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School CP - June 1959

Corpun file 24591 at


Daily Mail, London, 3 June 1959, p.3

Schoolboys punished for freeing rabbits

By Daily Mail Reporter

Press cutting

THREE 18-year-old schoolboys have been punished for freeing three baby rabbits which were due to be killed and dissected.

One of the boys lost his prefect's rank. The other two received three strokes of the cane each.

It happened at the Varndean Grammar School For Boys at Brighton, where the rabbits were being kept in the biology laboratory. They were to have been dissected this week by boys taking the G.C.E. biology exam.

The three boys, all sixth-formers, are Clive Ashworth, a 6ft. prefect, of West Hill-road, Brighton; deputy prefect Paul Rayment, of Bates-road, Brighton; and Roger Cox, of Woodingdean.

Owned up

After they owned up to the "offence" the headmaster, Mr. E.J. Hutchins, told Clive and Paul: "You can either hand in your prefects' ties or have three strokes of the cane." Roger Cox was not offered a choice.

Clive said last night: "I thought it was beneath my dignity to bend over, so I handed in my tie."

He added: "We saw the rabbits in a glass fronted cage in the lab and decided to set them free. After school we put them in a bag and released them in a copse. It was all done on the spur of the moment. We just felt sorry for them.

We all knew we had done wrong and we have no complaints about our punishment. I think the head has been very fair."

Mr. Hutchins who has 750 boys at his school, said: "We use rabbits in ordinary routine scientific studies and buy them as we need them. I have no other comment."

TAILPIECE: Mr. Hutchins told Clive yesterday that he will consider reinstating him as a prefect in the near future if he behaves.

Corpun file 22447 at


Daily Express, London, 17 June 1959

Master goes to police as --

Spanked boy pulls out knife

Express Staff Reporter

Press cutting

A FIFTEEN-YEAR-OLD boy flicked ink over the master's coat in the classroom. The master, 27-year-old Mr. James Arthur Dukes, spanked the boy.

At the first stroke of the slipper on the boy's backside, the boy pulled out a sheath knife. And, said Mr. Dukes, he started to clean his nails with it in a rather exaggerated fashion.

"He refused to put the knife away, so I overpowered him and smacked him on the behind with my hand five times.

"The boy then threatened to 'set the gang on me' and said he would send his 'old man along to put the boot in.'"

Outside the school, Mr. Dukes told Wallington, Surrey, magistrates yesterday, he was again threatened with "extreme physical violence" by the boy and a 13-year-old boy from the same school.

Studded belt

So he went to Wallington police station to seek police protection.

Police Inspector Albert Selway, telling the next episode in the Blackboard Jungle case, said that when Mr. Dukes left the police station, the two boys ran towards him in a raging temper.

The shouted at him: "Come and have it out. Let's get it over now."

The 15-year-old boy unbuckled a leather belt fitted with studs and nails. "One cut across the face with this weapon would do a terrible injury," said the inspector.

The 15-year-old, he said, was the self-appointed leader of teenage boy-and-girl gangs. "Although setting up as a hero, he is the first away at the sign of trouble."

Both boys were remanded in custody.

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