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some good points theremichael scuffil wrote: ↑Tue Aug 21, 2018 11:50 amI must confess to being one of the 'water-under-the-bridge' brigade, though I have said it before and I know it is unpopular. I have nothing against alleged perpetrators being publicly named (and it is up to them to sue for libel if they are alive and feel genuinely aggrieved). But there is no other country in Europe, and not many in the world, where cases 40+ years old could be prosecuted. There are various reasons for this (1. unreliability of evidence; 2. 'identity' of person now and person 40 years ago; 3. purpose served by punishment ('public interest') -- clearly it would not be deterrence, as that world no longer exists.) This also applies to a certain degree to the (school) authorities. No head teacher of any school in the 1950s would have reported an abuser to the police, and in any case, the police would probably have said: 'You deal with it.' We cannot apply today's criteria.Foureyes wrote: ↑Thu Aug 16, 2018 4:35 pmRichard,
You wrote: "It may help if the school actually say how many people are affected by this. They will have the figures but it is way beyond the 20+ who have made statements for the criminal proceedings. Once this figure is publicly known then people will begin to understand fully what has gone on."
I used to be proud to tell people that I am an Old Blue - now I keep very quiet about it. Also, it seems that at the time I was at C.H. (1948-55), either there was none of this master-pupil activity going on, or, if there was, it was kept very, very quiet. That said, I suggest that the present management of the school and the foundation are between a rock and a hard place and slanging them off, particularly Reid, will not really help matters.
First, how can they know how many were abused? Let us say that the period involved is 1950-2010 and the throughput was 100 per year. That gives a cohort of 50 times 100 equals 5,000 (less those that have died, of course). How could they (or the police) locate and question all of those? If it is left to effected Old Blues to come forward, will these all identify themselves simultaneously? Some may not wish to embarrass their families, some may regard it as simply 'water-under-the-bridge' (i.e., something which happened, but it was a long time ago); some may wish to keep quiet until they see which way the wind is blowing; in some cases the Old Blue may know that the perpetrator is dead. Finally, some may not have heard of the situation and not come forward initially and then decide to do so. In other words, the school/police will never know the full figure until the last one has died in about 2100.
It is also not beyond the bounds of possibility that a (hopefully) very small number of complainants may not be telling the truth - as (allegedly) was 'Nick' in his charges against Bramall, Heath, et al. In the interests of justice such people need to be identified, their stories refuted, and their allegations dismissed.
Thirdly, there is the matter of the staff members - not themselves abusers - who made public statements, which have subsequently been shown to have been at variance with the truth, if not downright lies, or who allowed the abusers to move on quietly to another school. You are much more knowledgeable about the law than I, but can the police or school actually do anything about that? As far as I can tell, they may have lied or acted unwisely, but did they actually break a law, and, if so, which one? Further, if they have moved on or retired does the school have any legal hold over them - could it compel them to return to Horsham and explain themselves to the current Head Master? I think not. Finally, if neither the police nor the school can take action against them, can Old Blues insist that they offer an explanation of their actions/inactions. We may demand that they do, but if they choose to stay quiet, then that is it as far as I can see.
I am not, for one moment, trying to excuse the perpetrators, and firmly believe that they should be identified and punished. But I do believe that the school and/or police need to be given a little space and that bad mouthing them will achieve little.
Again, at the risk of boring you, I would point out that the worst abusers were the caners. Macnutt's exploits in this regard have been documented in print, director of music Lang has been named in print in this connexion (by Bryan Magee), and I would (from general repute) name Littlefield. Obviously their actions would be totally illegal if performed now. But I wonder, if they were still alive, whether they could be prosecuted if the allegation was that their exercise of corporal punishment was not in the interest of good order, but of their own gratification.
I think we need to remember that the past is a foreign country. They did things differently there. We can reveal what was done, where this is not generally known, and we can express our disgust that things were like that. But this is not what the legal system is for.