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School CP - March 1956

Corpun file 7250

Truth, Adelaide, 24 March 1956

Stir Over School Beating

Teacher Says: "Hasty Act"

A STIR has been caused by the beating of a 13-years-old boy at Nailsworth Technical College by a teacher.

Alan with his motherThe teacher, Mr. Graham Tilley, told Truth this week: "I realise I made a mistake, and it will never happen again."

The boy is Alan White, of Trigg St., Blair Athol, who attended form 1 C.D. at the school.

After he had been chastised by Mr. Tilley at the school, his parents sought police advice.

As a result of this complaint the matter was put in the hands of Det. Frank Whitrod, of the Adelaide C.I.B.

Det. Whitrod interviewed Mrs. White and Alan, and had police pictures taken of the boy's bruises.

Later a report was forwarded to the Deputy-Commissioner of Police (Brig. J.G. McKinna).

Following this, Mr. McKinna wrote to the boy's father, Mr. Clarrie White, a driver, employed by the South Australian Gas Company, telling him there would be no police action against Mr. Tilley. Mr. McKinna added that this did not prevent Mr. White taking civil action if he so desired.

Local Interest

Because of local interest in the case Truth interviewed the boy, Alan White, and his parents, and the teacher, Mr. Graham Tilley.

Alan White told Truth he was called out before the class by Mr. Tilley for not paying attention and struck heavy blows with an inch-square length of wood used as a blackboard ruler.

Mrs. White told Truth: "When I saw what had happened to Alan I was horrified. He was heavily bruised and the flesh was raised in weals where he had been hit."

Truth saw Mr. Tilley (25) in the presence of Nailsworth Technical School headmaster, Mr. C.C. Pearce.

Mr. Tilley said: "I realise that I made a mistake and it will never happen again. It was a hasty act which was not brought about by any particular act by the lad but rather an accumulation of a long history of petty disobedience.

"There is nothing nasty about Alan but is seems to me that he hasn't faced discipline. He just seems to like the fun of causing distractions in class."


Mr. Tilley again expressed sincere sorrow for his action and regret that young White had been taken away from Nailsworth by his parents.

Mr. Pearce told Truth: "Mr. Tilley is doing a wonderful job as a teacher, not only in the classroom but also because of his interest in the boys outside school hours.

"In his own time he coaches them at football and other sport. He is interesting some of the boys in photography and has started a hobby club.

"I'm sure the act was an isolated one and will never be repeated. Mr. Tilley has been censured and fully appreciates that he did wrong," Mr. Pearce added.

Corpun file 7251

The News, Adelaide, 26 March 1956

Caning only as last resort

Corporal punishment of boys in State schools may be used only as a last resort.

This is laid down in regulations under the Education Act.

Police last week investigated the beating by a teacher of a 13-year-old schoolboy at Nailsworth Technical College.

It was stated today that the regulations provided that corporal punishment was not to be given for trivial breaches of school discipline, but might be used for offences against morality or gross impertinence, or for wilful and persistent disobedience.

It might be inflicted only by a head teacher, except that he might, on his own responsibility, authorise the senior assistant to act in his stead.

Girls exempt

In such cases, the senior assistant must report to the head teacher every punishment inflicted by him.

Corporal punishment must not be inflicted in the presence of other pupils.

An exception to this, however, was flagrant cases of insubordination, or where offences had been committed against public morals of the school.

Such cases had to be specially recorded in the punishment book, and a report of the circumstances sent to the director.

Corporal punishment of girls was banned.

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