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

Discussion of the children's schools in the UK.
a different guest

Postby a different guest » Wed Mar 03, 2004 7:56 am

Just on the boy/girl thing...

Contrary to what has been said by SES adherents, any parent will tell you that boy children are generally much more emotionally fragile that girls. Young boys tend to be far more vulnerable to emotional hurts and slights than girls. Read any decent parenting book or even baby books (boy babys are generally more unsettled than girl babys) and they will confirm this.

Fast forward to the teenage years and the high suicide rate of boys (as compared with girls) will further attest to this emotional vulnerability.

Outdated notions re boys is that they need to be "toughened up". Boys should "not cry". etc etc. are a pile of crap.

There is a HUGE difference between teaching a child resiliance, and repressing all feeling they have to make them "tough".

Antises

SES

Postby Antises » Wed Mar 03, 2004 6:01 pm

I agree with Anon (girls school) that the schools have changed dramatically after St Vedast, although they are still unique in their practices. Some of my views on other issues:

Concerning corporal punishment, I know quite a few old boys (not part of the SES) who, having been caned themselves, support corporal punishment and believe that it is an effective form of punishment for boys. They do not appear emotionally scarred, but of course one might say that different people react in different ways.

I also feel that corporal punishment is the best deterrent to boys considering which crime to commit next. I repeat that I believe the cane should only be used by teachers who are fair and responsible, or else the effect will be detrimental. I never said that corporal punishment is the only form of punishment - it should only be used in severe cases, e.g. aggressive behaviour towards teachers, or when expulsion would be the only other option. Lying is one of the most serious offences, because it is often a conscious effort to deceive even when you have been caught doing something wrong.

I believe that the difference between corporal punishment and child abuse is this: the purpose of corporal punishment is to teach the recipient a lesson, whilst child abuse is a result of anger. There is a thick line between the two. I understand that many may have been treated unfairly under the tyranny of St Vedast, but that is no longer a problem. The end of corporal punishment has led to other problems in the boys school.

I do not know the specifics about the sources used by the SES for philosophy (apart from Plato, Emerson, Bible, Vedas). I get the feeling that many people want more modern exponents of philosophy to be studied, including the views of feminists. It seems that the range of material used is too restricted (largely due to their prescriptive nature) though I do not know all the things they read. Then again, the SES claims to offer "practical philosophy" - there are few, if any, modern philosophers who would detail how to live your life like the ancient texts. I feel that if the SES wants its members to study religious texts, then all religions should be treated equally, especially since it claims to be a multi-cultural organization.

Concerning the treatment of boys and girls and parents having the right to slap their children. I think it is outrageous to say slapping is child abuse, just as it would difficult for an adult to sue someone who has slapped him. I fail to see how slapping can leave emotional scars in a person's life. Again, I emphasize that there is no better deterrent. It is not the only way of dealing with a difficult child, but it is an option.

Concerning Krishna and Arjuna, they are essentially virtuous characters in the Mahabharata (part of the Hindu tradition, also the longest book). I don't think you can criticize study of a particular scripture until you have studied it yourself and judged whether it is worthy of study.

I hope I have not veered too far from the subject of this discussion. I object to "a different guest"'s accussation that my views have been effected by the SES. I deplore many aspects of the SES, and regret that it has formed such a close connection with St James.

Antises
http://uk.groups.yahoo.com/group/anti_ses

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

Postby Matthew » Wed Mar 03, 2004 7:19 pm

Antises wrote:
I think it is outrageous to say slapping is child abuse, just as it would difficult for an adult to sue someone who has slapped him. I fail to see how slapping can leave emotional scars in a person's life.

I never said that slapping a child is child-abuse, or that it can leave emotional scars. Again I would refer you too to my previous entry, as well as previous postings on this thread by myself and other ex-St Vedast boys. Like I said earlier I do not use the term child-abuse lightly, as it is a very serious allegation. I choose my words carefully on a matter as highly sensitive as this one. Please therefore do us the same service to read and absorb carefully what has been written first before drawing any conclusions.

Antises wrote:
I deplore many aspects of the SES, and regret that it has formed such a close connection with St James.

In fact the SES has been around for a long time before St James even existed. St James and St Vedast grew out of the SES - they are inextricably linked. Was that made crystal-clear to your parents before they decided to send you to St James? I would also ask the same question to any other current or ex St James/Vedast children.

Anita
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Mar 04, 2004 11:03 am
Location: London

Postby Anita » Thu Mar 04, 2004 11:43 am

I applaud the catharsis that is manifesting on the Internet, which provides a forum for exorcism and expurgation that until now would have been conceptually unthinkable. I applaud those who have seized the opportunity to bare their souls and unburden their sufferings, thereby encouraging an entire generation to share also in their efforts to find closure and release.
I am Matthew Woolf?s mother and my purpose in contributing to this record is twofold. Firstly to acknowledge my personal responsibility for failing to protect him from what was going on, as graphically described in his lucid account. Secondly, that I was so lacking in discrimination to have succumbed to the veneer of spiritual and moral justification that engulfed so many acolytes of the system that was promulgated as ?the teaching?.
There was a slow and painful realisation of the depth of the pervading ignorance unfortunately too late ? for the damage had been done. For this I seek his forgiveness, and I pray every day of my life that he will, through his inner reserve of strength, find healing.
I have seen today?s St. James School for Girls ? quite a different atmosphere prevails, run by enlightened heads who seem to have fully taken on the iniquities of the past. Much has been learned I assume from past mistakes. But until the victims of the early school find closure, and until their suffering is acknowledged, healing cannot take place, and the S.E.S cannot move on. Spiritual teachings, however great, and I believe the SES had access to the purest source, can be corrupted.
An ancient wisdom was presented through MacLaren?s particular vision. These, and there were many highly discerning people, drew from it what was appropriate for them, and I do not wish to decry the really great work the ?School? has done in many areas. There are many intelligent and discriminating people in the S.E.S truly devoted to a spiritual teaching of the highest order. But as adults we chose to go. It became a way of life to us, all our friends were there, and all our natural tendencies were seen as limitations to overcome. The children did not have this choice. We as parents put them there because we believed that the decadent values of the ?common life? would prevent them from attaining the spiritual development that was denied to us. MacLaren believed the more pliable natures of the young would take to the spiritual life more easily. He instructed the ?teachers? to use corporal punishment at the slightest sign of wilfulness. These men had carte blanche ? the blessing from on high. This was totally contra to all that the teaching said about the education of children. To Matthew, who happens to be an unusually sensitive and creative person, this was the worst possible school.
MacLaren saw himself as a Medici Prince bringing about a new Renaissance. Unfortunately as a man he had his own demons to contend with, and he had more than a touch of the Savonarola about him. A powerful teaching in the wrong hands can bring out the brute which lies very near the surface in some men. This, in the days of my son and his contemporaries, proved a particularly lethal cocktail when mixed with the worst aspects of the British public school system?s long out-moded educational techniques, which paid no heed to the causes behind a child?s misdemeanour, but simply to beat them into conformity. Excellence was attributed to those clever enough to work within the system. Surely each new generation has to make their own discoveries. The spiritual path which the SES attempts to understand emanates from the highest source, but as with The Torah and The Quoran, all great teachings, are gradually revealed through long and devoted study, and we have seen can easily be misinterpreted. For this reason, it should never be forced upon anyone.
It heartens me to hear that some of those who suffered under the system have gone on to lead creative lives despite it. Alex, my older son has put his talents as a writer and publisher to great purpose in producing books for schools and libraries throughout the world, offering the best in enlightened education and instilling a love of learning which he never experienced at St. Vedast. As for Matthew, life has been and still is a struggle with the O.C.D, which has proved a very difficult condition to overcome despite all the treatments he has undergone. His poetic nature comes through his words and music, which give expression to both his wisdom, compassion and grief, yet overall ultimate optimism. Are these not the ingredients of true spirituality?

Anita Woolf
Last edited by Anita on Fri Mar 05, 2004 12:45 am, edited 1 time in total.

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

Postby Tom Grubb » Thu Mar 04, 2004 8:57 pm

Anita,

Thank you so much for your post! I respect your courage and compassion.

Tom

ANON-fromStJamesGirls'sch

my final words.

Postby ANON-fromStJamesGirls'sch » Fri Mar 05, 2004 12:39 am

I do realise that your experiences at St Vedast were terrifying, and it does good to let out something you kept inside for so long. However like, Anita Woolf pointed the SES cannot move on without acknowledging what happened in the past. In order them to acknowlegde this they need to know how you feel, how you felt, what damage has been done, you see they have to realise what thier faults were first of all. I am not sure you will go very far by keeping these discussion on these boards. We can talk endlessly of how things were, but without any action, you will get nothing out of it.

I was wandering what Anita Woolf's view of the SES was exactly? Was she bounded by the SES so tightly that she couldn't really see what was happening in St Vedast? Ocourse these questions do not need to be anwered if you feel you dont want to.

The reason why I choose to write on this board was to show how much the school that I go to had changed. For I felt that St James should NOT have the same reputation as St Vedast. This board looked awfully dull with all the past experiences that it seemed to me no one bothered to find out about the present day St James at all. I am hoping this will be my last post, as I feel I have done what I had hoped to do.

All the best for the future, to those who took part in this discussion.

ANON- From The St James School for Girls.
:B-fly: :evilbat: :B-fly: :evilbat: :B-fly: :evilbat: :B-fly: :evilbat: :B-fly: :evilbat: :B-fly:

a different guest

Postby a different guest » Fri Mar 05, 2004 1:30 am

really anon from girls school - you have not managed to convince me that the school has changed a lot Maybe they are not so brutal, but from what you have written is certainly seems that the core belief that hitting children is good for them remains. So much so that you yourself think it is acceptable for your parents to hit you for "ignorance".

As for past practices at St Vedast - for those who suffered so much perhaps taking the American route and suing the crap out of the bastards might provide the ultimate cathartic experience.

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

Postby Matthew » Fri Mar 05, 2004 2:16 am

Jeez ANON-fromStJamesGirls'sch, with the greatest of respect to you, what on earth do they teach you in schools these days?! Wasn't like that in my time of course {;o) Don't they at least teach you to read and understand stuff before you comment on it?
Re: your comment about without any action, you will get nothing out of it.
LIKE I SAID IN EARLIER POST, PLEASE READ WHAT HAS ALREADY BEEN WRITTEN BEFORE MAKING IGNORANT STATEMENTS. i.e. my entry Posted: Tue Feb 24, 2004 1:11 am Post subject: aims and objectives

As for your earlier comment about "this must have happened, surely however it was in that sort of time where you would find it in any other school"
Wrong again I'm afraid - St Vedast was founded precisely for the reason that at that time this sort of thing was NOT going on in any other school. Indeed, You would have to go back to public schools at least 100 years ago, or to Tom Brown's schoolday's and Oliver Twist to get anything like what resembled St Vedast.

ANON

Postby ANON » Fri Mar 05, 2004 5:55 pm

a different guest wrote: from what you have written is certainly seems that the core belief that hitting children is good for them remains. So much so that you yourself think it is acceptable for your parents to hit you for "ignorance".


Sorry, perhaps I did not make it clear enough. Neither the school, nor the SES has afected the way I feel about hitting children. Infact we haven't discussed it, so I had no idea what the SES thought about hitting chilren till I came accross these posts.

When I say that no one has the right of hitting a child apart from it's own parents, I do not mean the violent beating of the cane which leaves visible marks on the skin, I mean a slight slap on the bum. A child needs to distinguish what's right and what's wrong. If it persists after you have said 'no', what measures do you then take? Sooner or later the child will know that it will get away with things. About 1 second of temporary pain reminds the child, that if it carries on doing something wrong it will have to face the consequence of a slap.

That is how I have been brought up, and it has done NO harm to me nor my siblings. Ofcourse my parents do not slap me anymore (I'm considered less of a child now), but I feel that they have the right to, no matter my age.

This has nothing to do with the SES, for my views on this topic has NOTHING to do with them.

ANON

Postby ANON » Fri Mar 05, 2004 5:56 pm

a different guest wrote: from what you have written is certainly seems that the core belief that hitting children is good for them remains. So much so that you yourself think it is acceptable for your parents to hit you for "ignorance".


Sorry, perhaps I did not make it clear enough. Neither the school, nor the SES has afected the way I feel about hitting children. Infact we haven't discussed it, so I had no idea what the SES thought about hitting chilren till I came accross these posts.

When I say that no one has the right of hitting a child apart from it's own parents, I do not mean the violent beating of the cane which leaves visible marks on the skin, I mean a slight slap on the bum. A child needs to distinguish what's right and what's wrong. If it persists after you have said 'no', what measures do you then take? Sooner or later the child will know that it will get away with things. About 1 second of temporary pain reminds the child, that if it carries on doing something wrong it will have to face the consequence of a slap.

That is how I have been brought up, and it has done NO harm to me nor my siblings. Ofcourse my parents do not slap me anymore (I'm considered less of a child now), but I feel that they have the right to, no matter my age.

This has nothing to do with the SES, for my views on this topic has NOTHING to do with them.

Guest

Postby Guest » Fri Mar 05, 2004 6:13 pm

Matthew wrote:Jeez ANON-fromStJamesGirls'sch, with the greatest of respect to you, what on earth do they teach you in schools these days?! Wasn't like that in my time of course {;o) Don't they at least teach you to read and understand stuff before you comment on it?
Re: your comment about without any action, you will get nothing out of it.
LIKE I SAID IN EARLIER POST, PLEASE READ WHAT HAS ALREADY BEEN WRITTEN BEFORE MAKING IGNORANT STATEMENTS. i.e. my entry Posted: Tue Feb 24, 2004 1:11 am Post subject: aims and objectives


With all the greatest respect to you TOO sir, but hasn't anyone ever taught you to read, understand, DIGEST, and then attack?? For you seemed to have attacked me without understanding.

My comment on "without action, you will get nothing out of it" was perhaps not to YOU personally, after all this is a message board, and you and I are not the only ones here!

Matthew wrote:As for your earlier comment about "this must have happened, surely however it was in that sort of time where you would find it in any other school"


AGAIN you misunderstood,(however I am sure you thought you understood, after all you wouldn't make 'IGNORANT STATEMENTS' if you didn't). I thought I had made it clear enough that that was a passing comment my friend said when she read ur account. That very friend had a brother in your class (I think), although I cannot mention any names on here.

ANON

Postby ANON » Fri Mar 05, 2004 6:19 pm

a different guest wrote:As for past practices at St Vedast - for those who suffered so much perhaps taking the American route and suing the crap out of the bastards might provide the ultimate cathartic experience.


LOL, yes and that will definately heal those who suffered!?!

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

Postby Matthew » Fri Mar 05, 2004 6:37 pm

Ok PEACE, Anon-fromStJamesGirls'sch
Please forgive me for losing my temper with you. All I will say that is we are dealing with a highly delicate subject here and we are bearing our souls! So I'd kindly ask to everyone to please treat it with the sensitivity it warrants.
Anon, we've both made our points quite clearly on that one now. Time to move on I reckon before too many hairs start getting split, as I'm sure you'll agree that's not why we're here.
All the best to you

Guest

Postby Guest » Fri Mar 05, 2004 10:33 pm

Matthew wrote:Ok PEACE, Anon-fromStJamesGirls'sch
Please forgive me for losing my temper with you. All I will say that is we are dealing with a highly delicate subject here and we are bearing our souls! So I'd kindly ask to everyone to please treat it with the sensitivity it warrants.
Anon, we've both made our points quite clearly on that one now. Time to move on I reckon before too many hairs start getting split, as I'm sure you'll agree that's not why we're here.
All the best to you


Don't worry Matthew, I agree to move on.

all the best to you too

take care

Guest

Postby Guest » Fri Mar 05, 2004 10:37 pm

^ THAT WAS FROM ME!! ANON -from the girls' school.

oh and MIKE I would so prefere it if we could edit what we write... however this is the 100th post on the SES message board. so.........Congrats mike! :angel:


Return to “St James and St Vedast”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 9 guests