Abuse in Britain's boarding schools: why I decided to confront my demons

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Besides, the sexual abuses were, in my version of the story, just detail: the real narrative was of five years of deliberate crushing of our individuality, the suppression of emotional freedom. Sexual bullying seemed just a part of the violence and cruelty that was the basic currency of the school and hundreds like it; the tools with which it squashed our little forms into the mould. Out of it would come upper-class Englishmen and women - ready to go and run an Empire or, at least, take charge of lesser mortals with normal feelings. [...]

I thought particularly of the 45,000 under-10s in the UK who are in local authority care today. Of the 2,000 or so kids nine or younger - too young, according to any child psychologist - whose parents are now sending them to boarding school. For convenience, or notions of status, or just because they did not love them enough, to taking a mad gamble with their children's emotional health, with their lives. And I thought of all the head-teachers who have protested that schools risk being closed by the legal actions, that that was then and this is now, that the abuses of the old boarding schools could not possibly happen today. I decided to go and see Ashdown [Ashdown House, a boarding school]. And I decided to talk to the police.

source: Article 'Abuse in Britain's boarding schools: why I decided to confront my demons' by Alex Renton; www.theguardian.com/society/2014/may/04/abuse-britain-private-schools-personal-memoir; The Guardian; 4 May 2014