EXCLUSIVE: ‘I am truly sorry’: Teen who tormented a vulnerable sex abuse survivor, 18, in a twisted muck-up day challenge ‘defending paedophiles’ is banned from his Year 12 graduation despite grovelling apology
- Teen barred from graduation after participating in vile muck-up day challenge
- Second school’s vile muck-up day scavenger challenges have been revealed
- Students were told to contact a sexual abuse survivor and defend paedophilia
- The girl was ‘sobbing and shaking’ after receiving the messages, her mum said
- She has spent years in therapy recovering from her childhood sexual abuse
- It comes after a manifesto from prestigious Shore School was exposed
- The challenge ordered students to ‘spit on homeless people’ and run amok
- Do you know more? Email [email protected]
A student who participated in a vile Year 12 muck-up day scavenger hunt tormenting a sexual abuse survivor was not allowed to graduate with his class after the school learned of the prank.
Leaving students at Merewether High School in Newcastle, north of Sydney, were challenged to send the girl – who was abused from the age of four to 10 – a message ‘defending paedophiles’ to score points in the hunt.
One of the boys who participated messaged her late on Wednesday night to say: ‘I really don’t think paedophiles are that bad.’
When she questioned the message, the boy added: ‘My uncle was one and I think he’s a good bloke. Is there anything wrong with that?
‘Everyone is human. We are all the same, black, white, pedo, not pedo.’
But just days later, the student changed his tune and sent a grovelling apology to the young girl, insisting that he didn’t understand the gravity of the situation.
‘I’m young and stupid,’ he confessed. ‘None of this was meant to hurt anyone.’
The boy said he thought he was participating in a harmless challenge, and said he had no idea of the young woman’s traumatic personal experience.
Leaving students at Merewether High School in Newcastle, north of Sydney, were challenged to send the girl a message ‘defending paedophiles’ to score points
The student later sent a grovelling apology admitting that he’d made a mistake
‘I thought it was a simple scav task. I had no idea of the unimaginable consequences of my actions,’ he wrote.
‘It makes me sick thinking about what I have done.’
The New South Wales Department of Education told Daily Mail Australia he was barred from graduating with his peers after the school learned of the incident.
‘A student who taunted a sexual assault survivor online was barred from the final Year 12 departure ceremony,’ a spokesman said.
He added that the student would face further disciplinary action.
He went on to say the overwhelming majority of the cohort understood not to participate in scavenger hunt challenges and that it violated campus expectations.
‘Year 12 students at Merewether High School have a very clear understanding of the high standards expected of them by the school in relation to their final days of schooling,’ he said.
‘The posts setting up the ”hunt” were not from a student or students enrolled at Merewether High School, and the school referred the matter to police.’
In a sickening abuse of trust, the challenge was actually created by a former student who graduated from the same school in 2019 and was a friend of the victim.
He told the victim that after the school learned of the incident, he was barred from graduating with his class
She had recently confided in him about being sexually abused by a close family friend over six years.
Daily Mail Australia understands he has since been fired from his job after his employer learned of the prank.
The mother of one of the boys was ‘horrified’ when the school informed her that her son had participated in the degrading activity.
In Facebook messages obtained by Daily Mail Australia, graduating students contacted the vulnerable teenager – who does not even go to the school – late last Wednesday night to defend paedophiles in a sick attempt to elicit a reaction.
The young woman, who can’t be identified, later learned the messages were sent to earn points for the selective school’s muck-up day scavenger hunt.
Other challenges in the warped hunt included flicking a dog’s testicles, abusing a teacher via email, filming sex acts and abusing new mothers.
It is the latest in a string of sick muck-up day challenges involving graduating NSW students, including at elite schools such as Shore in Sydney where so-called pranks included spitting on homeless people and defecating in public.
The girl’s shattered mother told Daily Mail Australia the messages had ‘broken’ the 18-year-old, who recently started university after leaving school in Year 10 to cope with her trauma.
‘The days of throwing toilet paper over lawns and having innocent fun are gone… This is way too far,’ the mother-of-three said.
An 18-year-old girl, who Daily Mail Australia has chosen not to name, became the victim of one of the challenges on Wednesday night when she began receiving unsolicited messages from boys she hardly knew defending paedophilia
The young girl from Newcastle, north of Sydney, later learned the messages were sent to earn points for a local schools’ Muck Up Day scavenger hunt challenge (pictured)
The messages immediately triggered the young woman, who was repeatedly molested as a child and has needed therapy to deal with her trauma ever since.
A friend in the year group revealed he saw the muck-up day challenges for Year 12 students, and the messages were part of the twisted game to earn notoriety and points ahead of graduation.
‘She was sobbing, shaking,’ her mother tearfully explained to Daily Mail Australia late on Wednesday night.
‘She feels so humiliated and exposed.’
The exact challenge was for the students to ‘message [her] and start an argument about paedophilia’, all while knowing about her traumatic experience.
‘The boy who created the challenge, she confided in him. She thought he was her friend and instead he’s turned her trauma into a joke.
‘We’re just totally shattered, and that’s an understatement.’
On Wednesday night, the young woman decided to confront the issue on Facebook after she realised ‘all of Newcastle was about to find out about it one way or another’.
‘I thought it would be better for it to come from me. It was my story to tell and I wanted to be able to tell it myself rather than in this group, so I posted it on Facebook,’ she said.
The post attracted hundreds of comments from outraged friends sharing their own muck-up day horror stories and condemning the boy who created the challenge.
The girl only found out she was the centre of the sick scavenger hunt when a friend messaged her (her conversation with him above)
The girl took to Facebook to confront the former friend who abused her trust
She also privately messaged the former student, demanding to know why ‘you literally made me being molested into a f***ing scavenger challenge)
‘I wasn’t ready to publicly announce it at all, but I felt like I didn’t have a choice,’ she said.
Within hours, Facebook had removed the posts and any other comments affiliated with it, claiming it violated community standards.
‘It’s okay for him to put it all around Newcastle and the high school that he went to, and for students at the school to have a hard copy of this challenge list and to contact my daughter, but it’s not okay for her to post about it,’ her mother said.
The mother-of-three explained that she understood kids needed to let off steam at the end of a school year, but said it should never come at the expense of another person.
‘That boy has caused irreparable damage to [her] and to our family,’ the woman said.
‘We were finally starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel and now we’re back at square one. As a mother, I helped her put the pieces back together and now they’ve just totally fallen apart again because of one person’s idea of funny.’
When she was just 10 years old, the brave girl told her parents about the abuse she had endured for six years. Her family had no idea.
‘She stood up in that box at court and she was just so brave in testifying against him. He was charged and it took her a very long time to trust anybody with that information, to trust boys at all.’
‘She’s so broken again. She’d been trying to build up trust in people. She’s just said to me ”what’s the use?’ It’s just heartbreaking.’
The post attracted hundreds of comments from outraged friends sharing their own muck-up day horror stories and condemning the boy who created the challenge
Shore School is among the top ranked in New South Wales and regularly features impressive Year 12 results. Students have been embroiled in controversy after a muck-up day manifesto was leaked
Since she began receiving the vile messages, the young woman has slipped back into a dark place and has been inconsolable.
‘In the past, she has been in a place where she couldn’t even find a reason to live,’ her mother explained.
‘I would camp outside her door and sleep on the wooden floor just to make sure she wouldn’t harm herself. I’m so terrified now. I’m praying and I’ve made her promise she won’t hurt herself.’
It’s understood the boy responsible for including her name in the challenge completed his HSC at the same school in 2019. He has since deleted his social media accounts.
He and the young woman had been friends prior to the incident, and she was doubly heartbroken when she learned he had broken her trust.
‘Someone’s idea of a scavenger challenge to hurt and break a person is not my idea of fun or funny,’ the girl’s mother said.
‘They’ve made it personal. I think they’re young, and silly and don’t realise the repercussions of their actions.
‘Some of these challenges include taking three ecstasy pills and washing it down with a bottle of Jack Daniels, last year they were told to burn swastikas into their bums.’
She acknowledged that the students had worked hard and overcome major setbacks in 2020 to make it to their graduation, but said it was no excuse to ruin someone else’s life.
The young woman is not a student at the school and has no affiliation with the muck-up day challenge, and said she had no idea why she was ever brought into it.
The exclusive bubble stretches from Belmore Park, out the front of Central Station, to the Spit Bridge and includes Kirribilli, Neutral Bay and Mosman
Students at several other schools are known to be participating in similar muck-up day challenges, bouncing ideas off one another in nationwide Facebook groups.
On Wednesday, the manifesto from Shore School on Sydney’s lower north shore revealed students were willing to ‘spit on homeless people’ and denigrate women for sport.
The ‘official rule and challenge book’ – revealed they planned to meet between 5pm and 6pm on Wednesday at Waverton Park for the series of ‘treacherous’ challenges.
The rule book stated all participants from the $33,000-a-year school were required to chip in $10 and the team who gathered the most points would be rewarded the total cash prize.
More than 150 challenges were listed in the scavenger hunt rule book and the tasks range in difficulty.
The ‘Beta’ difficulty is deemed the easiest for competitors, with five to ten points up for grabs for each task.
Some include stealing a street sign, shaving an eyebrow, posing for a naked photo in front of Luna Park and ‘hooking up’ with a random girl.
In the ‘Apprentice’ difficulty, students can receive 20 points for defecating on a public toilet seat, waxing their armpits, snorting cocaine and winning $50 on the pokies.
For 30 points in the ‘Terrorist Eh’ difficulty section, participants must take a vodka shot out of a condom, ‘get with a lesbian’, ‘order a stripper’ and ‘eat a live small animal’.
The list of challenges denigrates women, by urging students to ‘get with a chick which is 3/10 or lower (photo of the chick and the dirty work)’.
The muck-up day manifesto was discovered by school administrators, who contacted NSW Police.
The ‘official rule and challenge book’ – created by students in a PDF document – revealed they planned to meet between 5 and 6pm on Wednesday at Waverton Park for the series of ‘treacherous’ challenges
The school’s library features uninterrupted views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge (pictured)