It started with a hand on her thigh in class, and a hug that lasted too long in the corridor. Alice shrugged it off at first. And so did her teachers.
"Boys will be boys," she remembers one school counsellor saying. "It's just part of high school."
But soon her classmate's unwanted touching became more forceful, the comments that made her uncomfortable morphed into derogatory slurs and what had seemed like just an innocent, albeit unrequited crush grew into something much more frightening.
"The school did virtually nothing, even when it became full-on bullying [and harassment]," Larsen says. "I ended up with really bad anxiety, I stopped eating for a little bit, I started having panic attacks."
Eventually, she left her private school in Canberra altogether. Now in year 12, Larsen says more needs to be done to support girls facing sexual violence and harassment in the schoolyard.
The old advice used to go that if a boy teased you that meant he liked you - now in a post #MeToo era young people are starting to understand it's what they like that matters.
But, as universities and workplaces across Australia stumble through sexual harassment reforms, many experts warn schools have been largely left behind.
"It's always been in the too-hard basket for schools, they've escaped #metoo in many ways," says researcher Kerry Robinson at the University of Western Sydney. "When I ask young kids in high schools 'what is sexual harassment?' they tell me it's about a boss and a secretary ... we're still in this culture of silence at school."
Like many experts who spoke to The Canberra Times, Professor Robinson stresses schools shouldn't be too punitive on young people still coming to grips with their own sexuality amid the "huge failure" of sex ed in schools. Improving responses is not about turning classrooms into courtrooms, or locking certain kids out of the school system.
But she warns inappropriate behaviour needs to be challenged early and victims need safe, specialised avenues to report sexual harassment and assault, whatever their age.
"It's especially tricky with young people, but it's the most important time to get this right."
What kind of harassment?
Over the border, in a school gym, law students from UNSW are running a #metoo workshop at an all-boys school. Sitting cross-legged, the teens are debating the latest question thrown at them by facilitators: could it be sexual harassment if you message the teacher you have a crush on over Facebook?
One boy thinks not: "You can find anyone on Facebook."
Another says it depends on what you write. That earns him a nod. Context is a word they've already heard a lot.
When young people are asked to describe sexual harassment, one of the most common words they use is rape, says supervising solicitor Anita Will.
"They're often really surprised when we tell them the legal definition - it's anything that makes you uncomfortable really, it can be a joke or intrusive questions," she says.
Most sexual harassment - unwelcome sexual conduct - will fall under civil law, but sometimes it crosses over into criminal offences such as sexual assault or stalking.
It's awkward, and at times confronting work, Will admits, but it's crucial too as students enter the workforce and their first relationships.
"Some students say they feel uncomfortable telling someone, they worry no one will believe them. Schools need policies, education and reporting avenues in place for this kind of stuff, it should really have been embedded by now."
Robinson says part of the problem for schools, somewhat ironically, is education - behaviour that doesn't fall cleanly into a criminal offence can be misinterpreted, even ignored.
"Schools often still don't believe [students] or it's framed in a 'what did you do to deserve it, why didn't you say no' kind of way," she says.
"Lots of girls I've spoken to have to put up with this on a daily basis but sometimes they'll grin and bear it. They might like a boy but his behaviour makes them uncomfortable, but then they worry 'I won't be popular if I say something against it'."
How big is the problem in schools?
While experts and educators say they have been concerned about the issue in schools for decades, it can be difficult to quantify. What incident data is collected is patchy, if it's collected at all, and research studies are an ethical minefield.
But students, teachers and parents have told The Canberra Times of its impact in the schoolyard - of eight-year-olds too scared to use the toilet after being followed into cubicles and young men groped in change rooms, of teachers cornered by students shouting sexual slurs, and explicit photos of girls taken and shared without permission.
One teen said she "gave in" last year and started dating her bully.
More than half of people aged 15-17 have been sexually harassed, according to a recent study by the Australian Human Rights Commission. That age group also have the lowest awareness of what behaviours constitute harassment.
None of my teachers took it seriously, even when I was missing weeks of school.Alice, 17
At the front of the class, teachers can themselves fall victim to harassment - as highlighted by a recent national survey of almost 2000 educators by the Australian Education Union. Half reported experiencing, witnessing or supervising someone affected by sexual harassment, 80 per cent of victims were women and most didn't report it, often fearing for their jobs.
YWCA Canberra chief executive Frances Crimmins says the "indicative evidence" of sexual harassment in schools can be found in the high rates recently uncovered on university campuses.
"It's in our schools too and by the time they get to uni we've totally failed here, here and here to teach what respect and consent is so what do you expect happens when you're 18 and there's alcohol," she says.
"I get people disclosing to me all the time horrendous stuff going on in schools with their kids, primarily girls but also boys or LGBTIQ kids. If you don't identify as an alpha male in the school system you're a target."
What are schools doing?
Larsen endured more than nine months of harassment before she finally asked her school for help. While some teachers were sympathetic, she says they didn't appear to grasp the severity of the situation. Instead, they let her leave class to avoid her harasser and eventually called a mediation session that saw Larsen outnumbered by the student and his friends. She missed months of school.
"I felt really alone," she says.
In Australia, schools are bound by strict policies around reporting child abuse and critical incidents. But, while departments of education are getting more explicit in policies about sexual harassment against staff, those covering students are often less clear - with the problem typically only warranting a passing mention in anti-bullying guidelines.
At the University of Melbourne, criminology lecturer Bianca Fileborn says schools should pay close attention to university reforms - from teacher training on responding to disclosures to online portals for students as well as staff to report incidents.
"Young women face the highest threat of sexual violence between the ages of 15 and 14 [but] we're not seeing the same traction in schools," she says.
"In general they don't have the best track record of talking about sexuality comfortably.
"Victims need to be encouraged to come forward. They need things set up specifically for reporting sexual violence and harassment, it's not just something you can add to your OH&S."
Most states have a specialised team of psychologists, youth workers and behavioural experts on hand when things go wrong in schools - from violence to mental health incidents - but most, including the ACT, do not have a separate policy on responding to sexual harassment, even against staff.
The ACT government says incidents can be recorded as sexual and all schools have both a male and female safety officer to respond to complaints. Right now, the territory is following NSW in rolling out a positive behaviour model designed to embed respect into each school's individual culture.
What about respectful relationships education?
For many experts, that doesn't go nearly far enough.
Both anti-violence group Our Watch and the Australian Human Rights Commission want comprehensive age-appropriate programs teaching intimacy and consent - known as respectful relationships education (RRE) - rolled out in Australian schools.
As the commission tells The Canberra Times: "We know that gender inequality is a major driver of sexual harassment and prevention education at an early age is crucial."
But while the some RRE content has been shoehorned into the Australian Curriculum, Crimmins says discussions of both domestic violence and sexual harassment are still largely a tick and flick exercise in schools, reduced to guest speakers and one-off workshops.
The boys were told [sex] is like a transaction, once you put a ring on it you can get it whenever you want.Alex, 18
In 2015, Victoria drew on research from Our Watch to develop a comprehensive program from kindergarten to year 12. Early results were good - close to two thirds of teachers reported improvement in classroom behaviour - and many other states, including Queensland and Tasmania, are now following suit with similar programs.
But in the ACT, where Crimmins notes sexual harassment rates at universities are alarmingly high, the government is so far resisting calls to join them.
YWCA Canberra ran a successful program several years ago under funding from the then Gillard government but all its proposals to restart RRE in Canberra have since been knocked back by the ACT.
"They say they're doing it, but it's just what's in the curriculum, it's very ad-hoc, often it's little organisations funding it themselves," Crimmins says.
She holds up a respect booklet - for six-year-olds - where kids can fill in what they like and don't like. It's sort of annoying when adults make me hug them without asking nicely.
"This is for boys too," Crimmins says.
While some schools are making good strides in teaching consent and gender equality, she sighs as she recalls fierce resistance from others.
ACT Greens politician Caroline Le Couteur agrees that the delivery of RRE in Canberra schools appears uneven.
"It's hard to get any real information on what's actually being taught," she says. "I fear that it is just being tacked on."
There's pushback at a national level too - Prime Minister Scott Morrison famously declared Victoria's respectful relationships program made his skin crawl and, while taking an explicitly gendered approach is based on international research, some warn it can alienate young men.
At youth mentoring service Menslink Martin Fisk agrees respect and consent need proper class time but recalls a teen leaving a RRE workshop feeling "targeted".
"He completely shut down," Fisk says. "You can't say to young men don't do something without also giving them strategies to deescalate. Our take is be respectful to everyone, whatever their gender."
Canberra mother Tammy Lowe says it's important educators consider the gender "context", recalling how her own young daughter was hit and kicked repeatedly by boys who appeared to escape almost all consequences.
"It's teaching our daughter that it's ok for boys to hit girls," she says. "She had been terrified to go to school."
Is this a failure of sex ed?
Young people are no longer just growing up in the awkward crush of hormones and misunderstandings that is high school. They're growing up online too. And a lot of harassment will happen beyond the school gate. That's why Fisk wants communities to get more involved in tackling the problem.
"On social media and in TV and video games, young people are being fed a diet of stereotypes [and] aggression," he says.
Crimmins agrees both teachers and parents need support to navigate the issue "because it can be uncomfortable".
"As much as I'm loathe to put something else on a teacher's desk, school is the best place for these sorts of programs," she says. "When sex ed fails, kids turn to another teacher: porn. We need to cover the online stuff too because it's real life now."
Alex*, 18, pushed for consent to be taught in her own private school after discovering sex-ed consisted of a "sanctimonious lecture on abstinence".
"Some of it was really problematic," she says. "The boys in year 8 were told that you've got to wait 'til you put a ring on it but once you do it's like a transaction, you can get it whenever you want."
Other students who spoke to the paper agreed there was a need for clearer reporting avenues as well as improved education around consent and gender stereotypes.
"Teachers brushed over healthy relationships, there was never a clear outcome when there was conflict," one young person said.
"I was always so confused why we were taught about putting a condom on a banana while wearing beer goggles, instead of how to [have] a healthy conversation around consent," another said.
Now in the era of #metoo, students like Larsen are starting to break the silence of the school yard and push back against harassment.
"When he was making me uncomfortable, I kept asking 'is this normal?'" she says.
"But it's not normal. That's what #metoo is about."
- Canberra Rape Crisis Centre: 02 6247 2525.
- 1800 RESPECT: 1800 737 732
- Lifeline: 13 11 14
- Beyond Blue: 1300 224 636
- Kids Help Line 1800 55 1800