School officials are launching a sexual assault awareness campaign at both high schools in Quincy after a student was allegedly targeted with “pro-rape speech” online. The perpetrators will face discipline, Superintendent Kevin W. Mulvey said.
His statement, posted Sunday on the school district’s website, said officials learned Friday about an “alarming incident involving Quincy High School student misconduct, specifically, sexual harassment and hate speech.”
“This misconduct, which included pro-rape speech on social media, was extremely disturbing to the targeted student and the entire school community. This is offensive and dangerous behavior that will not be tolerated by the Quincy Public Schools,” Mulvey said.
Mayor Thomas P. Koch, who chairs the School Committee, said “this kind of behavior is absolutely never tolerated in this community.”
“When the superintendent was made aware of this out-of-school incident, it was thoroughly investigated, and there will be serious consequences for those involved,” he said.
Mulvey said the district is committed to working with students to promote healthy relationships.
“Clearly, there is work to be done within the school community to combat the minimization and glorification of sexual assault,” Mulvey said. “To that end, a sexual assault awareness campaign will be introduced immediately at both high schools.”
The program will teach students about the importance of healthy relationships, respectful communication, and appropriate responses. The school district has reached out to DOVE Inc., a domestic violence prevention group in Quincy, and Walker Therapeutic and Educational Programs to assist with the campaign.
School Committee member Courtney Perdios thanked Mulvey and other administrators for recognizing that “although the incident occurred on social media and not inside one of our school buildings, the impacts it had on other students and families within our school community were serious and needed to be addressed.”
“While I am saddened and angry that this situation occurred, I am proud of the way QPS stood with the targeted student, and all victims of sexual assault, to reaffirm that sexual harassment and hate speech will not be tolerated in our school community,” she said by e-mail.
The two schools are North Quincy High School and Quincy High School. North Quincy’s principal, Robert Shaw, said he was not aware that any students at his school were involved.