Melbourne schoolboys have been caught 'ranking' their classmates. The reaction speaks volumes.

When I was in my first year of university, in 2009, young men ranked us in order of 'hot' to 'not' to our faces. It wasn't a shock. 

Boys had done it to us in high school too. We were used to it. In my cohort, it was well known who the 'hottest' girl was at any given point, and who was on the bottom of the list. 

Back then, nothing was done about it. Us girls didn't think we had a right to call it out, and the boys were just "being boys".

Thankfully, that's changing.

A prestigious Melbourne school is currently in the headlines because the male students have been caught ranking their female classmates with particularly troubling and disgusting terminology. 

Year 11 students from Yarra Valley Grammar School at Ringwood shared a spreadsheet of photographs of female students to the messaging app Discord and ranked them in categories. 

Their faces were put in order from "wifeys", "cuties", "mid", "object", "get out" and then finally "unrapable".

Watch: The story making headlines.

Video via 9News

The school was alerted to the post on Wednesday, and by Friday the boys responsible had been suspended. Police were also notified to investigate if any criminality had been involved due to the last term on that list being "unrapable". Parents of the 40 girls pictured were called in for a meeting on Monday. 


"We are going to be consulting the police because the language used could be an inferred threat. I don't think it was, but we need to get further advice on that … I'm hoping it was an appalling lapse in judgment," Principal Mark Merry told 9News.

"My first impulse and concern is about the wellbeing of the girls concerned. I want to make sure they feel assured and supported by the school.

"As a father, I find it absolutely outrageous, disgraceful, offensive. As a principal, I need to make some decisions [about] what we do about all of this," he added.

As of Tuesday, two boys have been expelled.

Right now our society is at breaking point. Only last weekend 100,000 people marched the streets calling for more to be done about violence against women. We know it starts with teaching boys how to be men, and this reaction from a school witnessing bad boy behaviour should be commended. 

There was no dillydallying in the principal's disciplinary action, no excuses for those involved were made. The students at this school are under no pretence; this list, this shocking lack of respect, this sexism and this use of derogatory language is reprehensible. Full stop. 

Only a few years ago it was different. Only a few months ago it was different. 

In March, ABC Four Corners lifted the lid on a toxic culture and 'boy's club' within Sydney's all-boys private school, Cranbrook. The program painted the picture of an environment where female staff were given fluffy handcuffs, wolf whistled in the playground and even blackmailed for nudes. 


As the prestigious school prepares to enrol girls from 2026, multiple female former staff warned the ABC; Cranbrook has a women problem.

But it took a media investigation — an exposé — to shine a light on that issue. The women who'd tried before had failed, preferring to leave the school than deal with the continued lack of acknowledgement that anything was wrong. 

In response to the episode, Cranbrook said, "The council has considered in detail the matters raised by the ABC and remains fully supportive of the headmaster and the school’s leadership".

There was no real acknowledgment. No proper discipline. No ramifications.

In 2021, a former Sydney schoolgirl sparked a national conversation about sexual assault in school when she put a poll up on her Instagram that read, "If you live in Sydney: have you or has anyone close to you ever experienced sexual assault from someone who went to an all-boys school?" 

Chanel Contos started talking about something that for so long, had gone unsaid. Image: Instagram.


Chanel Contos was inundated with stories about the harassment and assault of teenage girls - not just from Sydney, but all over Australia. Most of the girls hadn't reported or disclosed to anyone, because they didn't think they could. They didn't think they'd be believed. The story above tells you why they might've thought that.

Of course, it's devastating that in 2024 we're still dealing with young men calling women "objects" and discussing if a classmate is worth 'raping' or not. It doesn't get more horrible than that.

But seeing a school principal act swiftly and decisively. To see him not wait for blowback because of media attention or parent upset. To call out the behaviour then and there. 

Of course, it should be the bare minimum, but unfortunately that hasn't always been the case. The 'boys will be boys' mentality has had a chokehold on society for decades. 

This is how we move towards changing the culture — we don't let the behaviour breathe. Full stop. 

Feature image: Yarra Valley Grammar.