Stanton: "...otherwise the children will be harmed"

Discussion of the children's schools in the UK.
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Ben W
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Stanton: "...otherwise the children will be harmed"

Postby Ben W » Wed Apr 26, 2006 2:21 am

I have started a new thread to discuss this topic. Please can people post responses here rather than in 1980sstJ's thread "The next step..."

Stanton wrote:I heard this evening that a letter has been written to the governors of St James demanding this and that, and ending with the chilling words, '...otherwise the children will be harmed'.

Blackmail is always intolerable and threats to harm children are wicked and insupportable. If true, this is a new low.

Whatever your feelings about your schooldays, whatever frustrations you may entertain, if you have been involved with this letter then I do beg you to consider this: what twisted logic can say that 'I have suffered harm, therefore I will inflict harm in return?'

This is not the way, it never is the way. If you find yourself now so eaten up by anger - and you won't have been the first or the last - then I request you most earnestly to seek help.

No good ever comes from inflicting harm. You can stop the cycle, it does not have to continue. It does not have to continue.


And Alban's response

Alban wrote:Stanton,

I have not seen this letter, and by the sounds of it, nor have you. However, I have to say that the quote that you have reported:

'...otherwise the children will be harmed'

...can be taken in at least two ways. Yes, you could understand it to mean that someone intends to harm the children of the schools, but you can also read it as a consequence of lack of action. (e.g. If you don't stop teaching the girls that a man is a superior being to be obeyed, then the children will be harmed [in the long run])

Given those two possibilities, which one do you think it is?...Lets face it, it is far more likely to be the latter isn't it? but we don't know unless we see the context in which it was said.

I am assuming that this letter was as an open letter to all members of the SES (otherwise you wouldn't have been privy to it's contents), so maybe you could get hold of a copy and publish it here, then we can all make up our minds.

Until this is the case, then I'm affraid you are just perpetuating a rumour, obviously eminating from somewhere inside the governors office (you said the letter was addressed to them). Obvioulsy, being a fine upstanding member of the SES I'm sure you wouldn't want to give a false impression, would you.

Alban
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

daska
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Postby daska » Wed Apr 26, 2006 8:51 am

Stanton

I cannot see any profit in discussing a quote out of context. I am tempted to describe this as 'shit stirring' as there is no way of ascertaining whether the writer was making a threat or voicing a fear. Get hold of the letter and publish the text in full - assuming it wasn't private and confidential in which case you can publish the name of the person who told you about it.

There is a marked difference between the PM you 'accidentally' posted some weeks back and your regular posts. The former seemed truly insightful. The latter do not warrent that description.

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Ben W
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Postby Ben W » Wed Apr 26, 2006 9:04 am

Stanton,

I take it that your comments were directed generally at people using this site rather than specifically at one person. My answer to the general question is as follows:

Blackmail is criminal and the authorities should be notified. However there are so many unknowns here that it is hard to comment further. For example:

- does the letter actually exist?
- does it genuinely contain a threat?
- what does it say?
- who is it from?
- is it a hoax?
- are there people using this site who are not directly involved in the discussion but who see an opportunity to create additional hardship?

Assuming the letter does exist and does contain a direct threat to existing pupils of the school, then clearly there is an urgent need for the head teacher to act to ensure the safety of the children. This has to be the number one priority.

I do find it hard (though perhaps not impossible) to believe that a regular contributor here could write a letter like that.

Best wishes,
Ben
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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Stanton
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Postby Stanton » Wed Apr 26, 2006 10:31 am

Ben - your questions are completely valid. No - I haven't seen the letter and I'm unlikely to. Yes, my post was directed very generally to anyone reading this site, quite possibly someone out there who may or may not have been a former pupil of St James who wishes to take direct action. That person quite possibly may be lurking and not contributing to the site (or not now). And, yes, the letter was couched in terms of demand with a threat in its tail.

We have received in the past - and also this week - calls for direct action, so the threat is not improbable. Any such threat and - even more so - any follow-up action, would completely undercut such moral position as former pupils may have. You will be tarred with the same brush.

It's one thing to have suffered at school and to air grievances, it's quite another to attempt to inflict damage on current pupils in any way.

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Stanton
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Postby Stanton » Wed Apr 26, 2006 10:47 am

Daska - you have put your finger on the problem. I, too, feel that my recent posts have not been as insightful as they could have been. My position is uncomfortable. However, I am sincere, I hope that counts for something.

mm-
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Postby mm- » Wed Apr 26, 2006 10:47 am

Stanton,

We have received in the past - and also this week - calls for direct action, so the threat is not improbable


I do hope that the police have been informed of these possible threats and that parents have also been made aware that a letter of this nature has been received, so that steps can be taken to protect those at risk (assuming of course that there is a risk).

daska
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Postby daska » Wed Apr 26, 2006 10:56 am

Whilst I agree that threats should be dealt with by going to the police my long experience of SES is that it is not uncommon for quotes to be made out of context. Unless and until the complete text of the letter is known in full it is meaningless rumour and speculation. In fact, what has happened here is that Stanton has quite possibly been duped into inflaming a situation by being fed a line. Stanton has not seen the letter and admits she is not likely to. It is known that she contributes to this board... Therefore the more appropriate question is who told her, why and what purpose was envisaged...

?!?!?!?!?

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Stanton
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Postby Stanton » Wed Apr 26, 2006 11:06 am

It is not my intention to inflame the situation nor do I believe that I have done so. I do not believe that I have been duped or fed a line. I'm afraid that such a letter is quite possible given the fury displayed by some posters on this board.

It is up to whoever wrote such a letter to post it on this site.

daska
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Postby daska » Wed Apr 26, 2006 11:23 am

Maybe Stanton you could tell us who told you about the alleged letter?

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Stanton
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Postby Stanton » Wed Apr 26, 2006 1:27 pm

It was a friend of mine in the School. I was saying that I'd been called a stooge on this board and how laughable that was and the conversation developed from there.

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Ben W
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Postby Ben W » Wed Apr 26, 2006 2:17 pm

Stanton - You of course do not believe yourself duped - but Daska's thrust is plausable to those not currently connected with SES - especially those previously under its influence.

You can see from the many postings here by ex SES members that over time they came to see themselves as having been duped. This was not an easy journey for any of them.

It is possible that the timing of the release of this information to you, and the nature of the information you were given was deliberately and cynically done in the knowledge that you would post here and that a distracting dialogue would ensue. Your comments in this thread do contain a level of innuendo - you seem suddenly quick to draw a connection between a call for action and blackmail. I believe we should tread carefully here.

If it turns out to be the case that you *have* been duped you would find much sympathy coming your way from posters on this site.

The alternative is that a letter indicating dangerous and criminal intentions has in fact been received. Should this be the case, the person sending it is hardly likely to post it here.

So... I agree with Daska that more information from your friend would be helpful.

Best wishes,
Ben
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

1980sstJ
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Postby 1980sstJ » Wed Apr 26, 2006 3:21 pm

I think it is quite possible that Stanton has either been duped or is attempting to dupe us. Given the SES's record on dishonesty and gullibility among its members, it would be no surprise at all. And given that he posted it on an out-of-context but strategically important thread, I think it looks even more fishy.

If evidence of this letter, its context and evidence of any contact with the police made by the school is produced, then I will believe it. In the absence of that, I think we can assume that this is an attempt to cloud the issue. It would be a typical tactic of the SES.

If a genuine threat has been made to the children that is wrong and the police should be informed.

But in the meantime, Stanton, you say "Blackmail is always intolerable and threats to harm children are wicked and insupportable."

What about genuine harming of children? Is that not wicked and insupportable? David Boddy doesn't seem to think so.

xstJ
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Postby xstJ » Wed Apr 26, 2006 3:49 pm

Oh Stanton you really do enjoy a bit of stirring don't you? Is your life really so empty?

It seems fairly obvious, as others have said, that the letter writer meant that children would be harmed by St James if they don't change. If the writer was informing the school that they were planning to physically harm children then I doubt you'd be hearing about it 'from a friend' it would be public knowledge as the police and parents would have to be informed immediatley.

daska
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Postby daska » Wed Apr 26, 2006 4:08 pm

Stanton

There's and easy way to solve this one. If you have reason to believe that the children attending St James are under threat of harm then you should immediately, without delay and without waiting to consult with anyone else TAKE THE INFORMATION YOU HAVE TO THE POLICE YOURSELF. If the school has already reported it to the police then there is no harm done. If they haven't then you are acting more responsibly than the school. Either way you are then beyond reproach. But if you don't say anything and something happens...?

leon
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Postby leon » Wed Apr 26, 2006 5:45 pm

Stanton wrote:Any such threat and - even more so - any follow-up action, would completely undercut such moral position as former pupils may have. You will be tarred with the same brush.



And you will be on hand as you are here ready to administer the tarring no doubt?

You mean to write "any such threat *has* undercut the former pupils moral position as you are sure the threat has already been made. So all of a sudden my moral position (whatever that is) has suddenly been undercut overnight because an SES member says so. hmm.

It's interesting how some SES members posting here cant get out of the "them and us" perspective and want to "group" all ex pupils together as a single entity. They seem to find it really hard to grasp individuality.


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