Dating pressure and harassment

Not long out of school, they, like their peers, were experts back in the classroom when it came to choosing a skirt that’s short enough not to be branded prudish and not so short it gets you sent home, told you are “distracting”, or called a slut. like girls in every school in the land, they dealt with sexist “banter” in the school corridor.

She added: “Sexual harassment is often dismissed as ‘banter’ or ‘just a joke’, but behaviour that makes girls or women feel ashamed, humiliated, undermined or frightened should never be minimised: it should be stamped out.” HOW TO DO IT DIFFERENTLY: the school tackling Scotland’s sexist culture head-on "We consider ourselves to be a typical Scottish school with typical pupils walking through our doors,” says Lorna Lawson, deputy head at St John Ogilvie High School in Hamilton.

But though it might be typical, the school has decided to take a radical approach to sexual harassment.

No stone will be left unturned as views are sought on how to create a school in which all boys and girls are treated equally.

“I think this process means we are already looking at everything through a slightly different lens,” Lawson notes.

The feedback from many of the young girls involved was shared with the Sunday Herald.

Coordinator Sandy Brindley said: “Young women in particular speak to us about how common sexual harassment is – that for many girls it is an every day part of their lives, whether it is comments, touching, or pressure to share intimate images, pressure which can be relentless.

It was later suggested to her parents that she should change classes.

Boys surveyed also raised concerns about the “toxic culture” of everyday sexism which forced them into “constrictive” masculine roles. We can no longer pretend that it’s not happening or that it is in any way acceptable.

“Schools aren’t immune from the challenges we face in society,” she said.

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