One of Tasmania's most prestigious schools, Launceston Church Grammar, has suspended two senior male students over an inappropriate online chat group.
The Examiner understands that about 20 students were involved in the chat group before one male student drew the attention of school authorities to its inappropriate content.
"Launceston Church Grammar School said today that two grade 12 boys have been suspended for inappropriate posting in an online forum," a statement from the school said on Thursday.
"Launceston Church Grammar School does not tolerate incidents of bullying, abuse or inappropriate sexual commentary.
"The school has counselled [senior] boys and girls and offered support to those who have been directly affected."
The statement said the school was "currently reviewing programmes around respectful relationships" as part of the school's accreditation under the Safeguarding Children program provided by the Australian Childhood Foundation School.
The school said the incident happened a couple of weeks ago and was dealt with at the time.
The school was asked to comment on a number of allegations provided anonymously in writing to The Examiner.
"Many of the allegations made to The Examiner are untrue," the statement said.
The school would not say which of the four allegations about the content of the chat group conversations were untrue.
The Grammar chat group comes at a time when there is a national reckoning about sexual assault and harassment in the wake of Grace Tame being made Australian of the Year and revelations of alleged sexual assault in Parliament House and by politicians.
Marches in capital cities across Australia hailed a change in culture and language where women would not be subject to objectifying, intimidating and demeaning ways.
In Sydney, a former student Chanel Contos collected more than 20,000 signatures and 4000 testimonies about sexual assault by other students. NSW police met with Sydney private schools via webinar to address the prevalence of rape culture in schools.
In March, it was revealed allegations of rape and sexual assault by students, dating back to 2007, prompted the headmaster of the elite private boys school, Hutchins, to write to parents and assure them more will be done to foster a "culture of respect and healthy relationships".
- Sexual Assault Support Service 1800 697 877
Church Grammar articles
Articles published on April 3 and 4, concerning the suspension of two students over an inappropriate chat group may have been taken by some readers as suggesting that Launceston Church Grammar was responsible for or condoned the boys' actions and had not taken the matter seriously or taken appropriate action, including in respect of parents of girls at the school. Such meanings were never intended, and The Examiner apologises to the school and staff if any reader understood the articles that way.