Have you heard the one about the Bishops Sex Scandal?

i knew something was up when ‘jokes’ containing the words ‘Bishops’ and ‘Water Polo’ arrived in my hockey whatsapp group.

But i had not heard of the specific incident and when Val told me the details that night i was shocked.

And have just written something in my hockey whatsapp group which is likely to not go down that well, but this is a very real case of #NotOnOurWatch.

There was a clear case of sexual abuse and it sounds like there may be more young people involved. Even calling it ‘inappropriate sexual behaviour’ feels like it softens it up and makes it sound less traumatic than it was. A teacher in a place of authority crossed a line and that is not okay.

And when we make [and pass on] jokes about it, that just adds to the culture of violence that we have in this country.

Had a friend of mine message me this morning to ask if i would write something about the Bishops sex scandal, as it is a sickening thing. i agree.

It is great to see that Eusebius Mckaiser has already written something about the matter and condemned it in the strongest possible terms:

‘Eusebius questions why it is that society does not take seriously young men being victims of the abuse of power in society?

If this was a male teacher allegedly preying on boys or a male teacher allegedly prying on or starting relationships, even consensual one with girls, I think we would react very differently.

— Eusebius McKaiser, Show host

At the moment there is an internal investigation happening at the school but the principal has apparently made an appeal to any other boys affected to come forward:

“We have confirmed that there have been several boys who have been affected over a number of years,” said principal Guy Pearson in the statement.

He called on any other parents and pupils who have been affected to come forward. “The investigation into the serious sexual misconduct of one of our female teachers is ongoing. There has been an appeal to boys and parents for any information which would add to our understanding,” he said.

So it does seem quite strong that there is a story here, but this post applies regardless of whether that is true or not. Because this post is about us taking light of sexual misconduct that we think happened. And making jokes about it. While lives are being, and have been, destroyed to some extent. That is not okay and as long as we continue to make light of the serious happenings in our country, we will not be able to move forwards.

This event should move us to mourn, to lament, to cry out, to take strong action and send a message that this kind of behaviour is not okay. The cases of teacher-pupil sexual relations have risen dramatically in this country over the past five years. What kind of future are we building towards?

This Old Boys School Rivalry Nonsense needs to end as well

i am adding this part in to the original post because it feels like it is a huge part of the problem. Specifically with Boys schools. Where the rivalries between schools move away from being fun sports-field rivalries to hate-filled sometimes violence-fuelled battles which end up belittling and humiliating and causing shame. And that needs to stop.

The Bishops-Rondebosch Waterpolo punch-up a year ago is a classic example of this. Whenever a sport turns to violence we have lost the plot.

But larger than that i have heard of Old Rondebosch Boys who are now using this incident with the school teacher to rub it into Bishops face. The rivalry is so toxic that it will use a sexual scandal to score some kind of virtual points in a game no one can win.

This needs to stop! i am all for the rivalry between schools when it comes to some fun on the field and even between fans. But once it becomes personal and ugly it stops being useful in any way, shape or form.

These incidents are closely tied in to the gatherings so many of us took part in about a month ago after the death of Uyinene Mrwetyana. They have to be seen as being in the same category. The broken messed-up nature of so many men who have bought into a destructive and violent ethos of living.

What is it going to take to change us?

i read this inspiring comment from a mom who seems to have figured that out at least in her space:

Kim Nicola: 100% agree. I had a very open chat with my son (a Bosch boy) to highlight the serious nature of the case. He won’t be sharing, forwarding or responding to any of the memes or jokes.

[For some more thoughts on the Bishops scandal as well as how it links to #enoughisenough movement, click here]

[For men looking for some other ideas on how to improve ourselves, check out these 40 Tips for Men]