Petition to expel boys behind disgusting list

Yarra Valley Grammar School. Picture Google Maps.JPG
Former students of Yarra Valley Grammar School have signed a petition to have students expelled over a disgusting list. Picture: Google Maps

A group of 50 former students have signed a petition to have a group of male pupils who produced a list ranking their female peers from “wifey” to “unrapeable” expelled.

Four boys from a Yarra Valley Grammar School have been suspended after the list was posted to social media, with principal Dr Mark Merry calling the act “disgraceful”.

The shocking list which featured photos of female students and ranked them from best to worst as “wifeys”, “cuties”, “mid”, “object”, “get out” and “unrapeable”, was discovered by the school last Wednesday.

The four male students were suspended on Friday.

Yarra Valley Grammar School. Picture Google Maps.JPG
Former Yarra Valley Grammar School students have called for students behind “unrapeable list” be expelled. Picture: Google Maps

A group of 50 former students have since come forward with a petition calling for the school to deliver harsher consequences to the students accused of making the list, The Herald Sun reports.

“The list is disgusting … I think very highly of the school and I respect that an investigation is underway, but I do expect a strong response from them,” one former female student said.

“Going to a school like Yarra Valley Grammar is a privilege and that privilege can, and should, be taken away for bad behaviour.

“If you send a message that you suspend these students and make them go into counselling but then they go back into the classroom … it sends a message that these boys’ education is more important than these poor girls involved.”

Yarra Valley Grammar principal Mark Merry spoke to Nine on Sunday and described the post as “disgraceful”.

“Respect for each other is in the DNA of this school, and so this was a shock not only to us … but it was a shock to the year level and the boys in the year level that see this as way, way out of line,” he said.

Dr Mark Merry Yarra Valley Grammar School. Picture Nine.JPG
Yarra Valley Grammar School Principal Dr Mark Merry called the list “disgraceful”. Picture: Nine

He said he was offended by the final category, and has since reported the matter to police to ensure the list wasn’t linked to any criminal offence.

“As a father, I find it absolutely outrageous, disgraceful, offensive. As a principal, I need to make some decisions [about] what we do about all of this,” he said.

“My first impulse and concern is about the wellbeing of the girls concerned. I want to make sure they feel assured and supported by the school.”

“We are going to be consulting the police because the language used could be an inferred threat.

“I don’t think it was, but we need to get further advice on that … I’m hoping it was an appalling lapse in judgement.”

It costs around $30,000 a year to send a student to the elite Ringwood private school, and Dr Merry said the school prides itself on teaching “respectful relationships”.

“We are well aware of the broader issues in relation to respecting women … we need to really do our best to ensure that young men understand their responsibilities and their boundaries of how they should behave,” he said.

Just last week, Victorian MP Georgie Purcell raised the need for an investigation into sexism in schools after Monash University released new research about the rise of misogyny.

“[The researchers] found that numerous female teachers have recently resigned due to the unrelenting sexism and misogyny directed at them by male students,” she said.

“It is exactly this objectification by boys of women and young girls in every aspect of their daily lives that leads to them growing up into men who feel entitled to power and emboldened by masculinity to subordinate and violently abuse women.”

Ms Purcell said schools need to “start calling out this behaviour” as gendered violence and take responsibility for their role in preventing young men from forming misogynistic attitudes.

Yarra Valley Grammar has been contacted for comment.

Support is available from the National Sexual Assault, Domestic Family Violence Counselling Service at 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732).