A 14-year-old transgender student from Wonthaggi Secondary College in Victoria has told The Herald Sun how they were subjected to bullying and harassment by a group of 20 fellow students while on school grounds.
Alex Slorach a current year 9 student, told The Herald Sun that while holding three pride flags, they were approached by the group of students, believed to be year 8 students. Slorach was asked if they were “a boy or a girl” and told that “if you have a d*** then show us”.
“While asking these questions one of the boys started to mimic sexual movements. The group just kept getting bigger and bigger as time went on, even some people that I call friends were standing by close to the group watching as it got worse,” Slorach said
One of the students who attacked Slorach is also alleged to have tried to burn one of the pride flags.
Describing it as a “extremely uncomfortable” incident, Slorach has welcomed the action taken by Wonthaggi Secondary College.
“I was spoken to about the consequences that were going to be given to the boys before anything was actually done and for me just knowing that the people around me are actually paying attention enough to respond is an amazing feeling,” Slorach said.
However, Slorach also told The Herald Sun that the school’s approach to LGBQTI awareness needs improvement.
“There were a few times where the LGBTQ+ community was mentioned in my classes but only with a few definitions which isn’t quite enough to actually help kids learn about the topic. Most teachers I have had have been amazing but there were a few that just didn’t get it no matter how many times I tried to explain.”
While it might be easy to speculate that the school has a problem with bullying, a spokesperson for the Department of Education has said “Wonthaggi Secondary College provides a supportive and inclusive environment for all students, with dedicated education on issues of inclusion, diversity and bullying,”
They went on to add that they had a “zero tolerance for any form of bullying and would not hesitate to take disciplinary action”.
If you feel distressed reading the story, you can reach out to support services.
For 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention call Lifeline on 13 11 14
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