Newest Members
Robert Barrett, lostsoul824, beatcook, MassGuy, wiresguy1
12278 Registered Users
Today's Birthdays
carter (51), CAW1980 (34), Fissy Tsickens (53), Kris (52), Wheatthins (23)
Who's Online
3 registered (wild_turky, Obi, 1 invisible), 21 Guests and 2 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
12278 Members
73 Forums
63172 Topics
441742 Posts

Max Online: 418 @ 07/02/12 07:29 AM
Twitter
Topic Options
#129360 - 10/12/04 12:38 AM NY Times outs Caldicott School: Possible Triggers!
kolisha54 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/02/03
Posts: 475
Loc: Brooklyn, NY
http://www.nytimes.com/2004/10/11/international/europe/11britain.html

Hope this link works - I know that many of youze know I am techno-phobic, on top of all my other, um, "issues..."

_________________________
If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am only for myself, what am I? If not now... when? --Hillel

Top
#129361 - 10/12/04 12:49 AM Re: NY Times outs Caldicott School: Possible Triggers!
kolisha54 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/02/03
Posts: 475
Loc: Brooklyn, NY
NEV-ER mind about that link.... Here's the entire article. Please proceed with caution - it's pretty hideous.

Love you all!


British Boarding School Walls Hid Abuse
By SARAH LYALL

Published: October 11, 2004


LONDON - Tom Perry had not seen his old friend for some 35 years when he called him out of the blue with an urgent question about the boarding school they attended together. "Just as a matter of interest," he asked, "did you like the place?"

It was a deliberate provocation. "Hell, Tom, the conversation bowls happily along, and then you ask me a question like that,'' Mr. Perry said his friend protested. But Mr. Perry, a businessman who turned 50 this year, invited him over to continue the conversation.

"There's no point in prating about," Mr. Perry said he told his friend. "I must tell you that when I was at Caldicott, I was sexually abused.''

So began a long process of facing up to the past for Mr. Perry, his friend and at least half a dozen other men who say they were molested by teachers at the Caldicott School, in Buckinghamshire, between 1964 and 1970. But it has been a bumpy and frustrating road. While one of the teachers pleaded guilty to abuse, the case against another, the school's former headmaster, was thrown out of court by a skeptical judge who said the accusations involved events that had happened so long ago that a fair trial was impossible.

The judge's apparent lack of sympathy, the former students say, is consistent with the general attitude of the British establishment, still disproportionately made up of men of a certain age and class who went to prep schools like Caldicott. Such men may be sympathetic about accusations of sexual misconduct in institutions like the Catholic Church, but acknowledging the abuse that took place at many boarding schools not so long ago is another matter.

The subject is often played for laughs, as it was in the movie "Four Weddings and a Funeral," where an obnoxious banker drunkenly recalls being sodomized by an older boy at his former school. "Still," he adds, "taught me a thing or two about life."

The common view, many former students say, is that if it happened, you are not expected to whine about it.

But for many former students, it seems, memories and anger resurface near middle age, when their own children reach boarding school age. The death of parents also liberates some abuse victims from the often-crippling notion that any attack on their old schools would be seen as criticism of the mothers and fathers who sent them there.

But in the 1970's, Mr. Perry said nothing. Caldicott was a place where loyalty to the school was emphasized above all else, where a culture of secrecy and shame prevailed and where emotional distress was something to be quelled, not indulged.

James Foucar, secretary of the Association of Boarding School Survivors, said that when he told his father, in the 1970's, that a teacher was making sexual advances to him, the response was, So what? "My dad's view is, why should you make a fuss - it's commonplace and nobody spoke about it," Mr. Foucar said. "He said that one of his teachers had his hands permanently down my father's shorts, so what was I complaining about?"

Many traumatized former students say the trouble lies with boarding school in general, never mind the era. But the consensus is that British boarding schools have changed substantially in the last 15 or so years.

In the old days, they were unregulated and often run as private idiosyncratic fiefs. Punishments were meted out for the slimmest of reasons, often at the whim of sadistic teachers; and, former students and teachers said, many schools were suffused by a weird undercurrent of sexuality.

A surprising number of former boarding school students, for instance, describe how when they lined up en masse, naked, for baths or showers - always cold, according to the practices of the time - certain teachers would always seem to materialize, unduly eager to watch.

A former student at a school that has closed described rules and behavior that seem bizarre, even Dickensian. Among other things, he said, the headmaster used a billiard cue to beat students, then required them to shake his hand and thank him.


People his age generally do not want to discuss what happened, or they deflect their discomfort with bluster and black humor, said the former student, now 47 and a businessman, who spoke on condition that he not be identified. "The feeling is, 'Well, we're not nutty as a fruitcake, so it couldn't have done us much harm,' " he said. "But a lot of people of my generation are quite complicated sexually, and I think it comes from their experience at prep school."

Much of the worst excesses of the past have been swept away by new regulations, starting with the 1989 Children Act, which detailed the state's responsibility to young people. Corporal punishment in private schools was outlawed in 1999. Schools now conduct mandatory background checks on staff members. The number of Childline, a crisis hot line, is posted in school hallways.

"The whole punishment system has changed beyond recognition,'' said Adrian Underwood, director of the Boarding Schools Association in Britain. "Now it's inside the normal, civilized norms of society."

Simon Doggart, the current headmaster of Caldicott, said the school was not what it had once been. "We make children very aware of what their rights are and who they should talk to if they're unhappy," he said.

This is little comfort to Tom Perry, who was sent to Caldicott at 8 years old and who says the sexual attentions of Peter Wright, then the headmaster, began when he was 12 and lonely, missing the warmth of family life and craving intimacy and kindness. "My first sexual kiss was from Peter Wright," he said. "My first sexual experiences were with him."

It was not until decades later that Mr. Perry, racked by depression, sought psychiatric help. He also quickly found a half-dozen other former students who, like him, had lived alone with feelings of shame and complicity all those years.

Through his lawyer, Andrew Bright, Mr. Wright declined to be interviewed. In 2003, on the basis of statements by Mr. Perry and four other former students, he was indicted on 13 counts of indecent assaults and three counts of gross indecency with a child. But last year a judge, Roger Connor, stayed the case and set Mr. Wright, then 73, free. "The long delay has clearly made it significantly more difficult for the defendant to put forward his defense," Judge Connor said.

Though some former teachers have been convicted in similar cases, many judges seem unsympathetic, even hostile, to the issue.

In a similar case, former teacher at the Cothill School in Oxfordshire was charged recently with abusing boys in the 1970's. But the judge, Julian Hall, declared this year that "this is the stalest case I have been asked to try" and threw it out.

"I think the best thing that should happen to people who behave in this way," Judge Hall told Oxford Crown Court, speaking of the former teacher, Jeremy Malim, "is that they should get a very brisk elbow in the ribs at the time or be rejected."

Most of the goings-on at Caldicott were known but never spoken about, but a sexual scandal did erupt there in 1973, when a teacher named Martin Carson was caught sodomizing a 12-year-old boy, Alastair Rolfe.

The abuse had gone on for a year, and "during that time, virtually everything happened," Mr. Rolfe, now 43, a writer and editor, said in an interview. Spurred by news of the case against Mr. Wright, Mr. Rolfe and others came forward, and Mr. Carson pleaded guilty to sodomy, indecent assault and possessing indecent images of children. In 2003, he was sentenced to two years in prison. He was released after a year.

In 1973, there was a rush to cover everything up. Mr. Carson was dismissed and eventually got a job at another school. At home, Mr. Rolfe said, "it was always referred to as 'an incident' like someone tripping over a curbstone." He was sent right back to school and did not discuss the subject again for 30 years when, troubled by issues with his own children, he began seeing a therapist.

"I don't want to sound self-pitying," he said, "but I'd probably say it affects all aspects of my life."

That is also true of Mark Winter, a third man who says he was abused at Caldicott by yet another teacher and who has gone to the police with his accusations. Mr. Winter, 54, a journalist, says he was 11 when the teacher took him into a room and began more than a year of regular abuse.

"I wandered, completely traumatized, out of the room," Mr. Winter said in an interview, recalling how he was then spotted by the school matron, a sort of nurse-cum-housekeeper. "She said, 'I know what you've been doing, you dirty boy.' ''

Some time later, he confided in a schoolmate. "I told him I was a sexual partner" of the teacher, Mr. Winter said. "He looked at me and said, 'Who wasn't?' ''

_________________________
If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am only for myself, what am I? If not now... when? --Hillel

Top
#129364 - 10/17/04 11:51 PM Re: NY Times outs Caldicott School: Possible Triggers!
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
The subject is often played for laughs, as it was in the movie "Four Weddings and a Funeral," where an obnoxious banker drunkenly recalls being sodomized by an older boy at his former school. "Still," he adds, "taught me a thing or two about life."

The common view, many former students say, is that if it happened, you are not expected to whine about it.
-------------------------------------
What it 'taught' me was nothing about real life, just dysfunctional life.
If someone accuses me of "whining" I'll put them straight!
--------------------------------------
But for many former students, it seems, memories and anger resurface near middle age, when their own children reach boarding school age. The death of parents also liberates some abuse victims from the often-crippling notion that any attack on their old schools would be seen as criticism of the mothers and fathers who sent them there.
----------------------------------------
True, very true. The fact that both my parents are still alive and know nothing is the main reason I can't do anything at this time.
------------------------------------------
But in the 1970's, Mr. Perry said nothing. Caldicott was a place where loyalty to the school was emphasized above all else, where a culture of secrecy and shame prevailed and where emotional distress was something to be quelled, not indulged.
-----------------------------------
Secrecy, and crummy 'reputation' of the hell-hole!
-----------------------------------
In the old days, they were unregulated and often run as private idiosyncratic fiefs. Punishments were meted out for the slimmest of reasons, often at the whim of sadistic teachers; and, former students and teachers said, many schools were suffused by a weird undercurrent of sexuality.

A surprising number of former boarding school students, for instance, describe how when they lined up en masse, naked, for baths or showers - always cold, according to the practices of the time - certain teachers would always seem to materialize, unduly eager to watch.

A former student at a school that has closed described rules and behavior that seem bizarre, even Dickensian. Among other things, he said, the headmaster used a billiard cue to beat students, then required them to shake his hand and thank him.
-------------------------------------
Those three paragraphs send shivers through me, I recognise every single thing they mention.
The violence used by some staff was sadistic, of that I have no doubt. I can recall incidents that if they happened now would result in jail sentences.
The cold showers, and some teachers 'inspecting' our backsides to make sure that we had washed properly. The teachers who lurked around the showers, changing rooms and dormitories - on their days off!
Teachers who 'left' in the middle of the night for no apparent reason?
------------------------------------
"The feeling is, 'Well, we're not nutty as a fruitcake, so it couldn't have done us much harm,' " he said. "But a lot of people of my generation are quite complicated sexually, and I think it comes from their experience at prep school."
---------------------------------
"complicated sexually" sorry, the term I use is "fucked up!"
----------------------------------
Much of the worst excesses of the past have been swept away by new regulations, starting with the 1989 Children Act, which detailed the state's responsibility to young people. Corporal punishment in private schools was outlawed in 1999. Schools now conduct mandatory background checks on staff members. The number of Childline, a crisis hot line, is posted in school hallways.
----------------------------------
Small, but very welcome, progress.
-----------------------------------
"The whole punishment system has changed beyond recognition,'' said Adrian Underwood, director of the Boarding Schools Association in Britain. "Now it's inside the normal, civilized norms of society."
-----------------------------------
Yes' they dragged it out of the dark ages, hopefuly into the 21st century.
------------------------------------
It was not until decades later that Mr. Perry, racked by depression, sought psychiatric help. He also quickly found a half-dozen other former students who, like him, had lived alone with feelings of shame and complicity all those years.
-----------------------------------
I know that I'm not alone as well.
-----------------------------------
"The long delay has clearly made it significantly more difficult for the defendant to put forward his defense," Judge Connor said.

Though some former teachers have been convicted in similar cases, many judges seem unsympathetic, even hostile, to the issue.
--------------------------------------
Sad, but ultimately true unfortunately.
---------------------------------------
In a similar case, former teacher at the Cothill School in Oxfordshire was charged recently with abusing boys in the 1970's. But the judge, Julian Hall, declared this year that "this is the stalest case I have been asked to try" and threw it out.

"I think the best thing that should happen to people who behave in this way," Judge Hall told Oxford Crown Court, speaking of the former teacher, Jeremy Malim, "is that they should get a very brisk elbow in the ribs at the time or be rejected."
--------------------------------------
Let's try dragging these fucking dinasours into the 21st century!
---------------------------------------
Mr. Carson pleaded guilty to sodomy, indecent assault and possessing indecent images of children. In 2003, he was sentenced to two years in prison. He was released after a year.
---------------------------------------
Throw away the key!
---------------------------------------
"I don't want to sound self-pitying," he said, "but I'd probably say it affects all aspects of my life."
------------------------------------
Which is why I'm so fucking angry!
--------------------------------------
"I wandered, completely traumatized, out of the room," Mr. Winter said in an interview, recalling how he was then spotted by the school matron, a sort of nurse-cum-housekeeper. "She said, 'I know what you've been doing, you dirty boy.' ''
------------------------------------
People like this should stand in the dock alongside the abusers, what they did was in many ways worse.
--------------------------------------
Some time later, he confided in a schoolmate. "I told him I was a sexual partner" of the teacher, Mr. Winter said. "He looked at me and said, 'Who wasn't?' ''
----------------------------------------
Too many of us, way too many. Like my best friend Mick who took his own life about ten years ago.
-----------------------------------------

This article is from an American newspaper, and about a different school to the one I went to. Although the era is the same.

As is everything else described.
Throw in cold, draughty old country house, crap food, bullying, homesickness, poor education, lousy facilities, most boarding schools were single sex, and the school I went to was also used as a 'last resort' for problem kids who's fees were paid for by the local education authority so they could wash their hands of them.
Not a fun experience.

Before I went to this hell-hole I had read avidly the "Jennings" books by someone who's name I've forgotten. These books were all set in a boarding school and painted a glorious picture of fun and adventure, and when I heard Mick was also going the picture was complete for me. Off we both went expecting to be just like Jennings and his friend Derbyshire.

What we got was "Steven King" horror story.

Dave

_________________________
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau

Top


Moderator:  ModTeam, TJ jeff 

I agree that my access and use of the MaleSurvivor discussion forums and chat room is subject to the terms of this Agreement. AND the sole discretion of MaleSurvivor.
I agree that my use of MaleSurvivor resources are AT-WILL, and that my posting privileges may be terminated at any time, and for any reason by MaleSurvivor.