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Today's the day

Posted: Fri Jul 13, 2018 4:58 am
by richardb
When James Andrew Husband gets sentenced.

My money is on 18 years imprisonment.

But I haven't forgotten that HHJ Henson QC has got it too low twice before so I have reminded myself that the Attorney General can be asked to review a sentence if it is "unduly lenient":

It only takes one person but I think there may be a queue...

Re: Today's the day

Posted: Fri Jul 13, 2018 7:30 am
by LHA
Sadly I think he will get 16 years, but I would hope for 20 years plus.

I emailed the Attorney General's office following Webb and Burr's sentences, as did I suspect many others - and was pleased that the sentenced was eventually increased as a result.

Re: Today's the day

Posted: Fri Jul 13, 2018 9:14 am
by Observer
It might be worth catching Burr victim 'Arthur ' and Headmaster, Simon Reid talking live on BBC Radio Sussex at the moment 9.00- 10.00am.

Re: Today's the day

Posted: Fri Jul 13, 2018 10:06 am
by Chrissie Boy
The Danny Pike programme. Probably listenable for the rest of today (Friday).

Re: Today's the day

Posted: Fri Jul 13, 2018 10:11 am
by HowardH
The interview on Radio Sussex that I have just heard should prove once and for all what an exceptional Head Master and human being Simon Reid is. I do hope that people who have had the opportunity to listen to the broadcast will have been able to gauge the absolute integrity with which he speaks and acts. " I am deeply saddened that this should be anything to do with an educative process." I can tell you that he is completely genuine and will do everything in his power to assist any individual who wishes to talk with him.
Yes, there will be further investigation into the culpability of individuals who worked here and of the school itself. That is right and proper. What both Simon and the school need now is your assistance and support. There is disbelief and disgust within the whole community of staff, former staff, Old Blues and former parents.
Christ's Hospital is a very good school; please help Simon to make it an exceptional one, which becomes an exemplar for outstanding practice in Pastoral Care.

Re: Today's the day

Posted: Fri Jul 13, 2018 10:27 am
by richardb
Sadly this forum shows that the school is not dealing with historic complaints properly.

As a starter the school should be arranging counselling for any person who needs it, without question.

Posts on here and Facebook show that that is not happening.

There are further revelations to come.

Re: Today's the day

Posted: Fri Jul 13, 2018 10:29 am
by KerryKidd
I don’t want to be churlish. But headmasters are supposed to give good stirring speeches and interviews. That’s their job. You can’t ask us to judge someone’s integrity by what they say in the radio.
Fine words butter no parsnips. Is he offering counselling or support for those coming forward? Are they even referring to a helpline?

I am also not sure what you mean by asking for our support. Do you mean not criticise? Or ask hard questions of the school?

Re: Today's the day

Posted: Fri Jul 13, 2018 10:52 am
by HowardH
I would suggest that the past tense might be used when referring to dealing with support.
I was trying to say that Mr Reid's words are not the vacuous ones of politicians, but that they come from the heart.
Of course I did not mean that one should not criticise - I am suggesting that he has the integrity to give all the support that he can.

Re: Today's the day

Posted: Fri Jul 13, 2018 10:54 am
by Observer
I completely agree with your rallying cry for support for the School and it’s Headmaster and, in due course, it will come as he works to turn things around.

At the same time you should acknowledge that in seeking catharsis and recognition of the scale of their pain, victims will need to vent their anger and frustration with an institution that has inflicted so much damage. 'Today's the day' could well be the day to stand back and allow that to happen.

Tragically the School is going to take one hell of a reputational hit with all this and with a sequence of sentencing hearings and possible further criminal actions mounting an effective damage limitation campaign will take time and need rather more than a £20k Press Officer.

In the circumstances this suggests help can’t come soon enough :
In an interview with Press Association, Mr Reid said the school felt "sadness" and "sorrow" for the students, adding: "If there is anything that the verdicts and the cases have taught me and the school, it is that we need to be even more rigorous.

Re: Today's the day

Posted: Fri Jul 13, 2018 10:57 am
by marty
Very interesting interview.

I do not doubt Simon Reid's integrity and good intentions. He was one of my house tutors in the 90s and I have fond memories of him - he is a friendly, upstanding chap and hence I was very pleased when he was announced as the new headmaster. I am sure the school’s current and future pupils are and will be much better protected thanks to him and modern practices. But this issue is not really about the present and the future pupils. It is about the past pupils who are still suffering. It may also be about pupils at other schools where teachers who had been "quietly ejected" from CH went on to work. We know that Dobbie was at another school and we know that the recent 5 convictions are not the only CH (or ex-CH) teachers to have been convicted of serious offences: Peter Brownlie, Ian Rowley, Hudson.

What I would like to see is an independent investigation or enquiry, run or chaired by someone with little or no connection to CH to fully look into all the above and more.

32 years of bad apples…

Re: Today's the day

Posted: Fri Jul 13, 2018 11:05 am
by HowardH
I acknowledge the heed for catharsis.
I also appreciate that some will find an independent review to be of benefit.
Sometimes you must acknowledge that it is not just what one writes, but also what one does not that can be telling.

Re: Today's the day

Posted: Fri Jul 13, 2018 11:20 am
by Bishbashbosh
CH has offered nothing as of yet. No counselling, no helpline, nothing at all. They may have been waiting to see the verdict before acting, as I have been asked if they can have my details in the last couple of days.

It hadn't entered my head that they should be offering something. I don't actually know what is available, or should be, or anything really. The police have offered counselling through victim support. I'm not judging the school, they could easily have felt any action prior to verdict would be a presumption of guilt, and this is a place of innocent until proven guilty. So I can't and won't fault them for that. However, now the verdict is in, I guess I'm very interested and waiting to see what comes of things. I don't know what, for me, could be offered this far after events. For some others there are more obvious routes of support.

I really didn't think I was very affected by everything, but I'm quite tense all the time lately, and the verdict was a relief but I'm still... not quite myself. Part of that is undoubtedly the need to stay anonymous. I think I shall be glad when all sentencing is complete.

Re: Today's the day

Posted: Fri Jul 13, 2018 11:57 am
by richardb
Having heard the case being opened today, it raises many more questions and left me feeling ashamed and embarrassed. The school completely failed the victim.

Why was Husband allowed to take a female pupil to the DIY shop, Albi and Dorset?

Re: Today's the day

Posted: Fri Jul 13, 2018 12:39 pm
by jakew
You know, I hope the media go to town with this story; CH can't have been unique in tolerating this kind of thing back in the good old days, and I'm sure there are many stories from other schools that probably need to be told.

Re: Today's the day

Posted: Fri Jul 13, 2018 3:35 pm
by KerryKidd
It seems to me that the issue of support cuts both ways.
Children now at the school need to be reassured and kept safe. It seems as if the school is onto that.

Children who were at the school at the time of these abuses are vulnerable adults. They have either experienced abuse directly or are now dealing with the trauma of finding that the place they believed was safe and wholesome was not quite as clear it as that. They are struggling with the mismatch between the ideals of the school and the reality of what has seemingly occurred. Many Catholics in a similar situation simply left the church in the wake of child abuse scandals. It would be unrealistic to expect this generation of Old Blues to have an unproblematic relationship with the school going forward.

My own view, and this may be controversial, is that every single person who attended the school at the time is going to be shocked and traumatised by the affair, although clearly not to the scale of those who experienced actual abuse. I would imagine those who came from abusive homes or had abisice experiences as adults will likely encounter increased flashbacks /remembered trauma / symptology of emotional pain WHETHER OR NOT THEY PERSONALLY WERE ABUSED AT THE SCHOOL. His is because the institutional betrayal of trust will be profoundly triggering for the many, many children who came in a vulnerable and damaged state from home.
There is also a separate question as to what may have contributed to allowing this unchecked culture of abuse to flourish. Again, my own and possibly controversial view is that
1) the extremely spartan type living conditions created a sense in which pupils did not expect to have their basic needs for healthy food, warmth, comfortable beds and reasonable level of privacy met. My view is that unintentionally this created a culture of emotional neglect. We were expected to be tough enough to cope with privation, and this I think may have contributed to the passive acceptance of abuse by some.
2) the very ideals and charitable nature of the institution clearly made some believe in the myth of CH “exceptionalism.” The children were of course often from vulnerable homes and parents were grateful for the opportunity so did not want to complain. At the same time the reputation of the school was regarded as so much in need of protection - presumably because of its special ethos - that coverup of the times where they fell short of the ideal became the norm. This is similar to the protection of paedophile priests in Catholic Church.

Because of this I think there will likely be far more people who need practical and emotional support as a result of this than those who were direct abuse victims. The school needs to think clearly and pragmatically how it can direct those who have been disturbed and confused by recent events to resources and agencies/helplines etc at this time.

So I think support needs to cut both ways. School has the right to ask us to support it in making changes: Old Blues have the right to request and expect support from the school. This is particularly true when the school is asking former pupils to go through the emotional labour or trauma of disclosing any abuse.