EXPERIENCES AT ST. VEDAST (now St. James) AND THE S.E.S

Discussion of the children's schools in the UK.
gadflysdreams
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Joined: Fri May 28, 2004 6:30 pm

not gossip, abel

Postby gadflysdreams » Tue Sep 28, 2004 10:10 pm

those guys - rasmussen & capper -were sent packing. all done very politely, with the customary farewell do. but they were not welcome anymore, since they could no longer preach the desired doctrnes. true particularly of j. capper who was basically told that his primary task as had of sixth form was to get the guys into the ses foundation group. these are facts, as they have no doubt been in countless other cult and denominational schools. but what exactly did these guys feel they cold no longer hack or support?

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adrasteia
Posts: 111
Joined: Fri Apr 09, 2004 9:55 am

gossip

Postby adrasteia » Fri Oct 01, 2004 10:29 am

Abel Holzing wrote:However, does anybody actually know anything for certain, or are we just gossiping?
AH

I really try not to say anything which is outside my own experience unless it comes from a reliable source.

Guest

views of a current pupil (of st james)

Postby Guest » Tue Oct 05, 2004 7:28 am

hi, i am a st james pupil and i recognise some of the teachers names that you have mentioned, however i find it hard to believe some of your arguments and statements, firstly someone mentioned that the headmaster STILL beats the children for such offenses as being late (the author also gave other examples)- this is quite plainly BULL sh*t! maybe the teachers were harsh on a lot of you guys but at the time, physical punishments were more common- the way some of you describe it, it was as if you lived in ancient Sparta! anyway i stumbled across this website accidentally but had heard about it before. someone also mentioned he witnessed physical abuse such as "threatening with an iron pole" i dont see how thats physical abuse- its not its verbal/maybe psycological but not physical. on the cadet weekends i dont really understand why u went on them if you didnt want to do them, i have to say its hard to think that your memories of the school are not in some way using hyperbolae to benefit your argument, anyways i leave you with my thoughts as you have done!
(ps my parents are not in the SES)

Guest

sorry another thing i forgot

Postby Guest » Tue Oct 05, 2004 7:30 am

i just posted a reply but thought i should add that Capper left the SES before he left St James, this could probably be used for both sides of the argument but i thought i would make sure uve got ur facts right!

Guest

Postby Guest » Tue Oct 05, 2004 4:19 pm

hi, i am a st james pupil and i recognise some of the teachers names that you have mentioned, however i find it hard to believe some of your arguments and statements, firstly someone mentioned that the headmaster STILL beats the children for such offenses as being late (the author also gave other examples)- this is quite plainly BULL sh*t!


Hi Guest.

-As corporal punishment has been a criminal offence in UK since 1998
I doubt anyone claims that it still exists at st James. You use of expletives indicates you feel strongly about this,do you think it wrong that children as young as 7 are caned for punctuality? I was caned repeatedly for lateness,due mostly to the vagaries of London Transport and tiredness induced by late night group sessions spent absorbing SES BULL sh*t.!


maybe the teachers were harsh on a lot of you guys but at the time, physical punishments were more common- the way some of you describe it, it was as if you lived in ancient Sparta!


-A good analogy,Sparta was held up as some kind of ideal by various teachers in the lessons i received.


anyway i stumbled across this website accidentally but had heard about it before. someone also mentioned he witnessed physical abuse such as "threatening with an iron pole" i dont see how thats physical abuse- its not its verbal/maybe psycological but not physical.


-Your quite correct. That excuses the incident i suppose.


on the cadet weekends i dont really understand why u went on them if you didnt want to do them,


-Well at least you are being honest admiting your lack of understanding.This is due to your not being in posession of the facts pertaining to the experience of being a student of St James in the mid 70's. You are in no position to speak on the validity of described events that you did not witness or were not party to,nor does your experience of the current school have any relevance to events that transpired 30 years ago.

i have to say its hard to think that your memories of the school are not in some way using hyperbolae to benefit your argument,


-I doubt anyone is using geometry to make points, I think you mean hyperbole;).Due to the oft stated change or transformation that St James is supposed to have gone through to reach its current state (do you ever ask yourself what it changed from?) no doubt you do find it 'hard to think' that St James was once a completely different place than it is now.However unless you have any direct evidence that contradicts events described on this board this 'difficulty' of yours is your own problem, and not relevant to the discussion.

I personally have no 'argument' with the school, I could not care less what happens to the institution, teachers, or the cult, and am seeking no compensation or apology. I do however feel compelled to make my experiences public and I am grateful for the opportunity given by the internet and this board to do so. I have many more 'anecdotes' and fully intend to post them in the future, either here on on a permanent google linked webspace.

best, lowpass


[quoting tag added - mike]

mgormez
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Location: Amsterdam
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Postby mgormez » Wed Oct 06, 2004 8:49 am

Guys/gals, please use a nick when posting here, because it does get confusing when 2 or more 'guests' are debating with each other.

You don't need to register to use a nick. Thanks!
Mike Gormez

Daffy

Re: views of a current pupil (of st james)

Postby Daffy » Wed Oct 06, 2004 9:01 am

Anonymous wrote:maybe the teachers were harsh on a lot of you guys but at the time, physical punishments were more common- the way some of you describe it, it was as if you lived in ancient Sparta!


Hi current pupil,

I understand your scepticism. It must be scarcely believable to you that in the late 20th century, in your own lifetime, people that you know were repeatedly hitting little children as young as six with bamboo canes.

You must be utterly amazed at stories of teachers punching, kicking and otherwise physically abusing children younger than yourself every single day of the school year.

Of course it sounds unbelievable. These practices are absolutely illegal today, and anyone perpetrating them would be jailed for months or years.

It is good to see that St James has changed enough to justify your incredulity. But please do not doubt that these practices occurred. Please don't suggest that they have been exaggerated.

It is only by making public what went on just a few years ago that we can ensure it never, never happens again.

By the way, your reference to Sparta is quite apt: Debenham was such an admirer of ancient and somewhat brutal civilisations, he decided to create four houses: Athens, Crete, Rome and - yes, you've guessed it - Sparta.

Tom Grubb
Posts: 380
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2004 10:23 pm
Location: London

Postby Tom Grubb » Wed Oct 06, 2004 8:47 pm

Hi Guest (current pupil),

In a way, it's heartening that you find some of the things you've read here so hard to believe. It shows that life at the current St James must indeed be very different. Having said that, why is it that everybody on this forum claiming to be a current St James pupil hides behind anonymity while many of the survivors of the disgusting abuse at St Vedast and the old St James are happy to reveal their identities? If St James really is such a great place nowadays, why not use your real name to say so?

The threatening-with-an-iron-bar incident was mentioned by me in a previous posting. I can't be sure that the bar was actually made of iron but it was certainly metallic! I don't remember suggesting that this was an example of physical, as opposed to psychological or verbal, abuse. The fact is, it was abuse. And if you had any idea what St Vedast was actually like at the time, you would realise that a metal bar was a very credible threat. Pupils were hit with, among other things, canes, rulers, ropes, footwear and cricket bats. The wielder of the metal bar was Mr Colin Russell, a particularly sadistic and nasty 'teacher' at St Vedast. (Should you wish to sue me, Mr Russell, I'd be happy to supply you with my full contact details.) The event happened in the gymnasium. I also clearly remember the identity of the pupil who was threatened. I won't reveal it here because he, unlike Colin Russell, deserves anonymity.

As for our supposed hyperbole, I think that, if anything, we survivors are understating our case.

Tom

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a different guest
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Postby a different guest » Thu Oct 07, 2004 7:49 am

well along with geography it seems empathy is OFF the curriculum at St James.

A horrified guest

Postby A horrified guest » Thu Oct 07, 2004 12:33 pm

Thanks to your postings I didn't even bother looking at St James as a possibility as a school for my son. I'd intended to go to an open evening but my mother mentioned that she'd had neighbours who had sent their daughter to St James in the 70s. This poor girl ended up anorexic. Her parents were in the SES. My mother did some investigating, found your website and alerted me to it.

I've been appalled at what I've read. Two boys from my son's class at primary school have gone to St James and I'm sure their parents have no idea of it's history. I wouldn't dream of sending my son to a school with such an abusive past.

Good luck in your pursuit of an apology. Those ex 'teachers' should be jailed.

Matthew
Posts: 212
Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2004 6:57 pm
Location: London

Postby Matthew » Thu Oct 07, 2004 10:43 pm

A horrified guest wrote:Good luck in your pursuit of an apology. Those ex 'teachers' should be jailed.

Thank you for your post "A horrified guest". I agree with you, they probably should be jailed for all the terrible harm they inflicted on defenceless, innocent children. The reality is that some of these men are not even ex-'teachers'. They are actually STILL 'teachers' there today. Astonishing when you consider their criminal past, which is now so well documented it no longer requires spelling out.

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adrasteia
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Re: views of a current pupil (of st james)

Postby adrasteia » Fri Oct 08, 2004 10:12 am

Anonymous wrote:...however i find it hard to believe some of your arguments and statements, firstly someone mentioned that the headmaster STILL beats the children for such offenses as being late...


I'm not quite sure who said the Headmaster still beats children today?

Guest 1376

Postby Guest 1376 » Mon Oct 11, 2004 5:01 pm

A couple of new people are going to post testimonies here soon. Seems David Lacey has LOTS to worry about from them. These cowards need to be nailed.

Will be interesting to see how this campaign develops. I wonder what current parents will make of it as word spreads round? And of the lobbying background of the current head? Lockheed etc.

Tom Grubb
Posts: 380
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2004 10:23 pm
Location: London

Re: views of a current pupil (of st james)

Postby Tom Grubb » Mon Oct 11, 2004 6:31 pm

adrasteia wrote:
Anonymous wrote:...however i find it hard to believe some of your arguments and statements, firstly someone mentioned that the headmaster STILL beats the children for such offenses as being late...


I'm not quite sure who said the Headmaster still beats children today?


I think the anonymous current pupil was referring to one of my posts, my first on this thread, in which I made the mistaken allegation. Once I found out the true facts, I happily corrected myself, as follows:


Posted: Sun Feb 29, 2004 6:16 pm Post subject: A correction

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

A correction:

In the interests of truth (well, I'm interested in it even if the SES isn't!) I would like to correct something I wrote in a previous post.

In my first post on this thread I mistakenly wrote that the former headmaster of St Vedast boys' school (Nicholas Debenham) "is still beating children at a school in Twickenham". I have now learnt that corporal punishment is in fact no longer in use at St James senior boys' school and I rejoice at this news.

I suspect, though, that this change of policy is for legal rather than 'philosophical' reasons! Mr Debenham's views on corporal punishment were reported in two newspaper articles in October 1996 (Click here and then scroll down: http://www.corpun.com/uksc9610.htm). Notice, by the way, how this "caring" man dares to suggest that there is something "loving" about assaulting children with a piece of wood. "You've got to have love on one hand and discipline on the other - an awful lot of love and a little bit of discipline," he is quoted as saying. That's not quite the balance I remember at St Vedast! "People should be able to tell the difference between a vicious assault and properly measured discipline." Hmm...

Also, the BBC reported as recently as March 1998 that Mr Debenham "makes no apologies for his belief in the effectiveness of caning a persistently indisciplined child." (Click here: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/68965.stm).

I wish Mr Debenham well with his forthcoming retirement....

StJ79-93

The Potters

Postby StJ79-93 » Tue Oct 12, 2004 2:35 pm

The following is taken from the current St James School for Boys website under the topic of Rules and Discipline:

"Love and discipline go together

When St James was first founded, one of its guiding principles was based on the analogy of the potter?s hands. The pot is shaped by the two hands of a potter. One hand works from the inside, helping the pot to expand; this is the hand of love. The other works from the outside to control and regulate; this is the hand of discipline. Both are necessary, in just the right measure. It is this balance of love and discipline which makes possible human development. In the education of the young, whether at home or at school, this balance becomes crucial. Either element without the other, and you don?t get a very satisfactory pot!"


On the face of it a fine analogy for the right way to nurture healthy, psychologically balanced young men. It certainly reflects the sentiments that Mr Debenham expresses in the 1996 Telegraph article yet the practice during the 1970's through to the mid 1990's fell pathetically short of attaining the right balance.

Where was the love?

We felt the discipline regularly but very rarely the love that was supposed to balance it.

Were the 'teachers' experimenting with postmodern pottery forms, challenging the notion that a pot must by its nature include an internal space; the internal space created by "love". Using both hands to shape the pot from the outside creates an anti-pot. The internal space (possibly emotion in this analogy) in squeezed out of existence.

Perhaps the 'teachers' were one-armed potters devoid of any ability to manipulate the clay in the appropriate manner? It only takes one arm to swing a bamboo cane, rope, shoe, ruler, hand or board duster.

Am I an unsatisfactory pot? Possibly I am a candlestick - with a thumb sized aperture. The question is certainly worthy of philosophical examination.


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