Gardaí have been notified about graffiti in a Co Cork school’s boys toilets that invited people to pick a female student to be raped.
A small number of girls’ names were listed in a cubicle at Davis College in Mallow under the words: “The ones with the most ticks is going to get raped.”
It is understood that more than 20 ticks were placed after the names by an unknown number of people.
The incident was brought to the attention of staff on Wednesday and Cork Education and Training Board (CETB), which manages Davis College, told the Irish Examiner the matter has been referred to gardaí.
The school’s efforts to identify who was behind the so-called ‘rape list’ were proving difficult because it was written anonymously in a cubicle.
In a statement issued through CETB, principal Stephen Gilbert said steps were taken as soon as the graffiti was discovered to address the issue with affected students and the school’s wider population of 480 boys and 340 girls.
“The safety and wellbeing of all our students is our top priority. We are taking this issue extremely seriously,” he said.
Mr Gilbert said the girls themselves, and all students, are being encouraged to come to staff with any issues of concern so they can support them in any way possible.
In response to the claim by a caller to RedFM’s Neil Prendeville show that it was the third time graffiti such as this was found in recent weeks, Mr Gilbert said it is the first time this type of issue has arisen as far as management is aware.
“No teacher or student has ever reported any such incidents in the past,” he said.
It is understood that parents have been satisfied with the school’s response to date. The parent of one girl directly affected said via CETB that she was distraught to hear the incident discussed on the airwaves.
Mr Gilbert said there has been a spotlight nationally on the issues involved in recent weeks and, in light of public and media conversation, the school’s social, personal, and health education teachers will be facilitating discussions on this subject with every class.
The incident has happened just a week after Education Minister Richard Bruton ordered a major review of relationship and sexuality education that will include a focus on teaching young people about consent and positive healthy sexual relationships.
Rape Crisis Network Ireland executive director Clíona Saidléar said that a garda investigation should be opened if appropriate.
Ms Saidléar said the school appears to have acted promptly and pro-actively engaged with the school community, but it is doing so in a vacuum without national policies on dealing with sexual harrassment in schools.
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