In this boys’ school, every student learns about sexual harassment – and denounces bad behavior | UK News

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Teachers have an “important role” to play in teaching young boys to respect women and girls.

Many say more should be done in schools to change attitudes and behavior.

After Sarah Everard’s death, petitions called for the program to include lessons on sexual harassment in public.

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Michelle O’Neill says some boys don’t feel comfortable having conversations at home

At Wellacre Academy, a boys’ school in Manchester, this is something every student learns.

The class is part of RSHE (Relationship, Sex and Health Education) and is led by the Director of Humanities, Michelle O’Neill.

“We have a duty to make sure they understand the issues that will affect them and their communities to make them better citizens of the world,” she said.

Many boys returned to school with questions about the Sarah Everard case that she felt needed to be answered.

Ms O’Neill explained: “It was right that we did the lessons to try to dispel some misconceptions and also to make them understand the problems.”

Her classes are so successful that she has shown other schools how to do it.

“Teachers have an important role. Boys sometimes don’t feel comfortable having conversations at home, so we have a responsibility to make sure they understand.”

From September it will be compulsory for all schools to teach the topic of bullying as part of the new RSHE program
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From September it will be compulsory for all schools to teach the topic of bullying as part of the new RSHE program

His lessons involve difficult questions, told simply through scenarios and discussions.

For his class of 10th graders, some had already witnessed public harassment.

Isak Khan, 14, says it happened several times when he went out with his friends. He said: “I have seen other groups of people screaming at girls walking or sitting down for fun. It doesn’t look right to me.”

This is something that troubles 15-year-old Harry Maher as well. He said: “I know my mother has seen some things, and knowing that my sister is walking there to school worries me a little.”

Several 10th grade students told Sky News they had witnessed public harassment before
Picture:
Several 10th grade students told Sky News they had witnessed public harassment before

From September, it will be compulsory for all schools to teach the subject of bullying as part of the new RSHE program.

Some schools already cover it within the framework of PSHE (personal, social, health and economic education).

By tackling the problem in the classroom, O’Neill hopes that the boys leave school better equipped to speak out about bad behavior.

Daniel Daggatt, 15, said the lesson made him think differently: “I understand now if I see something how to react. I know how I should react to this kind of situation, and say no, it is not good.”


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