[lit-ideas] Re: English Pubic Schools

  • From: Judith Evans <judithevans001@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 16 Feb 2006 06:43:09 +0000 (GMT)

--- Andy Amago <aamago@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> I suppose technically it's important. 

It certainly is.  

.  1998
> is only a few years
> ago. 

Yes -- as I said, it was abolished then in the few
public schools that had retained it.  

> I don't know about our private schools, > they're
probably still
> backward in terms of physical discipline, or more
> backward anyway than our
> public schools.

(As of 2003?) "Every industrialized country in the
world now prohibits school corporal punishment, except
the U.S.,  Canada and one state in Australia."

27 states had banned school corporal punishment.

1999-2000 School Year: US Public Schools: data
released February, 2003

"In the U.S. as a whole, 342,038 students were
subjected to corporal punishment. This is a drop of 7%
from the previous survey two years earlier [taking
enrollment increases into account], continuing a
steady trend. Total U.S. public school enrollment was
46,306,355 students in '99-2000. Twenty-seven states
and the District of Columbia now have prohibited all
corporal punishment in public schools"

I read that most US non-Catholic private schools
disapprove of corporal punishment.

"Since 1995 when this website was founded, spanking
has become a high-profile controversy in North

...The Department of Health and Human Services and the
New England Journal of Medicine estimate that 1,000 to
2,000 children die every year in the U.S. from
corporal punishment that has escalated to a lethal
level. They estimate that 142,000 are seriously
injured annually."

> I think sororities/fraternities still do it

We don't have them (thank goodness).  

> > (The UK is signatory to the Convention on the
> Human
> > Rights of the Child and -- of course -- the
> European
> > Convention of Human Rights:
> >
> Is the U.S. a signatory?  I suspect not.

Your suspicion is correct.

> > and physical punishment by parents is also an
> issue.)
> >
> >
> That's the big one.  The one place that's supposed
> to be safe is the place
> where most hitting and terror takes place.  It's
> considered domestic
> violence against women, but not against tiny people.
>  So weird.

Oh it is considered violence here.  

 One can't
> > > read an autobiography of an Englishman without
> > > encountering descriptions of
> > > horrendous beatings, and a lot of them, in the
> > > public schools.  
> >
> >
> > Many of us can.  Many of us have.  We do all the
> time.
> >
> If something as painful as the birch was outlawed
> only in 1948, there
> should be a lot of biographies that talk about it.

That is *very* different from your statement, which I
countered by saying that it most certainly is possible
to read an autobiography of an Englishman without
encountering the kind of accounts you allege exist in
every such autobiography (and not because the other
autobiographies are lies).

> > In the BBC
> > > 1980's production of The Singing Detective
> >
> > not an autobiography
> >
> Not science fiction either.  It's based in reality. 

Yes but to what extent?  

> I thought the idea of
> a series about a psychosomatic illness rather
> advanced.  I loved The
> Singing Detective.  

Dennis Potter was a great writer.

> > .  Of course that's
> > > set in Wales,
> >
> >
> > I thought it was set in the Forest of Dean
> >
> I couldn't understand the kid at all.  I had to
> watch it with subtitles.

It was set in the Forest of Dean.

> > > Even Prince Charles' education has been
> described as
> > > an endurance test. 
> >
> > Yes indeed.  But that had nothing to do with
> beatings:
> > he was sent to a school that was totally
> inappropriate
> > for him personally.  
> >
> One likes to think they draw the line at royalty. 

This *one* likes to think they do not.  

> He endured emotional
> beatings in school

He was bitterly unhappy at Gordonstoun

 and was essentially an abandoned
> kid,

that is a different point; boarding schools vary

along with all the
> other royals.  

Andrew really liked Gordonstoun. I believe Anne liked

>That doesn't make for happy people.

Many things make for unhappy people.

> > > One of the criminals was an 11 year old girl,
> > > sentenced to death for
> > > stealing another girl's dress.  
> >
> >
> > we gave up executing children long long ago, of
> course
> >
> We're still working on it.  

Somewhat slowly.

**I am aware of the former brutalities of certain of
our public schools -- to which I am anyway opposed --
and of the unhappiness caused to some children sent
away from home so young. My objection is to your 

" British.  That 
sense.  They used to do something short of that in
their public schools
(seriously).  Hopefully things have civilized up a

so ill-informed, so crass.** 

 But this isn't a
> contest. 

You wrote as though it were.

Judy Evans, Cardiff

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