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School CP - April 1978

The Sun, London, 20 April 1978

Cane Mutiny

Pupil power kids who defied the head are banned

By Sun Reporter

THREE boys who refused to be caned by the headmaster after a pupil power demo were suspended from school yesterday.

Police were called in when they climbed on to the school roof demanding shorter hours.

cuttingOne of the boys, Alan Bumstead, aged 15, said: "On the Continent all schoolkids have the afternoon free" [Utter nonsense - C.F.]

"We are in the Common Market now, so why shouldn't we do the same?"


His pal Mick Jarvis, aged 15, claimed he refused the cane, because his mother had already stopped his pocket money for taking part in the demo.

"I might have agreed to being caned on the hand," he said. "But I would never submit to being caned on the backside."

Seven other youngsters who clambered on the roof at Ringwood Comprehensive School, Hampshire, have been caned.

More than 100 pupils rebelled after the school went back to normal hours following several weeks of morning lessons only.

A temporary timetable was introduced during the teachers' boycott of school meals supervision.

Assembly was dropped and lessons ended at 1.30 pm with no break for lunch.

Suspended pupil No 3, Dion Drayson, aged 14, claimed shorter hours helped cut classroom rowdiness.

"There used to be a lot of fights at break times, but under this new system, there was no time to mess around," he said.

"We buckled down to lessons all morning and then everyone went home without any trouble."


His father Mr Ralph Drayson said: "My son should have taken the cane like a man. He did wrong and the school should punish him, but the suspension seems very harsh."

A county education official said: "School hours can only be varied in exceptional circumstances. It would take a new Education Act to amend the present set-up."

blob [Colin's comment: Where on earth could these guttersnipes have got hold of the idea that caning on the hand is something they might graciously deign to take, but caning on the bottom is somehow unacceptable -- as though this were not the standard way of punishing disorderly teen boys since time immemorial? I've never heard of such a ridiculous thing, before or since. -- C.F.]

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