STUDENTS from Queen Elizabeth Sixth Form College in Darlington today were protesting in Stanhope Park.

Around 85 students gathered with posters and banners and started chanting "No means no" and "We will not be silenced."

The protest was to raise awareness after a number of students said the college did not take reports of sexual assault seriously.

Read more: Live updates as students at Darlington sixth form stage mass walk-out

Tim Fisher, Principal of QE Sixth Form College said: "Clearly, issues of sexual harassment and assault are important concerns for society and we share the view that they should be given urgent attention.

"The College works sensitively with students to raise awareness and offer support.

"We have robust systems in place and all reports and disclosures are dealt with carefully, on an individual basis, in conjunction with key agencies including the police and support services.

"All incidents that we have been made aware of have been dealt with appropriately.

"We understand the strength of young people's feelings and, while the protest involved some individuals not associated with the College, we will continue to be an organisation that encourages our students to express their views constructively."

Peter Gibson MP has said: "I respect everyone’s right to peaceful protest.

"I trust that the events that have triggered this walkout are being thoroughly investigated by the college and the appropriate authorities.

"I look forward to speaking with the college Principal and I would welcome the opportunity to meet with the protesters."



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