Schools' new statement on the Inquiry

Discussion of the children's schools in the UK.
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Stanton
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Postby Stanton » Sun Mar 19, 2006 9:55 am

Thank you for your very reasonable post, Ben, we are not so far apart as may have been thought at first. My observations - as you understood - were about the nature of an inquiry per se. It's commissioned, it is publicised, contributions are invited, evidence is taken and assessed, and the results published. Nobody gets everything they want but everybody gets something.

leon
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Postby leon » Sun Mar 19, 2006 10:13 am

it's just not getting through is it?

Free
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Postby Free » Sun Mar 19, 2006 10:59 am

<delete>
Last edited by Free on Wed Oct 05, 2011 10:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

leon
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Postby leon » Sun Mar 19, 2006 1:02 pm

The reason it was incomplete for the third time is that only pupils who were aware of the enquiry had a chance to contribute. So "everyone' did not get something, unless that something is nothing. It was incomplete because it ignored relationship between SES and St James, yet this is where the real issue lies, and where the issue is relevant to the institutions today and why St James is not just another strict old fashioned public school. Less weight given to written testimonies (unless written by Debenham) creates bias towards those who feel strong enough to give verbal contributions. These are valid ground for not participating therefore those students who suffered abuse in the schools and who did not wish to contribute should be respected. They are also free to question and criticise the report with as much right as anyone else. Doubts and fears can be set aside, but you are doing exactly that, setting them aside. At some point you have to pick them up and deal with them. Naturally the enquiry has taken center stage but this does not mean is is the only path to whatever resolution each individual is seeking. For me personally it gave minimal help, in fact seeing Debenham getting off so easily actually irritating. But then I am not seeking reconciliation, believe it or not I now have hardly any anger towards past teachers, posting my experiences on this board has been my particular way and has been cathartic. I have issues caused by St James to work out but this has moved now beyond personal anger with members of SES.
I also believe St James motives in setting up the enquiry were purely made out of self preservation. Remember David 'potter wheel" Boddy wanted to shut this message board down and threatened taking legal action towards the posters last year? Very conciliatory. That was his initial reaction, not an enquiry. Why should I trust him? Again, good grounds for suspicion. St James wants this to all go away asap, in itself an enquiry is a handy way to draw a line under it, those who do not partake or want to play can perhaps be ignored as "complaining hand sitters" and selfish, (letting pupils down). The possibility of ex students popping up over the forthcoming years cannot be a very palatable one for St James. However it will take many years for many people to work this out, and the enquiry is just a part, and for me a small part of that. For others it may have been more important, and I am happy it helped them. What it did do was help get past pupils testimonies to a huge audience which is I agree a great thing.
As others have pointed out the response from the school is logically inconsistent as the governors were aware of everything that went on in the school from the start. One of them was a teacher, my personal teacher, and actually a pretty good one. I do not support his having to resign. Confused? Whatever a QC thinks 20 years later has no relevance to me, or change the past, or change the teachers true feelings. They know what they did, I know what they did. If they felt strongly about it they would have dealt with this issue long ago.
One way I have come to terms with my past is to try and find the good, however small, in what I was exposed to. That may seem strange or perverse even, but it has helped. I am glad I read Plato from a young age, and I found much beauty and great literature in the Hindu mythology. The excessive sport made me rather fit and the overzealous discipline regimes possibly helped me motivate and organise myself in later life. Being involved in SES from a very young age has also given me perhaps unwelcome insights into how people function in groups, and a rather vigorous skepticism regarding religious organisations, and the ability to help extricate those ensnared in cults. These are samll things admittedly but they are something.
"where does this leave you?"
Where ever you are.
Last edited by leon on Sun Mar 19, 2006 2:35 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Ben W
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...

Postby Ben W » Sun Mar 19, 2006 1:23 pm

Great post Leon.
Child member of SES from around 1967 to around 1977; Strongly involved in Sunday Schools ; Five brothers and sisters went to ST V and St J in the worst years

Tom Grubb
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Postby Tom Grubb » Sun Mar 19, 2006 1:43 pm

Yet another reason why people might have had misgivings about taking part in the Inquiry: The first QC approached by the Governors to conduct the Inquiry had (how to put this diplomatically?) tangible links to the Chairman of the Governors.

I am certainly not trying to suggest any dishonesty on the part of the Governors in this regard, just carelessness.

mgormez
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Postby mgormez » Sun Mar 19, 2006 2:38 pm

leon wrote:Remember David 'potter wheel" Boddy wanted to shut this message board down and threatened taking legal action towards the posters last year? Very conciliatory. That was his initial reaction, not an enquiry.


Hold on, when has Boddy let us know he wanted this BB to go away? I might have forgotten about it as so many posts have been made but to be sure, I have never received a communication directly about this BB by Boddy/SES.

Now, let me go on with my clay :)
Mike Gormez

leon
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Postby leon » Sun Mar 19, 2006 3:40 pm

Boddy.
It was made early on in a private correspondence between the school and some ex pupils. He was obviously advised not to take it further. Sorry I forgot this was not public knowledge.

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Stanton
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Postby Stanton » Mon Mar 20, 2006 12:19 am

Thank you. Leon, for responding so fully - it's appreciated.

Matthew
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Re: The report, and the school's response, should be questio

Postby Matthew » Mon Mar 20, 2006 8:01 pm

Ben Wheaton wrote:What we are dealing with here is a large group of people who were traumatised as children. What special skills or experiences does JT have here which allow him to be so dismissive? I am no expert on that subject - but I strongly suspect that traumatic experiences burn much stronger and enduring memories - ones which last a lifetime.

A second point here is that we are being led down the path of thinking of this as strokes of the cane. (There is something macabre about the word stroke in this context.) I personally saw my brother's bottom after one caning and it was an unbelievable mess. There was very extensive internal bleeding. The bruising covered the entire bottom. The skin was broken. The bruising took many days to subside and changed colour many times.

I would like some thought given to the force of beatings that occured. We are in danger of having our thinking shaped into the events as relating to over-exhuberence on the part of a few teachers, with no real harm done. I suspect the reality is that the beatings were excessive in force compared to "normal" canings.

Am I alone in thinking these things?


Great to hear from you again Ben, it?s been a very long time. I saw your brother only yesterday.

On the subject of severity, no your not at all alone in thinking this, indeed you make some excellent points. On many occasions Debenham wouldn?t just stand behind you and cane you, but would actually take a run up so as to give more momentum to his swing, before literally whipping you with all his might - Hence the reason for all the accounts of severe bruising, breaking the skin etc. Clearly the intention was to try and inflict as much pain and suffering to the boy as possible. If this doesn?t constitute sadism then I would love to know what does. One thing is certain without any doubt, and that is this never fell under any legal definition of corporal punishment.

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Stanton
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Postby Stanton » Mon Mar 20, 2006 8:14 pm

Matthew - am I right in thinking that your father was a governor of St James?

Matthew
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Postby Matthew » Mon Mar 20, 2006 8:43 pm

No Stanton, my father was never a governor at any of the schools. Between 1985-87 he was a member of the SES executive committee. He finally came to his senses, leaving the SES in '87 and has never looked back since!

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Stanton
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Postby Stanton » Mon Mar 20, 2006 8:47 pm

Thanks for the clarification!

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Ben W
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Debenham

Postby Ben W » Tue Mar 21, 2006 1:14 am

Hi Matthew,

You have done a fantastic job on this web site. I am encouraging said brother to contribute - I trust you are too.

On Debenham. What is the story (anyone??). I hear he is ill but what does that mean. Is it a way of saying "please leave me alone"?

The whole bloodied and bruised trail seems to have him at its epicentre. Has a private prosecution been considered? Either he takes the rap or else explains where his instructions came from?

In 1992 he appeared at my parents divorce case as a witness for my stepfather - so on the face of it he believes in the legal process.

Just a question...
Child member of SES from around 1967 to around 1977; Strongly involved in Sunday Schools ; Five brothers and sisters went to ST V and St J in the worst years

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Free Thinker
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Postby Free Thinker » Tue Mar 21, 2006 4:03 am

Ben - do you mean that he appeared FOR your stepfather, to support him?

YUCK YUCK, and once again, YUCK!


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