Sunday, May 4, 2014

Experiences of a British Boarding School Survivor

A few weeks ago I wrote a post about how the British educational system had a long-standing tradition of removing young children from their homes to be educated.  I compared this to the experiences of the Canadian First Nations children who were removed to residential schools, and commented on how our British-based government was continuing with a long-standing tradition of boarding education and that it wasn't some horrible torture technique simply designed for the natives of the New World.  Please read the post if you haven't already.  I think I was very clear that the residential school situation was horrid and unacceptable.  But so were the experiences of many upper-class children (mostly boys) who were part of the boarding school tradition in Britain.

Understandably, a British friend of mine took offence when I said I didn't really know how anyone came out of that system in one piece.  I really was meaning the kids who were treated so badly at boarding school, but to some degree, the historical "stiff upper lip" attitude of the British makes me sad as well.

Anyhow, today I found a good article through Facebook - written by a man who lived through the whole boarding school experience in the late 1960s and 1970s.  It really does highlight the experiences that these boys had.  It is eye-opening.  Please find it here:  http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/may/04/abuse-britain-private-schools-personal-memoir?CMP=fb_gu

I think it would be healing for First Nations Residential School survivors to meet with British Boarding School survivors.  I think they would understand each other well.

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