Wellington College students stood down over rape comments

Wellington College has stood down two students for five days as a result of comments they made about rape, and the unnamed students have issued apologies.

The school's board of trustees made the announcement on Wednesday afternoon.

These are the consequences issued to the two students:

  • Both students will be stood down for a period of five days.
  • School leadership responsibilities have been withdrawn.
  • Neither student will be allowed to represent the school in any sporting or cultural activities for an agreed period of time.
  • Both students have made personal apologies and will undertake community work over the next months.
  • Both students will undertake education about consent and healthy relationships.

"We have been unequivocal with these students and the rest of the school that the views expressed online last week have no place in our school or our community," the board said in a statement.

"The school will continue to strengthen our existing education programmes on healthy relationships and consent. These have been in place for more than a year but we know we can do better. We are also going to be working with our parent community because it is clear that everyone has an important part to play in keeping everyone safe."

As both boys are under the age of 18, some details are being withheld.

The unnamed boys both issued apologies:

"It is a really destructive attitude that leads to these sort of comments and I don't want others to make the same mistake as me because it hurts lots of people and it is not OK under any circumstances to write and say what I did, or to joke about it," one of the boys said.

The other wrote: "What I said was completely out of line and I deeply regret saying it".

One of the comments posted by the boys in a closed Facebook group last week read: "If you don't take advantage of a drunk girl, you're not a Wc boy".

Wednesday's announcement follows a protest at Parliament on Monday, organised by Wellington East Girls' College students. 

It was attended by hundreds of people who spoke out against rape culture and called for compulsory consent education in schools.

Labour supports the move for consent education, but National says schools are doing enough.

Sex education is compulsory through to year 10 and the Ministry of Education guidelines say this should include the subject of consent - however covering the topic isn't mandatory.

One of the protest organisers, Sorcha Ashworth, told Newshub the group would keep fighting until all teenagers were taught about consent.

"We're not just going to let this go," the Year 13 said.

"We're not going to stop until they take this seriously."

Ms Ashworth said it was incredible so many turned out to protest - a sign, she said, of just how important the issue was to so many.