A former student broke into his old Melbourne high school to stage a dramatic protest against toxic masculinity.
James Robinson jumped into the floor of St Kevin’s private boys’ school and lit his blazer.
He was prompted to act after a former St Kevin’s College student, AFL player Jordy De Goey, was recently arrested for allegedly assaulting a woman on a dance floor in New York City.
The school has made headlines in recent years for problematic behavior, including boys singing a controversial song in uniform on a public streetcar, allegations of teachers involved in inappropriate sexual behavior, and calls to fix the problem. culture that helps promote a toxic learning environment for male students.
Those headlines, combined with De Goey’s arrest, prompted Mr Robinson to draw a line in the sand.
He wrote on Instagram: “I broke into the school yesterday to protest. Something broke inside me this time. The patriarchal culture I saw inside the school gates has erupted and spread to New York.
“St Kevin’s is a bubble where privileged young men can rehearse oppression without consequence, before successfully graduating in public. A place where ‘locker room conversation’ exists openly in hallways and classrooms. ”
The photographer went on to claim that he had witnessed “revenge pornography against sister school girls” as well as horrific cases where gay and trans students and teachers have been threatened or humiliated.
“I saw a system designed to let young boys think they can do anything, assault anyone and get away with it,” he added.
“This protest brings my healing full circle. I burn my blazer not in anger, but in the hope of regeneration. I kiss my partner not in spite, but to bring love back to the one place that never taught me shame, ”he concluded.
Robinson said he had already contacted the school to urge them to do better and had yet to see the appropriate results of that request.
St Kevin’s principal Deborah Barker told the ABC she was all ears on how to improve overall student behavior.
“I think James can teach us and help us like other students, there are wonderful opportunities for students to tell their stories,” she said.
The principal added in a letter to parents: “Most importantly, I want James to know that we care about him and recognize his courage to speak out. James and I have already been on a call and are planning to meet under little.”
The Herald Sun reports that an independent review of culture in St Kevin’s found that “sexism and misogyny are still clearly a problem in the elite Catholic school.”