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RightsED: Tackling sexual harassment - Script

Tackling sexual harassment

Script: Tackling sexual harassment

The DVD is set in a typical high school in Australia. One of the students is doing a
video presentation on her school's culture and she's investigating whether or not
sexual harassment exists there.

Scene 1: In the school canteen

Two boys walk into the canteen and one of them grabs a girl around the waist from
behind. She clearly doesn't like it and she pushes him away. One of the girl's friends
intervenes and tells the boy to back off.

The presenter says that what she just saw was a prefect example of sexual
harassment. Some of the other students around her disagree - "no way is that harassment
- that's just how he is".

The group then starts talking about what they think is - and isn't - sexual
harassment. As they start talking, one of the guys in the group leans over and puts his
arm around a girl. She looks up, smiles at him and holds onto his arm.

One of the girls in the groups starts talking about the substitute science teacher,
who all the guys think is 'hot'. She tells the others: "All the guys in the class would
drop their pen on the floor and she would bend over to pick it up. Because she was
wearing a low-cut top, the boys were always dropping their pen. It wasn't until halfway
through the period that she knew what was going on. I felt so embarrassed for her."

Two girls walk into the canteen and stand by the drink machine. They start
whispering loudly about a girl sitting nearby. They call her a 'slut' because she got
with a guy over the weekend "and she didn't even know his name". They say that everyone
knows she's a slut - and that's what's written about her in the girl's toilets. The
girl they are talking about looks very hurt by what they're saying.

Scene 2: The two friends

The presenter wants to film an example of a healthy 'boy-girl' relationship - two
people that she knows are good friends. She shows us a couple sitting together on the
steps talking. The girl tells her friend, Russ, how much she appreciated being able to
call him up on the weekend and talk about a problem she was having. He responds by
telling her how much he values their friendship.

Russ goes off to join up with some his mates and when his friend walks past the
group, the boys abuse her - call her a 'dog' and a 'dumb bitch'. Russ stands there but
doesn't say or do anything to defend her. She runs off crying - obviously very

The boy and girl meet up later in the library. The girl is sitting with another
friend. She's still very upset and tells him how hurt she is that he didn't stick up
for her. She feels betrayed, that their friendship means nothing and that she's
thinking of changing classes, maybe even schools.

He looks at her confused and bewildered - but also guiltily. He defends himself by
saying that if he had said something then his mates would have had a go at him

The presenter looks into the camera and wonders if this is an over-reaction - asking
the students "what do you think?"

Scene 3: In the library

Two boys - good friends - are talking in the library. One has his hand on the
other's shoulder.

A group of boys come up to them and start to pick on one of them. They call him 'a
queer' and pull at his shorts - "does that turn you on, mate", they ask. When he tries
to walk away, the boys get aggressive and push him to the ground. They tell him to
stick up for himself and "be a man"!

Off-screen, a teacher calls out to them to break it up - "you know you can't do that
sort of thing in here". The group of boys walk off and make a few parting comments at
the boy who's still on the ground, hurt and very upset.

The presenter is horrified - "that was ugly"!

Scene 4: Alyce and David

Alyce and David are sitting together in class. The boy leans over and asks the girl
if she received his text message and whether she wanted to go out with him - "after
all, I hear you're pretty good fun on a date". It's obvious that this isn't the first
text message she's received from him and that it isn't the first time he's asked her

Alyce says she doesn't want to go out with him. A friend of David's - a girl -
overhears the conversation and tells Alyce that he's a great guy and she'd have a fun
time with him. She says again that she's not interested.

At the end of the class, Alyce talks to the teacher and asks if he can tell David to
stop harassing her. The teacher tells her not to worry about, that David's harmless and
that "boys will be boys".

As she leaves the classroom, David is standing there with some friends. He says that
she should "get ready for some more messages". His friends laugh and walk off with

Scene 5: Alternative endings

We are clearly back at the end of Scene 4. The presenter speaks into the camera. "I
don't like how this ended. Let's make some changes." We rewind to the end of the scene
see some alternative endings.

Alternative ending 1

Alyce approaches the teacher with her problem. He tells her that what David is doing
is harassment and breaks the school's harassment policy. He calls David over, tells him
that an issue has been raised and that he wants the three of them to meet at the
Student Counsellor's Office at lunchtime to discuss it further.

Alternative ending 2

Alyce tells David that she's not interested - "what part of no don't you
understand?" - and that she wants him to leave her alone and stop messaging her. David
blusters but backs off - "OK, no more messages. But it's your loss."

Alternative ending 3

Alyce is a bit intimidated by David, so one her friends stands up to him and tells
him to stop sending Alyce text messages and not to keep asking her out on dates. David
backs off - but tells his friends "I don't even know why I liked her in the first

Alternative ending 4

Some of David's friends see what he's doing and think that his behaviour with Alyce
has gone too far. They wonder what they can do about it - they suggest discussing it
with their SRC or seeing what their school policy says about harassment.