[lit-ideas] Re: English Pubic Schools

  • From: JimKandJulieB@xxxxxxx
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 16 Feb 2006 12:21:17 EST

My husband grew up on a large farm in Minnesota.  His parents were  second 
generation immigrants from Norway, and Norwegian was their first language  -- 
they spoke English decently but with a very thick accent.  Think  Garrison 
Keillor.  He lived in a tiny town called Kandyhi (not sure of the  spelling and 
tired/sick to look it up).  When he was in 7th grade his  parents moved to 
Springfield MO.  The hilarious irony of this is that they  chose to move 
because relatives were profoundly religious Lutherans and  put enormous 
proselytizing pressure on them.  Jim says his Grandmother  prayed them out of 
Minnesota.  What they didn't know was that Springfield  was the Assemblies of 
National Headquarters.  The rolling in the aisles  stuff was fairly frightening 
to a teen.  In any event, one of his first  days in school, a teacher called 
on him.  
"Jim Krueger?"
Jim, in heavy Scandinavian accent.....  "Yaaah?"
Teacher, interpreting response as lackidasical Springfield rude  "yeah"
walks to Jim's desk and slaps him in the face.  He had no idea what  he'd 
done.  Then she informed him he was to respond "Yes, Ma'am".  
I'd have pulled my child out of school so fast it would make your head  spin. 
 But 30 or 40 years ago it was no big deal.  Today, I think the  teacher 
would face suspension or firing.
My Mother, who is a kind, gracious, loving, gentle, devoutly religious  
woman, still insists that my kids should have been spanked when they were  
Julie Krueger
couldn't bring myself to do it...

========Original Message========     Subj: [lit-ideas] Re: English Pubic 
Schools  Date: 2/16/06 7:55:57 A.M. Central Standard Time  From: 
_aamago@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx (mailto:aamago@xxxxxxxxxxxxx)   To: 
(mailto:lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx)   Sent on:    
> [Original Message]
> From: Judith Evans  <judithevans001@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
> To:  <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
> Date: 2/16/2006 1:43:09 AM
>  Subject: [lit-ideas] Re: English Pubic Schools
> --- Andy  Amago <aamago@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> > 
>  > I suppose technically it's important. 
> It certainly  is.  

Technically warms the hearts of lawyers.  Never  mind.

> > 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."

I don't  understand this statement.  I am a product of our school system.   I
also watch CNN and have a relatively, I think, good understanding of  what
goes on in this country.  Periodically we have the story about the  children
who die because CPS (Child Protective Services) again dropped the  ball. 
But I have never in my life, never not once ever,  heard a story  about
anyone getting hit by a teacher.  I did hear back in the 80's the  principal
in the high school of my town grabbed a teenager by the collar and  pushed
him against a wall in some display of Marlon Brando-esq  superiority.  He
was fired.  It's definitely the anomaly if it  happens.  Schools are
actually safer than homes.  Kids will bully  each other, and in many areas
that's being addressed.  But never have I  heard about a teacher hitting a
child.  It's just not done.  Not in  my experience anyway, not even in
Texas, but maybe somebody in Texas can tell  me I'm wrong.  I can imagine it
in the sharecropper South, but the South  is the Hell of the country.  In
Hell lots of things are considered  acceptable, like killing somebody for
having more melanin in their skin that  someone else would like.  Hell won't
change any time soon.  The  South fought a Civil War for the rigiht to live
in Hell.  I'll accept it  if that's what you're referring to.  

> 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 can see it in the private schools, the religious  schools.  I think half
the time that's why parents send their kids to  private school, so the
teachers can "keep them in line".  They think  it's good parenting,
seriously.  But I suspect it doesn't happen much  there either.  Where are
you getting these numbers?   And what  does corporal punishment in an
American school look like?  Sorry, I  simply can't imagine a teacher hitting
a student.

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

That's better.  Catholic schools are notorious  for the nun with the ruler. 
But even Catholic schools nowadays hire mostly  regular teachers.  In fact,
I heard a story a long time ago that nuns  are a dying breed.  There are so
few people going in to be nuns that  there's no one left to take care of
them after they retire.  There's an  organization supposedly called SOAR,
Support Our Aging Religious to help  them.  As far as I know, there's really
not much difference between  Catholic and public schools here, except that
Catholic schools teach  religion.  

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

That sounds  right.  Spanking is barbaric; it's done by parents.  I heard
the  U.N. was going to promote non-violence toward children.  I don't know
if  they have or not.  I imagine in the U.S. it'll be thought of as  an
infringement on parental rights.

> >  > 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.  

Is it against the law?  Are  people actually prosecuted?  Or is it just
considered violence?   

> > 
> > 
> > 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).

I suppose anything is possible.  I don't  see the distinction either, but
that's fine.  It doesn't matter.   

> > > 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?  

We all like to think it's pure fiction  and that people aren't really
capable of something like that.  But then  we see a tape ...

> > 
> > 
> > I couldn't  understand the kid at all.  I had to
> > watch it with  subtitles.
> It was set in the Forest of  Dean.

I don't know.  It sounds like it's somewhere  between Wales and England. 
"The Forest of Dean lies between the rivers Wye  and Severn, in the western
part of Gloucestershire, and on the borders of  Wales and Herefordshire." 


> > 
> > 
> > One likes to think they  draw the line at royalty. 
> This *one* likes to think  they do not.  

I think they'd better stop broadcasting  all these bio shows on American
cable television.  That's where I get my  information about royals.

> > He endured emotional
> >  beatings in school
> He was bitterly unhappy at  Gordonstoun

And nobody cared.

>  and  was essentially an abandoned
> > kid,
> that is a  different point; boarding schools vary
>  enormously.

Not so different.  All children need two  parents.  He had no parents. 
Presumably he had the best boarding  school.  His father was also
emotionally abusive from what I  understand.  That's why Charles was so
crushed when Monte (Blanc?) was  killed by the IRA.  He had been his mentor.
The royals have a hellish  life.  That's my opinion.  If you disagree,
that's fine.   

> along with all the
> > other royals.   
> Andrew really liked Gordonstoun. I believe Anne  liked
> Benenden.

I don't know.  By definition to  be sent to boarding school is, from the
child's point of view, to be rejected  by the family.  The parents don't
care enough about the kid to keep him  around.  You know more about their
education than I do.   

> >That doesn't make for happy people.
> Many  things make for unhappy people.

Not true.  People  who are grounded in feelings of safety and acceptance can
weather just about  anything throughout their lives.  If you don't agree,
that's fine.   

> > >
> > > we gave up  executing children long long ago, of
> > course
> >  >
> > 
> > We're still working on it.   
> Somewhat slowly.

Change comes slowly.   Ironically, people who are hit are the ones who will
cling to hitting  others.  We like what we know, plus getting hit breeds
fear which leads  to more hitting.  Lots of people think violence of one
sort or another  is the answer for just about everything.  

> **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 
> makes
> sense.  They used to do  something short of that in
> their public schools
>  (seriously).  Hopefully things have civilized up a
>  bit."
> so ill-informed, so crass.** 

I  can see that it would make an English person bristle to be reminded, but
it  is not ill-informed.  Crass, mmm, maybe.  But so is the fact that  the
tape happened, and that English public schools were in fact  veritable
torture chambers for a lot of kids.  That's history in any  case.  What
matters is what's happening  now.

>  But this isn't a
> >  contest. 
> You wrote as though it  were.

And/or you read it as though it  were.

> Judy Evans,  Cardiff
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