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  • 80sChav
    replied
    Originally posted by George 1978 View Post
    Wouldn't it be funny (in a peculiar way, that is) if school detention-alike sanctions was actually used in actual law? Imagine being arrested and taken to a police station, and being told to write 200 times by the custody officer in the Interview Room: "I must not shoplift", or "I must not assault fellow human beings", or "I must pay that £200 fine". Of course it doesn't happen. In other words, the typical school detention doesn't change the world as such; it's just there as an inconvenience.

    But then again, with regards to the penal system, they do call it a prison "sentence", don't they? And a "sentence" is something one writes when someone has lines in detention - just a thought.
    Well funny you should say this George but EastEnders did do a Video or Dvd abouut 15 years or so back called/termed "Slaters In Detention" complete with Prisoner C Block H type fake bars on the cover!!

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  • George 1978
    replied
    Wouldn't it be funny (in a peculiar way, that is) if school detention-alike sanctions was actually used in actual law? Imagine being arrested and taken to a police station, and being told to write 200 times by the custody officer in the Interview Room: "I must not shoplift", or "I must not assault fellow human beings", or "I must pay that £200 fine". Of course it doesn't happen. In other words, the typical school detention doesn't change the world as such; it's just there as an inconvenience.

    But then again, with regards to the penal system, they do call it a prison "sentence", don't they? And a "sentence" is something one writes when someone has lines in detention - just a thought.

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  • 80sChav
    replied
    Originally posted by George 1978 View Post
    When I was in the system, if you failed to turn up for a class detention, they would sanction you with a (shock horror!) more senior equivalent such as a faculty detention or even a Deputy Head's detention - one assumes the same thing but with a more senior member of staff, and so one was presumably supposed to be quaking in our boots at the thought of having to do a detention for someone who is close to God with regards to seniority.
    I just never turned upto/ for Detentions to be fair George - it earned you kudos if nothing else Lol

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  • George 1978
    replied
    When I was in the system, if you failed to turn up for a class detention, they would sanction you with a (shock horror!) more senior equivalent such as a faculty detention or even a Deputy Head's detention - one assumes the same thing but with a more senior member of staff, and so one was presumably supposed to be quaking in our boots at the thought of having to do a detention for someone who is close to God with regards to seniority. It's like how TV Licensing fines people because they cannot afford to pay for the licence - they assume that they cannot afford the licence but can afford the fine which is ten times more!

    I don't think that ignoring a detention would be enough to merit a suspension or expulsion - I regard detention as an internal thing and a suspension or expulsion as external. Imagine a Friday afternoon at around 3.00 pm, probably during the summer term - the kids are restless and cannot wait for the weekend to begin in half an hour's time (the same with the last day of term). The teacher is a supply teacher; a student teacher or a new teacher, or a "Mr Scott" sort of someone who cannot control the class. There is always one "ring-leader" in the group who happens to have a louder voice and encourages the others to misbehave. These are usually the time when detentions are mostly issued, and these are also the times when the pupils don't bother attending them, with them remarking that it was "boring" to do.

    In a nutshell, I don't think anyone got suspended or expelled for ignoring a detention - the detention was there to restrain those that didn't toe the line in class and was a way of forcing them to behave.

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  • Justin124
    replied
    But what happened to pupils who simply ignored a Detention - or even gave the teacher a mouthful of abuse?

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  • George 1978
    replied
    I was terrified of the D-word as I thought of it as a word which made youngsters behave - on the one or two occasions that it did happen, and it was usually when I didn't do anything wrong, and the teacher saw an optical illusion of someone else deserving it, who happened to be sitting at the same table as myself, and I was too young to fight the system at the time. I was wondering who would be taking it at playtime - one of the Deputy Heads or someone strict, who would ask why I was there, and in any case I didn't really know myself. Mixing with the wrong crowd can make you vulnerable as I had found out. I was so flustered at why I was sent there for afternoon break that even I didn't known myself, and as a result I had got my words mixed up due to anxiety when speaking to the member of staff on detention duty. As a result, one had to write "I must make sense" or something apt like that. It only happened once.

    The Bronson/Ant Jones detention in 1986 Grange Hill for alleged smoking is a strong case in point - Jones thought that detention was a waste of time, especially having to do one for something which he denied doing such as smoking, and one would defend him for having that attitude. The point is that the idea of detention was supposed to be something which was obviously inconvenient and a waste of time for the pupil, as well as a waste of paper, pencil lead or ink - that was the general idea. I have always assumed that detention (a word that I never used to hear or associate outside of the education system) was probably invented by some Educational Psychologist in the mid 20th century in order to chastise youngsters in a non-cruel way of having to face the consequences if they did something that they shouldn't have done and vice versa; I don't think that it was around in Victorian times when most pupils got six-of-the-best from the Head (and perhaps another six from their father as soon as he heard about what had happened).

    A few years ago, I read someone's website where they wrote about their school days in the late 1980s, and he must have kept a diary about how many detentions he had at school; mostly due to fighting (or to be fair on him, defending himself against bullies and hitting back to be more specific), and minor ones such as urinating in a corner of the yard because the caretaker refused to unlock the boys' toilets before 8.30 am and he was so desperate to go. Anyway, he mentioned that he had a detention during the last week before he left the school but he never went to it - one can forgive him after all this time, and I very much doubt that any former staff would track him down via Facebook and ask why he did attend that detention. Water under the bridge indeed, and he had left the system in 1992.

    Perhaps one can regard detention as an abstract punishment? It's not exactly the rack and thumbscrews, and its affect is only temporary - I believe that most youngsters could move on from a detention after a week if it meant "keeping one's nose clean".

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  • Justin124
    replied
    Originally posted by beccabear67 View Post
    I never understood the idea of suspensions, especially not for skiving off; for most kids being made to spend more time in school would be punishment, thus detention makes sense. I had to take summer classes for maths one year and I worked harder at it from then on so I wouldn't have to go to school in the summer time again... however few hours it might have been it was stretched out over two weeks.

    Did I mention yet a WWII vet teacher we had? He said he swam the English channel at least once, but not all in one swim; he'd lost his planes over water and had to swim back more than once! I saw him smack boys' hands with a long flat ruler and throw chalk brushes to get kids' attentions. This was around age nine to ten for me.
    How enforceable was Detention in practice? What happened to pupils who failed to turn up for such sessions?

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  • Justin124
    replied
    Originally posted by George 1978 View Post

    The big question is, what is worse? - feeling pain because the wooden end of the board rubber has hit you on the forehead, or being covered in chalk dust from the other end of the board rubber?
    The point is that such behaviour by teachers was always unlawful - but few people - parents or pupils - were aware of that.

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  • George 1978
    replied
    Originally posted by Justin124 View Post
    Many have commented here on having been at the receiving end of chalk and/or board rubbers in the classroom.
    The big question is, what is worse? - feeling pain because the wooden end of the board rubber has hit you on the forehead, or being covered in chalk dust from the other end of the board rubber?

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  • George 1978
    replied
    Originally posted by beccabear67 View Post
    I never understood the idea of suspensions, especially not for skiving off; for most kids being made to spend more time in school would be punishment, thus detention makes sense. I had to take summer classes for Maths one year and I worked harder at it from then on so I wouldn't have to go to school in the summer time again... however few hours it might have been it was stretched out over two weeks.
    I have mentioned this before on here; suspension or expulsion seems to be such an ironic punishment when some youngsters don't like going to school in the first place. I was a school refuser (not a truanter [sic], may I add - they assumed that I was at home, and there I was). The powers that be did everything they could to get me back in there, against my will; I was the square peg, and the school was, of course, the round hole.

    There was someone on the last day of term in July one year did who something bad in the form of criminal damage, and he was suspended for two weeks at the start of the following term, which in other words, in addition to the six weeks' summer holiday, he got eight weeks instead because six plus two equals eight - not bad for some school holiday - come back towards the end of September. The same person just got normal work to do as it was the final day of term for something else that he did, i.e. Toy Day.

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  • beccabear67
    replied
    We had a principal in primary school who would knock you under your chin if you weren't looking at him when he was talking to you. I think I only ever got that once myself... but then I was only ever in any trouble that once. I stole from another girls' desk (a little woven hedgehog thing I coveted and a tiny book about a soda pop drinking little goat).

    I've heard a few stories about Catholic schools from friends older than myself, but they're not mine to repeat.

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  • Justin124
    replied
    Many have commented here on having been at the receiving end of chalk and/or board rubbers in the classroom. The only physical punishment I received occurred in May 1968 when - not quite 14 - I was hit very firmly over the head in a History lesson by the stand-in master - a Canon - with the Library book I was reading despite having been directed to read a particular textbook. There was actually very little chalk or board throwing at my school - I recall only one master who was inclined to do that.It was though common practice across the UK. However, what very few people are aware of is that such actions were always unlawful - in that throwing chalk or board rubbers at pupils or hitting them over the head with books was not authorised corporal punishment. It would not have amounted to 'physical abuse' but would have fallen under the heading of 'common assault.' Had I but known it, having been hit over the head by the Canon in May 1968, I could have walked into a Police Station and reported him and thereby made a formal complaint!

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  • beccabear67
    replied
    I never understood the idea of suspensions, especially not for skiving off; for most kids being made to spend more time in school would be punishment, thus detention makes sense. I had to take summer classes for maths one year and I worked harder at it from then on so I wouldn't have to go to school in the summer time again... however few hours it might have been it was stretched out over two weeks.

    Did I mention yet a WWII vet teacher we had? He said he swam the English channel at least once, but not all in one swim; he'd lost his planes over water and had to swim back more than once! I saw him smack boys' hands with a long flat ruler and throw chalk brushes to get kids' attentions. This was around age nine to ten for me.
    Last edited by beccabear67; 10-09-2023, 01:42.

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  • Justin124
    replied
    I did get the impression tha Detention as a punishment was pretty well established by the 1960s. I did live in a fairly small town in Pembrokeshire with many pupils attending from surrounding villages etc and who relied on school buses for transport. Possibly such a consideration made it problematic to operate such a system - though it was not seriously discussed.

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  • George 1978
    replied
    Was detention a relatively new thing as a non-violent replacement for corporal punishment in around the 1970s or 1980s, I wonder? I hear about those who went to school in the 1950s and 1960s and before just like Pete and Justin above (especially reading the memories during my stint as a Friends Reunited member in the early 2000s), and some of the older "veterans" who were in the system in those decades mention getting the strap or the cane from the Head in their day but not mentioning the word "detention" happening to them back then. One assumes that the physical punishment is obviously more memorable than the having to copy lines out if they both happened. And Grange Hill had it as late as 1981.

    We already had children's charities like the NSPCC back then (founded in 1884), but the problem was back in the day, even they probably didn't know what was happening in schools during the mid 20th century. Any conservative-minded person (with a small C) in the 1950s or 1960s who heard of someone getting "six of the best" for wrongdoing and misdemeanors would probably say "they deserved it for what they did". Thankfully, we have a more transparent system in place, and teachers who abuse the system (and not only their pupils) are more likely to not only get struck off but are put out of circulation for a "little" while, and many would swap a classroom for a prison cell.

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