Yesterday it was reported that up to 50 Year 12 students at Melbourne Grammar had featured in a degrading, self-produced video in which boys rated the attractiveness of their female formal dates.
Some girls in the “Tinder boot camp” video are rated as low as one out of 10, and one student can be heard saying nothing “under a seven” is acceptable.
Another student is asked if his date is the same girl two other students already “went through”. His reply? “Third time lucky.”
Already, the school’s spin machine has cranked into full swing. On Saturday, Melbourne Grammar headmaster Roy Kelley fronted the media, trotting out the standard line that we have come to expect in the wake of such scandals.
In one very snappy soundbite Kelley managed to hit the buzzword trifecta, combining the phrases ‘very seriously’, ‘respect of others’ and ‘positive values’ all into the one quote.
“Melbourne Grammar School takes very seriously its responsibility to instill positive values in all our students, particularly in relation to the respect of others” he said.
Then the alumni Rolodex was busted out, and Melbourne Grammar old boy Julian Burnside agreed to face the press to reframe the matter as being a ‘society wide’ problem.
“It’s probably a bit unfair to blame the school,” the lawyer said.
“It’s an awfully long time since I was there… but I would say it’s more likely a reflection of broader societal attitudes.”
According to the now highly predictable media script, we can now expect a lull for a day or two before the school releases a further damage control statement that will likely say they have ‘investigated the matter fully’ and are ‘taking serious steps’ towards fixing the problem.