Letter: Eton tragedy

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The Independent Culture
Sir: I think Ron Sonnet is wrong to attribute the lack of interest and inquiries regarding the "fainting game" that led to the tragic death of Nicholas Taylor to the fact that he was at Eton (letter, 18 March).

While I was at Eton I did not once come across such a "game", and I never heard friends from other schools talking about it. The fact is that at Eton, as at any school, certain individuals participate in various dangerous or illegal activities during their free time. Sometimes this can have tragic consequences, but it is all part and parcel of allowing children to have a reasonable level of autonomy. Of course they can be advised of the dangers, although usually they already know about the risks, but schools would be wrong to interfere excessively in their spare time.

Boys at Eton have their own rooms, and can do pretty much anything in them. Does Mr Sonnet suggest that we make schools into Big Brother environments, with cameras in strategic places? I hope not.

TOM WILSON

Christ's College

Cambridge

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