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Violent teachers of the past

by Twit Jim 28 July 2009

Noting the recent news report of a teacher accused of attempted murder, an old schoolchum and I reflected that at Varndean Boys Grammar in the 1950s – and maybe at at other schools at the time – there was occasionally a master/teacher who could have found himself in a similar predicament and would, on occasions, quite simply ‘lose it’ after having being wound-up by his class and rather than resorting to the corporal punishment then permitted – a formal strapping or caning which had to be entered in the local authority book – would literally beat-up a pupil he felt to be responsible in a frenzy of temper. In one instance I can remember a boy called Bradley – maybe he lurks here and can testify! – being almost throttled by his tie and his head repeatedly banged against the classroom wall. I believe he was away from school for a few days after, but so far as we knew, no action was ever taken and we seemed to accept that this was just the inevitable result of winding-up this particularly bad-tempered teacher. Does this sort of incident stir memories with anyone here – or was our class just particularly badly-behaved!

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