This year, with the support of the School’s pastoral staff, Heads of School Jack
and Tara set out to tackle the subject of sending nude images with their peers, seeking to engender powerful and positive conversations around the issue.
They talked to both staff and pupils, including Assembly addresses to senior year groups.
The excerpts below are taken from these pupil addresses. The purpose of the Heads of School’s agenda was to exhort senior pupils to show leadership both collectively and individually.
One of their key messages to their peers was that ‘not engaging is not enough’. What is needed is for all pupils to be active bystanders,
as everyone needs to call out these behaviours if the message is to be heard and these behaviours to be impugned effectively.
How things can go wrong Why do people end up in this situation? Why does this happen?
There is, of course, no simple answer to these questions. There are so many different factors, but a significant one is that through communicating with people on your phone,
there is a distance that gives people the confidence to ask, say and show things that they most certainly would not if the conversation was taking place face to face.
This distance has become hugely important in the rise of this issue; social media alter egos are developed and people feel capable of saying or doing things that they wouldn’t in the street.
Secondly, our interpretation of body language, messages and online presences can be so very wrong.
The tone of someone’s voice is lost in messaging, meaning that their message can be interpreted as more sexual or flirtatious than it was intended to be, leading someone to believe that sending explicit images is what the other party wants.
Or people interpret someone’s presence or attitude as a sign that sending images to them is what they want.
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