Hilton College sex photo fury
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Durban - A startling picture of Hilton College school boys simulating gang sex with a boy dressed in a St Anne’s Diocesan College uniform, and posted on social media by one of the boys, has horrified the two schools and outraged those who have seen it.
The image, shared on Twitter, is from an Instagram user who attends the school and was saved and copied from one boy’s account.
It shows four laughing boys dressed in Hilton’s summer uniform, of khaki pants and shirt, pretending to have sex with another in a girl’s uniform. The “girl” is bent forward, with a boy up against her from behind, and “her” face is at crotch level of another of the mirthful boys.
The picture appears to have been taken in a classroom.
Hilton College headmaster Peter Ducasse said he was appalled.
“One of our boys posted a highly offensive photograph on Instagram. We... cannot condemn this strongly enough. It flies in the face of all that the school stands for and teaches.
“We are urgently investigating the matter and view it in a very serious light. We will take appropriate disciplinary action once the investigation is complete.”
Dave Argyle, college head at St Anne’s College, said the school was made aware of the picture on Wednesday.
“We are appalled by it. It is a slur on all women, even though it is clearly a boy in a St Anne’s uniform.”
He said they had been in contact with Hilton: ”We are happy that it is being dealt with. This is in no way a reflection of the school. These were the actions of just a few boys.”
On social media those who saw the photograph could not believe what they were seeing.
Mpumi Ngqula tweeted her shock on Thursday morning: “This is rape culture, (Hilton College). This is why women in this country are terrified. And your boys behave like this.
“I’m so offended as an old-girl and as a woman. I saw it at 3am and ran out of words. It was basically the distillation of all my high school nightmares.”
Her share was retweeted, and on Thursday morning had been shared 163 times, and encouraged vigorous discussion.
Colin Wardle said: “I went to an all-boys’ school and couldn’t possibly count how many times I’ve seen that sort of thing, live …”
Thulane Hadebe said: “So this is what happens at #Hilton College? I’m beyond disgusted. And they want to find jobs next year? Ha!”
Some were rendered speechless.
Nomalanga Mkhize said: “I don’t even know what to say.”
Judelle Moodley, founder of Boys Against Rape, an education awareness programme, said the image was disturbing and sad because it showed the mindset of many boys and men.
“They not only did the mock sex, they photographed and then posted it on social media which means in their minds, they thought there was nothing wrong with it.”
She said children were born with a clean slate, their minds a blank page which was filled by life experience, influenced by their upbringing and shaped by what they were exposed to.
“Nowadays with all the different types of media, the objectification of women is even more normalised. We really need to look at redesigning the way boys and men think of women.”
Richard Delate of Brother’s For Life said while the photograph may have been taken in jest, it demonstrated that South Africans were still not taking rape and its impact on survivors seriously.
Delate said the high rates of sexual violence made rape a “national crisis”.
“Through this image these young people are making a mockery of rape, and rape survivors, something which they seem ignorant to.
“This demonstrates that there is a need for us to urgently integrate education around gender and gender-based violence within our schools, higher education institutions and communities at large, so that young people can understand that rape has a serious impact on the lives of female and male rape survivors,” he said.
Delate said Brothers for Life promoted responsible male norms and attitudes that respected the rights of women.
“We encourage their school and parents to take action by promoting open and frank discussions on rape in our country and their community and its impact on the lives of survivors.
“We are willing to engage with the educational institution concerned to facilitate this process,” Delate said.
Social media and law expert Emma Sadleir said the old adage of “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” no longer applied, especially with the increased use of social media.
“This picture is startling. I don’t think these children fully understand how permanent and far reaching this kind of thing is. Once it’s out there, it becomes near impossible to delete.”
She welcomed the decision on the part of the school to take the matter seriously.
“This could affect them for the rest of their lives.”