Suicide at 14 – February 1923

Most of us have been discussing the poignant tragedy of the suicide of a boy of 14 at a public school in the South of England where he was taken to task and kicked by two bigger boys because of his inattention as a linesman in a game of football. The main point was not touched upon in the evidence or the comments: it is that we may safely infer the sad incident was the culmination of persistent and daily bullying of a boy whose tastes did not lean towards games.

He would not stop himself in desperation because he had been kicked after one game reluctantly engaged in. It was because his life was made intolerable by the bullying of companions who had not the same tastes as himself. No body will ever know what the child had to suffer. The boys will not tell and the masters will not inquire.

It is part of the system that the teachers should not know. They are all quite pious about it. Nobody is to blame but the unfortunate lad who was endowed with an enquiring mind and a sensitive temperament and could not be bothered with football.

The heads of public schools write to the press assuring everybody that there is no bullying beyond what is good for small boys. But do they know? It is a point of honour with the victims not to tell.

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2 Responses to Suicide at 14 – February 1923

  1. Tragic. When has any bullying ever been any good for anyone? 😦

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