A physical education teacher made jokes about rape during a class on sexual harassment on Friday (Apr 23), a 17-year-old secondary school student has claimed in a video clip which went viral on social media.
In response to the teenager’s video on Twitter, former education minister Maszlee Malik urged the principal of the school, which is in Selangor, to take the matter seriously and open an investigation into the student’s claim.
“Rape is not a joke. Teachers should focus on safety, not the other way around,” he said.
The girl’s father, Saiful Nizam Abdul Wahab, was quoted by Malaysiakini as saying he would lodge a police report tonight and meet officials of the school next week.
The education ministry told FMT that the video has been shared with the ministry’s top management and the complaints’ section for further action.
The student confirmed in a chat message to FMT that she had posted the video on TikTok in which she said that her teacher had been explaining sexual harassment to the class before the conversation turned into jokes that became “weirder and more lewd”.
She told FMT: “I felt so violated and scared. These boys are going to be adults one day, and they are joking about rape.”
In the video, she said the jokes had arisen after discussion “about how there are a lot of laws protecting minors from sexual abuse or sexual harassment”.
“And then he said, ‘If you (students) want to rape, don’t rape someone under 18. Rape someone over 18’.”
The student said the girls in the class were quiet, but the boys were laughing “as if it was so funny raping someone”.
She also alleged that the teacher said boys who were raped did not report it because “it felt good”.
The video has received nearly 160,000 views, 4,500 retweets and 3,690 likes since it was posted to the student’s Twitter page at 6:03am yesterday.
The student said she messaged the school’s counsellor about the incident, and the counsellor apologised for the teacher’s actions but also said that it was “normal” for male teenagers (students) to make such crude remarks in jest.
“Instead, female teenage students are a bit sensitive and emotional, that’s natural,” said the counsellor, according to a screenshot of a text message to the student which she posted on her Twitter account.
The All Women’s Action Society (AWAM) has called the incident “completely unacceptable” and condemned teachers who have “this rape-supportive mindset”.
“The youth need to speak up about this and we love that (she) is doing exactly that. Call rape-apologists out, guys.”
AWAM has also asked her to get in touch as they want to use her story to spread further awareness about the culture of sexual harassment in schools. – FMT