Letter: School tragedy

Click to follow
The Independent Culture
Sir: While at school, considerable numbers of children play an extremely dangerous game, strangling each other to the point of unconsciousness. This behaviour continues undetected by the teachers responsible for their care and unchecked over a long period. One of the children dies (report, 17 March).

The coroner finds it "difficult to criticise" the school, and the responsible senior member of staff accepts that it is beyond him to put a stop to these and similar activities. There are no screaming headlines about the dangers to our children from uncontrolled games "behind the bike sheds", no ministerial interviews on the early evening news telecasts promising a complete shake-up of out-of-classroom supervision practices, no demands for an independent inquiry of any kind. The child is dead, and as the coroner remarked, "there is only so much you can do."

This is very strange. There ought to be some kind of public outcry. No, hang on. All this was at Eton, one of the great public schools, not a state comprehensive school at all! Well, that's all right then.


Southsea, Hampshire