’s most prestigious public schools are among those to be hit with thousands of harrowing allegations of sexual assault and harassment that have sparked a rape culture scandal.

Stories revealed on campaigning website Everyone’s Invited include a girl who was allegedly attacked in a tent at a party, and other shocking accounts of revenge porn, harassment and rape. 

There are now more than 10,000 complaints on the website naming top public schools including Eton College, Hampton and Charterhouse, with both girls and boys among the alleged victims. 

But the claims has now widened, with the number of state schools subject of harrowing allegations increasing by a third.    

Soma Sara, 22, the founder of Everyone’s Invited, where people can share their stories of sexual assault 

Soma Sara, 22, started the page with Meadow Walker, the daughter of late actor Paul Walker, after they bonded on Instagram when she spoke about surviving abuse after watching BBC drama I May Destroy You last June. 

The campaigner lives in France but was educated at an exclusive private Catholic school in Hampstead before boarding at Wycombe Abbey School in Buckinghamshire then completing an English master’s degree at University College London last year. 

Her site allows users to submit claims anonymously, with many of the accounts naming the specific school. 

Here are just some of the harrowing survivors’ testimonies from a small number of schools out of hundreds. Those mentioned have been contacted for comment. 

Pupils stage a protest against rape culture at Highgate School in London

‘I was raped at a party, but my friends were just angry I got everyone kicked out’ 

Moorside High School: Co-ed secondary school in Stoke-on-Trent. 

‘When I was 15 I was at party with my friends. I got really drunk and got pulled into a bathroom with two 18-year-old boys one left while the other one raped me. 

‘I was left prompt outside the bathroom door crying and screaming ”he’s raped me” because of this the party got broken up and everyone got kicked out. All my friends hated me and told me it was my fault.

‘The next day all my friends message me telling me how much of slag I was how I’d ruined everyone’s night. 

‘One friend told me I could of ruined that boys like by making accusations.’  

Moorside High School is a co-ed secondary school in Stoke-on-Trent that has been named on Everyone’s Invited 

‘He shared my nude photos with friends and it totally humiliated me’ 

Hampton School: Independent boy’s school in south-west London founded in 1557.  

‘In year 9 a boy at Hampton school kept asking me for nudes and at the time I trusted him and liked him.

‘I thought everything was fine until I heard from people that he had an app on his phone to screenshot Snapchat photos without the person knowing. I heard he did this to me and shared the photos with his friends and this completely humiliated me. 

‘He then tried to make me send again I said no and told him I knew he had photos but he denied having them on his camera roll. 

‘All his friends knew and I was so embarrassed I told no one. Scary to think someone you trust can do that to you. Years later he admitted to it but laughed it off.’ 

It is not known which school the girl attended.  

A girl claimed on Everyone’s Invited that she had been repeatedly hectored for nudes by a boy at Hampton (pictured)  

‘I woke up to a girl attempting to touch me – some people don’t realise consent is for boys too’ 

Parmiters School: Co-ed state comprehensive with academy status in Watford that dates back to 1681. 

‘It was at a party, I was asleep and I woke up and a girl was attempting to touch me. I was drunk. I have no consent. 

‘Some people don’t realise that consent goes both ways.’

‘He said he wanted to rape me and knew where I lived’  

George Abbot School: Co-ed secondary school and sixth form with academy status in Guildford. 

‘I was 16 with very little experience with men. A boy in school started saying hi to me in the library, I thought nothing of it and carried on with my studies.

‘On the evening that we finished our last GCSE the boy sent me about 25 Snapchat videos explaining in detail how he would f*** me and rape me and that he knew where I lived and he would come to my house.

‘He was drunk and his friends filmed him talking about my body and laughing about what he would do to me and sent me those videos too. 

‘I remember I felt paralysed and couldn’t leave the house for days afterwards.’

One of the testimonies accuses a pupil at George Abbot School (pictured) of boasting about how he would ‘rape’ a girl in online videos

‘I was assaulted in a tent at a friend’s party’  

Eton College: World famous independent boarding school in Berkshire charging £48,501 per year. 

‘We were all sleeping in tents at my mate’s party. 

‘And I fell asleep around 2. I woke up to a boys fingers inside me and him on top of me. 

‘I pretended to stay asleep until I figured out what to do.’

It is not known which school the girl attended.’

A spokesman said: ‘Eton insists that all our pupils treat others with kindness, decency and respect. Specific allegations are always taken extremely seriously and we work closely with the relevant external authorities when necessary. 

‘We run workshops about healthy relationships and educate our pupils about consent. A number of further initiatives are in advanced planning. However, we must never be complacent and are always seeking to learn.’ 

Eton said today: ‘Specific allegations are always taken extremely seriously and we work closely with the relevant external authorities when necessary’

‘At an after party with other boys from Charterhouse I woke up to find one of my good friends naked on top of me’ 

Charterhouse: Historic boarding and day school in Godalming, Surrey, with fees of £40,695 each year. 

‘I was at an after party with all of my friends. I was very drunk and blacked out. I woke up to one of my good guy friends naked on top of me and they had taken my pants and trousers off. 

‘They were trying to have sex with me and when I woke up I was in the most pain I’ve ever been in. When they saw I had woken up they started shouting at me for bleeding onto the bed.

‘They made me feel so uncomfortable and embarrassed me about the situation. I walked home at four in the morning very confused but feeling really guilty and ashamed with myself as they had embarrassed me. I was in a relationship with a friend of theirs and they manipulated the situation so I wouldn’t really tell anyone.’

This testimony was from a boy. 

‘He forced himself on me, I felt like I couldn’t breathe’ 

Cranbrook School: Co-ed state funded boarding and day grammar school in Kent. 

‘I was under the age of consent and he was two years over it. I was at a party and it was one of my first times drinking heavily and when he started to kiss me I was so excited – until he pushed my head down to his penis and held it there and it felt like I couldn’t breathe. 

‘Until he took me to his car where I blacked out to the memory of him forcing himself inside me. I woke up unconscious in a corridor of the party having lost my shoes, my pants and my bra, having a hazy recollection of what had happened. 

‘When I went into school the next day I was labelled a slut for having had sex so young and so publicly, while a photo of my lost bra and shoes circulated around school. Surely people would have realised that if I was so drunk to have lost my shoes and underwear, I couldn’t have had the capacity to give consent?

‘If you recognise this story, please don’t contact me about it – I just wanted people to see it from my point of view, and maybe feel confident to share stories about their own experiences of Cranbrook, where I felt that rape culture was really normalised.’ 

A spokesman said the school was ‘deeply concerned’ about the allegations.  

Cranbrook School is a co-ed state funded boarding and day grammar school in Kent

‘A boy assaulted me, then his girlfriend called me a slut’  

Cardinal Newman College: Co-ed Catholic sixth form college in Preston. 

‘During my time at six form, my best friends boyfriend got me drunk to the point of unconsciousness, took me to bed, asked her to leave the room and then assaulted me. He was completely sober. 

‘I still to this day thank god it wasn’t worse. That she came into the room and stopped it before it went further. That makes me so angry that I’m grateful.

‘After this happened her boyfriend told her that I had missed him. She believed him even though she’d seen what was happening. She told me I was a slut and never spoke to me again.’

‘His defence was he’s gay and didn’t enjoy it’ 

Lincoln Minster School: Co-ed day and boarding school charging £14,460 per year that traces its roots back to 1265.

‘I was on a school trip when I was 14, a boy in front on the bus leant back and stroked my legs, sticking his fingers in the rips in my jeans, ”accidentally” touching my crotch and breasts. 

‘We told a teacher she said she’d talk to him, his defence was that he’s gay and didn’t enjoy it.

‘I haven’t worn those jeans since.’ 

Lincoln Minster School is a co-ed day and boarding school charging £14,460 per year that traces its roots back to 1265

‘He pointed at me and said ”you’re too frigid for this, you’re too frigid for that”’ 

Fortismere School: Mixed secondary school and sixth form in Muswell Hill, Greater London. 

‘I was barely 14 and was at the guy I liked’s house. I had only ever kissed boys before, and only known this boy for about 3 weeks. We were sat in his living room with a drinking games book, just reading the different games. 

‘He started going through the stripping/sex ones and pointing them saying ”you’re too frigid for this, you’re too frigid for that”. 

‘At the time I didn’t even know what sexual harassment was, so I just was embarrassed and didn’t want him to think I was frigid. I sat there near tears and never mentioned it again. 

‘After 6 months of him making manipulative jokes and hints about sex or what other couples were doing compared to us, I lost my virginity to him on my 15th birthday week. I regret it so much, and still blame myself.’ 

Fortismere School is a mixed secondary school and sixth form in Muswell Hill, Greater London

‘I was sexually assaulted by my best friend’ 

Lord Williams School: Co-educational secondary school with academy status in Thame, Oxfordshire. 

‘I was sexually assaulted by my best friend (male) and my nudes were leaked around school. 

‘I later found out that there was a large group of guys that had a group chat where they would share girls nudes that they had received.’

‘My ex tried to rape me three times’  

Winchester College: Famous 600-year-old independent school charging £31,350 a year. 

‘My ex from Winchester kept nudes of me on an album and still has them I believe a year later yeah sad plus he tried to rape me three times. 

‘Thankfully I got out of this unstable relationship.

‘I think guys should realise that this is a place for them to speak up to and girls need to understand that they get hurt too even if less .’

A woman writing anonymously on the website said her ex from Winchester (pictured) tried to rape her three times  

Kingston Grammar School: Independent school dating back to the 13th century that charges £6,840 per term. 

‘I was in maybe year 9 quite insecure and got drunk with my friends for the first time. 

‘I was happy having a good time when we decided to travel and this boy decided to travel with us. 

‘He molested my chest in public my legs and was sticking his tongue down my throat. 

‘He was completely sober whereas I was not and he knew this as he kept on making repeated jokes. 

‘I asked him to stop and he would continue ignoring me saying we were having a good time. Nobody did anything to stop it.’

‘The boy begged and begged… it was coercive behaviour’ 

Godolphin and Latymer: An independent girls’ school in London – the account did not say which school the boy attended.  

‘We were going to have sex for the first time, I was a virgin. Something felt off and I decided I didn’t want to. 

‘He begged and begged and then asked me if I would ”at least” give him a b******.

‘I didn’t feel like that either but I did it because I didn’t want to upset him – it was coercive behaviour but it didn’t match up with what I’d been told about how sexual harassment looked so I didn’t think much more about it.’

A former pupil at Godolphin and Latymer shared her story on the site but did not say which school the boy attended 

‘I was repeatedly groped at a party’ 

Fettes College: Co-ed school in Edinburgh charging £29,925 per year. 

‘I was 15, it was at a party. I was being repeatedly groped in the mosh pit but couldn’t figure out who it was as every time I turned around it was different people. 

‘It just kept happening over and over again, I didn’t know when the groping would stop.

‘I went to different locations of the party area with other people but it just kept happening. I then discovered it was these three guys who were all my good friends.

‘Still they’d come hug me around my waist and I pushed one of them away, but they still continued to target me that night.’

A pupil at Fettes College said she was ‘repeatedly’ groped in the mosh pit at a party 

‘A boy slapped me on the a*** as he and his friends laughed about it’ 

St Paul’s: Independent school in Barnes, south-west London, charging £12,997 per term for boarders. 

‘I went to a St. Paul’s party and I was alone while my friends went to the bathroom. 

‘A group of boys approached me and one slapped my a*** and they all laughed about it.

‘I didn’t tell my friends because I was too embarrassed but I feel completely fearful to this day.’

A former schoolgirl claimed she was slapped on the bottom by a St Paul’s boy as his friends laughed 

‘I never spoke to anyone because my ex was really popular’ 

A second account referring to a boy from St Paul’s.  

‘My ex-boyfriend and I were at a party when I was about 15. He got really drunk and started exposing everything about our sex life in front of all of his toxic rugby friends. I was so humiliated that I started crying in another room on my own. 

‘After this, one of his friends came into the room and started coming onto me, using things that had been exposed about my private sex life as an excuse to get with me. 

‘He was saying things like ”well he (my ex) said you like doing this, so you should with me, I know you want to”. 

‘This went on for about 30 minutes, with him eventually coercing me into doing things I really didn’t want to do. However, because I was so terrified and vulnerable I couldn’t stand up for myself. 

‘I have never spoken about it to anyone because my ex was really popular and the ”alpha male”, therefore had I said anything about his best friend, he and everyone else would never believe me.’

The school said: ‘This is clearly a difficult and complex issue which has deeply affected our school community. The school completely condemns the actions described on the Everyone’s Invited site… we are taking them extremely seriously.’ 

‘A HABS boy pushed himself onto me without consent’ 

Haberdashers’ Aske’s Boys’ School: Hertfordshire public school charging £7,000 a term.  

 “When I was 13, I was taken into a room by a HABS boy and he started touching me aggressively and physically pushed himself onto me with no consent. I didn’t really know what was happening. 

‘Years later, I was on a coach journey with him and when I was asleep he started trying to touch me. 

‘I was disgusted. Then, last year a girl spoke out about being raped by him in uni.”

The girl attended North London Collegiate School. 

‘I said no but he went ahead anyway’

Malvern College: Independent co-ed day and boarding school in Worcestershire.

 ‘While I was at boarding school I got a boyfriend one day I really wasn’t feeling ok and he asked if we could do something and after I had said no he proceeded to do things anyway. 

‘It wasn’t anything we hadn’t done before but my head space was really out of it then and I don’t even think he realized what he did.’

‘It’s not just private school boys’ 

Walworth Academy: Co-ed secondary school and sixth form in London. 

‘So many of these stories are concerning private school boys, but it’s not just them. I was 16 he was 18, I have never felt comfortable enough to call it ”rape” but I was sexually assaulted.

‘I have always felt it was my fault for inviting him round or not making myself clearer when I said no. Every time I walk into my bedroom I can see myself pinned down by him, unable to move, my bed is a constant reminder of that day. 

‘Recently he tried to message me again, to ”chat to me”, as he is still completely unaware of how wrong what he did was. 

‘I didn’t go to the police because he was over 18 and I had a sense of guilt of potentially sending him to prison, I regret that everyday. 

‘If I have to think about what he did to me most days, he should be locked away being forced to think about it everyday.’

The girl went to West London Girls School. 

Walworth Academy is a co-ed secondary school and sixth form in London

‘I felt coerced and manipulated into doing things with him’

Abingdon Boys School: Independent day and boarding school that charges £42,105 a year for boarders. 

‘Too many of my friends (including myself) have been sexually assaulted, harassed or objectified by Abingdon boys. 

‘I dated a boy in the year above me from there when I was 16 and felt manipulated and coerced into doing a majority of things with him. 

‘He pressured me into having sex in the back of his car in a public car park which, after a lot of fighting back, I was able to argue my way out of. His response was that I was being ”frigid”. 

‘As someone with a younger family member at the school I can already see his attitude towards girls his own age changing and that’s something really scary to watch. 

‘During my time at school I knew a lot of boys there who would encourage that sort of behaviour towards women and it’s made worse by the ”lad culture” and arrogant attitudes a majority seem to be supportive of. 

‘Change needs to come from within and it needs to be spearheaded by those in charge.’ 

‘Boys shared videos of girls at the college having sex without their knowledge they were being recorded’

St Dominic’s Sixth Form College: Roman Catholic sixth form college in Harrow on the Hill, north-west London.  

‘A bunch of boys had a group chat where they would post videos of them having sex with girls within the college, the girls were unaware they were even being recorded.’

‘I was groped by an older boy in a boys’ boarding house’ 

King’s School Canterbury: Mixed boarding and day school founded in 597 – making it perhaps the world’s oldest extant school. 

‘I was groped in a boys boarding house by another boy 2 years older, for some time I laughed it off until it was revealed later that there were other victims of his. 

‘School did not deal with him appropriately to say the least, I’m not surprised if there were more victims that did not speak about their encounters.’

‘He tilted the screen of the video chat to show he was masturbating’  

Hayes School: Mixed secondary school with academy status in Bromley, Greater London. 

‘I was chatting on social media with a male friend from school. I was 13 and he was 16. While we were messaging he suggested turning video on. 

‘I didn’t think anything of this, as it was normal among my friends to chat whilst on video, and we were literally chatting about nothing…

‘Within a couple of minutes, and with absolutely no prompt, he tilted the screen down to show me he was masturbating. I completely panicked at 13 years of age, shut my laptop and never spoke to him again. 

‘I thought about telling my teachers, but when none of my friends believed me, I realised it was simply my word against his and that there was no point dredging it all up through the school. 

‘After all, I could just spent the next three years avoiding him in the corridors until he left school for uni.’

Hayes School is a mixed secondary with academy status in Bromley, Greater London

‘A friend started touching me inappropriately on top of my clothes’ 

The Totteridge Academy: A mixed secondary school in Barnet, North London.

‘I was at the park with my friends on the last day of school. We were all having a great time messing around in the playground. 

‘We were under a small hut when one of my friends started touching me inappropriately on top of my clothes. I was in shock and felt like I couldn’t move. 

‘He was about to move his hand under my clothes when I got the courage to move. 

‘I got home to messages with him saying he’ll kill himself because I didn’t want to be with him and it left me apologising to him thinking he was the victim.’ 

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