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School CP - January 1929

Corpun file 24635 at

Daily Mail, London, 9 January 1929, p.7

Boy Who Smoked.

Schoolroom Sequel

Bench & Deserved Punishment.

Click to enlarge

The headmaster and two assistant masters of Newport, Shropshire, Grammar School who took part in the flogging of a pupil for smoking were summoned by the boy's father, Mr. Ernest J. Wright, at Newport yesterday for assault.

The masters were Mr. Walter Samuel Brooks, M.A., the headmaster, and Messrs. William Harman and L.F. Lowe. The father of the boy, Frank Douglas Wright, aged 16, is chairman of the Newport Urban Council and a magistrate.

Mr. Gilbert Griffiths, for the boy, said that on December 6, after school hours, Wright and Williams, another Grammar schoolboy, were given a cigarette each by the operator at Mr. Williams's cinema. Wright occasionally smoked at home and in the street with his father's permission and did not know it was against the school regulations to smoke out of school hours.

Williams and Wright walked along the street smoking. They were met by a prefect named Bracey, and next day after prayers the headmaster kept the senior school behind.

Fight with masters.

Mr. Brooks told Wright and Williams, "It has been reported to me that you were seen smoking in the street yesterday afternoon." Wright said "Yes, I was." Mr. Brooks said, "It is against the school rules and I am going to make an example of you and flog you."

Mr. Brooks told two assistant masters to hold the boy. He made a fight for it and rushed to the library stairs. The two assistants followed him and a struggle took place in which the boy was badly knocked about.

He was taken back by force to the headmaster, put across a sloping desk, and held by the head and feet by the two assistant masters while he was flogged by Mr. Brooks with a cane. The injuries on his legs and back were very severe, and his clothes were torn.

Mr. Brooks, in evidence, said he had addressed the boys on their conduct in the school and the streets and their general behaviour including smoking.

When told to receive the caning, Wright said "I refuse," and rushed to the end of the room. He was brought back struggling and kicking wildly with both legs, and was given four strokes. He dived full length on to the floor and lay bellowing.

Punishment deserved.

The chairman of the magistrates, Mr. J. Clegg Hill, said that the headmaster was quite within his rights in administering corporal punishment. The boy Wright had been warned, but deliberately broke the rule and led a younger boy astray.

Wright took up a defiant attitude amounting to insubordination. The bruises and the tore coat were caused by the boy struggling to escape the punishment due to him. The caning was properly carried, out, and it would have been far better if Wright had taken his punishment like a man.

All three summonses were dismissed and £5 5s. costs were allowed the masters, Mr. Hill saying, "We consider the case ought never to have been brought."

blob Follow-up: 24 April 1929 - Master's Right to Cane. Smoking Boy Case Again in Court.

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