From Iceland — Secondary School Students Take Action Against Administration Over Sexual Assaults

Secondary School Students Take Action Against Administration Over Sexual Assaults

Published October 5, 2022

Andie Sophia Fontaine
Photo by
Hlynz/Wikimedia Commons

Students of the secondary school Menntaskólinn við Hamrahlíð (MH) are increasingly organising and voicing their frustrations at a school administration they say is not doing enough to ensure the safety of students who have been sexually assaulted by fellow students.

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RÚV reports that students have been protesting at the school since Monday, starting with an anonymous notes that were hung up in the halls of the school reading in part: “Why am I walking the same halls as rapists? I, as a student at MH, do not want to fucking know that a full on rapist sits across from me in class, is with me in group projects, and walks past me in the halls.” The note calls on the school administration to do something, saying, “I do not want to be in the same school as a guy who has been charged with raping his little cousin”.

While the school administration did not respond to requests from reporters for an interview, they did issue a statement saying that they take matters of sexual assault seriously and had followed the recommendations of an independent counselor on the matter. However, students say that it is unreasonable to allow a student being investigated for sexual assault to continue attending school.

“These are very personal issues, and there is so much anger that builds up, and shows so much that this is not fair and that kids who just want to avoid spending time with their perpetrators are not being listened to,” student Valdís Katla Sölvadóttir told RÚV.

As such, students are planning to hold a walk-out tomorrow in protest against what they see as a school administration that is not doing enough to make its students feel safe.

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