Straight, No Chaser: The silence is deafening

In the last month, there has been a stream of articles and a TV2 documentary about Herlufsholm, the country’s oldest and most famous school, which was founded in 1135 by the Danish hero Herluf Trolle and his wife.

# RectorAlso!
In the spirit of #MeToo, various alumni have come out of the woodwork to tell their stories of , mysterious rituals and an omerta where incidents reported to staff appear to have been brushed under the carpet.

At first, the school admitted some guilt, but assured reporters and parents that a program was in place to prevent further incidents. But as the revelations continued to spill out, the school principal was forced to resign.

The school set up an investigation through a firm that will investigate incidents over the past four years. Rather, it indicates an injury reduction exercise.

# governors too!
In a surprising message on this weekend 25-26. June, Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Mary announced that their son Prince Christian would not return after the summer holidays and that Princess Isabella would not start school.

Mary is the founder of the Mary Foundation, which is dedicated to combating bullying. Since the revelations began, public pressure has been mounting on her to remove the children – especially in the wake of an extremely critical draft report from STUK’s National Agency for and Quality, which led to the school’s governing body resigning.

The real surprise was that it had taken the royals so long to act.

# prefectsNext?
As a Briton, what has struck me most about all of this is not that bullying happens, but why no one has gone public and made trouble before.

Winchester College (founded in 1382), Eton College (1440) and Harrow School (1572) all have an extremely hierarchical structure that gives the oldest boys almost unlimited powers as prefects who preside over the younger ones.

Younger boys are expected to serve as servants to the prefects. This is, of course, a way of imposing a certain structure and culture of obedience and respect on tradition, but is this really in line with modern pedagogical thinking?

#NoteFra LindsayA
In Lindsay Anderson’s ‘If….’ the prefects are called whips, and the smaller boys have to learn a strange school ergot with special words for everything along with the teachers’ nicknames. If, when questioned by a prefect, they make a mistake, they are collectively punished, so that there is a great deal of peer pressure on the vulnerable new boy.

Principal weakly tries to argue that this is a progressive school that respects all views and actually encourages alternative thinking, but the events show the opposite.

After three of the ‘deviants’ have been hit particularly hard, the film ends with a fantasy sequence in which the three boys and a girl who has mysteriously joined them are discovered with a weapon box when they are forced to clear out in a basement, sitting on the roof and opening on the crowd, teachers and other boys after the founder’s ceremony.

Schools with a long tradition should take a long and thorough look at whether it is still fit for purpose at this time.

Parents should also listen to the children and not be afraid to take things up with the school. One thing that might say it all was that some parents of students who were expelled with pretty much cast iron evidence complained to the school for damaging their child’s reputation!

It’s clearly time to bring these things into the open. It’s the only way to stop this insidious culture.

Source: The Nordic Page




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