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This week has some news for those interested in the rights of children to stay home and have a childhood. It sees both the first review of a book describing the psychological problems of boarding in a British national newspaper and the Canadian Government commissioned official report on the destructive legacy of residential education.

In their final report, the three commissioners – Manitoba Justice Murray Sinclair, former journalist Marie Wilson and Alberta Chief Wilton Littlechild – concluded that for more than a century:

“The establishment and operation of residential schools were a central element of this policy, which can best be described as ‘cultural genocide’.”

Amongst 93 other recommendations, the Commissioners advised that Canada should establish a national watchdog agency to ensure the country atones for the genocide committed against thousands of indigenous children forced into residential schools.

The commissioners, who heard from 7,000 former residential school pupils over several years, called on the Pope to issue an apology within one year for the Roman Catholic church’s role in the “spiritual, cultural, emotional, physical, and sexual abuse” of children at the schools, most of which were run by the Catholic church.

Where did the nice Canadians learn these tricks, you have to wonder?

In Britain, we have been using residential education for nearly two centuries to separate children from there own indigenous souls. By this I mean the emotional, spontaneous, empathic and loving side of human beings, which boarding children have to detach from in order to survive. We have exported that legacy to the whole of the English speaking world and, apart from a temporary blip after the 2cnd World War, when we needed the non-elites to fight, have succeeded in creating a divided elitist world whose religion is the secret worship of money is conducted over the sacrificed souls of children. Then we normalized it and said “it never did me any harm.”

Will we ever get a commission on it?

Well Professor Joy Schaverien’s excellent new book, Boarding School Syndrome (also featured in the Daily Telegraph), and the tireless work of the Boarding School Action group make help. But it will take a bit of a push. Most Britons really don’t want to know.

Can you help in some way?

One comment

  1. There was a remarkable example of children going in the other direction and going “indigenous” in Kevin McCloud’s TV series Escape to the Wild last week. An ex-City trader had taken his wife and children (12, 8 and 6)to live in a jungle clearing in Belize, where the hazards included poisonous snakes, jaguars, scorpions and occasional poachers whom he scared off with a rifle. The eldest child went on a long ride to the local school (probably quite basic) but the remarkable thing was how well spoken, polite, resourceful and well-adjusted the children seemed to be. They all had to work hard and help out but they seemed confident beyond their years. I imagine he’ll have to bring them back nearer civilisation at some point, maybe finding a compromise location, but it made me question just what education is and how do you define it. They seemed to have been given a priceless gift already. What would they have done after leaving one of our “elite” schools in England? Go into the City perhaps, which Adair Turner condemned for its “socially useless” activities. The family seemed like an update on Mojave Dan in Wounded Leaders.

    Comment by David Redshaw on 29/06/2015 at 6:53 pm

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