By Richard Hall | Posted: Thursday February 22, 2018
In assembly this week I covered a difficult and confronting topic.
The inappropriate use of cellphones, by students, to sexualise young women. As a father to a 7 year old girl, I am very mindful of the responsibility men have to be respectful to and of, women. Unfortunately, as I have written before, the influence your son's cellphone and through that phone the influence of people you don't know is often too tempting. And stronger than any of us adults realise.
So it is a sad fact that your son will probably have been shown inappropriate images of young women through his phone. Some may even have kept them. There is also no 'type' of boy who does this - they are all capable, they can all be culpable, the saturation of and request for inappropriate images is great.
Our job as a community is not to shy away from this - not to put it off as boys' will be boys' - with the #metoo movement that old excuse is rapidly being consigned to history. Instead we need to fresh leadership and thinking, by young people, for young people, to help young people.
I would encourage you to discuss this with your son, it may be uncomfortable, but it is necessary to protect young women and himself. For parenting is better, than the nameless faceless influence your son's phone is.
To aid this and to encourage real communication, and frankly on a nice day like this being outside, I have made the decision to shut off the school wifi every Friday interval and lunch. If you son moans about that, ask him why he needs to be using it at lunchtime - is he really getting ahead on those assignments?