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Students Protest After Teacher Says Outfit ‘Does Matter’ When Someone Is Raped

Patrick 31 Oct 2019

A video of an Australian teacher saying that it "does matter" what a woman is wearing in rape cases has gone viral across social media, with people condemning the teacher's offensive comments.

The incident took place at at Swansea High School in Australia.

Facebook | SARC

The video was filmed by a student of the school and was uploaded to Facebook by one of their friends.

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Since its upload, the video has been viewed hundreds of thousands of times and has received coverage on major news outlets across the world.

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Which makes sense, since it highlights a huge misconception that continues to help rape culture thrive even in 2019.

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It shows a student arguing with the teacher.

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15-year-old Reece, a student at the school, can be heard arguing with the teacher.

It should be noted that the teacher in this case is a woman.

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Reece says, "It doesn't matter what she was wearing, there was a lack of consent."

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To which her teacher replies, "No, it does matter!"

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The teacher goes on to complain about younger generations.

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After saying "It does matter [what she was wearing]," the teacher goes on to say, "And that's what your generation doesn't understand."

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The year 10 teacher making the comments has come under heavy scrutiny for the shocking comments.

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While the students have been praised for standing up for their argument.

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Another male student tries to interject.

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As the debate gets more heated, a male student can be heard saying, "It does to an extent, obviously if someone is wearing something provocative."

The female teacher then continues to wax lyrical about how women wearing provocative clothes are to blame for someone being raped.

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The argument started as part of a class discussion on how fashion has changed since the 1950s.

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Reece explained, "[The teacher] then brought up a woman in Newcastle who was raped recently and when they contacted the club she was at they pretty much blamed her.

"[The teacher] was like 'that lady would need to be held accountable for what she's wearing' which is where the video starts off," Reece told Buzzfeed News.

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The students staged protests following the comments.

Facebook | ABC Newcastle

The students set up a Facebook page for their protests, in which they made sure to emphasize that this was not an attack on the school as a whole.

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It was simply to raise awareness of the toxic belief the teacher and many other people still hold.

Facebook | Protest About Rape Culture

They wrote: "We are holding this event to raise awareness for rape culture and how it affects the lives and minds of young people! Especially in our area. Everyone is welcome to come down protest with us, in fact, it's encouraged."

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The school threatened students to take the video down.

Facebook | ABC Newcastle

The students were apparently threatened with suspension for sharing the video, and the girl who posted it was told that she would not be allowed to go to Year 10 formal should she keep the video up, according to News AU.

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However, the school eventually changed their sign to read, "We support student voice."

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Reece went on to say, "We don't want the school slandered, they are very supportive. Our intention was never to slander the teacher, it is to raise awareness."

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It is unclear what punishment the teacher will face.

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The principal of Swansea High reportedly sent out letters to parents saying that the teacher who made the claims had been "relocated" to a "non-school setting".

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Which is perhaps the most diplomatic way of saying she has been suspended I have ever heard.

Whatever the specifics of the teacher's position are, the teacher is not at the school at present, and the NSW Department of Education is investigating the incident.

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The school's principal also made a statement condemning the teacher's comments.

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Principal Robyn Leggatt wrote:

"The school deeply regrets the distress these comments have caused. [...]

"The comments made by the staff member were wrong: they do not reflect the views of students and staff of Swansea High, nor those of the NSW Department of Education."

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Hopefully this will help spread awareness of this important issue.

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It is unsettling to think that a high school teacher would so brazenly promote rape culture in a classroom. However, the protests that these students have launched will hopefully help to spread the important message of consent by standing up for what is right.

h/t: Buzzfeed News

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