Brauer College in Warrnambool, Australia, held an assembly on 23 March where the boys were made to stand up and say sorry to all their female classmates.
The move was apparently intended to help raise awareness of sexual crimes, such as assault and rape, but parents have complained about the treatment of their sons.
One of those was Danielle Shepard who said it did nothing but confuse her son, who is currently in Year 7 at the school. She said he was “made to stand up and basically apologise” to all women.
She told 7News that parents were not informed about the assembly and there was no understanding of “what they were doing or why they were doing it.”
A post regarding the assembly was shared on Facebook. One comment said it was “disgusting”.
Another parent said: “Wow just wow... this is actually disgusting... not all impressed that you made my son apologise for something he’s never done nor considered doing.”
Bauer College headteacher said the move to get the boys to apologise was “inappropriate”, but she backed the principle of the assembly.
In a statement, she said: “The assembly included a screening of a video message by Brisbane Boys’ College Captain Mason Black about being proactive in stopping incidents of sexual assault and harrassment.”
“As a part of this discussion boys were asked to stand as a symbolic gesture of apology for the behaviours of their gender that have hurt of offended girls and women.
“In retrospect, while well intentioned, we recognise that this part of the assembly was inappropriate.”