Older pupils also abused students at German Catholic choir boarding school: report

BERLIN (Reuters) – A German public broadcaster on Tuesday broadened the scope of allegations of decades of abuse at Germany’s most famous Roman Catholic choir school, saying not only teachers but older students were to blame.

Last July, an independent report chronicled physical and sexual assaults by teachers against 547 pupils between 1945 and 2015 at the boarding school of the “Regensburger Domspatzen”, or Regensburg Cathedral Sparrows.

Citing legal documents and personal accounts, broadcaster Suedwestrundfunk, part of the ARD consortium, reported on Tuesday pupils were also subjected to sexual assaults, ranging from forced masturbation to anal sex, by older students.

The school is more than 1,000 years old and was run from 1964 to 1994 by former Pope Benedict’s brother, Georg Ratzinger.

One former student, who attended the exclusive boarding school from 1987 to 1992, described abuse by older pupils.

“I know it was systematic and usual for older students to victimize younger pupils, not just one at a time, but with several eighth-, ninth-, 10-graders, going after sixth- and seventh-graders,” the former student told the broadcaster.

Business Insider (UK)

Eleven things you’ll remember if you went to a boarding school

I went to boarding school for sixth form and the experience completely changed my life.

I went from a grammar school where people looked at you funny if you only got a B on a test to an alternative universe where your social standing was determined by the type of tie around your neck.

Boarding school taught me to be independent; I was introduced to people who I never thought in a million years I would meet, including actual princesses of other countries.

But, most of all, it taught me about pride, ambition, discipline and camaraderie that has stayed with me until this very day.

Here are 11 things you’ll know or reminisce about if you went to a boarding school.

1. Everyone called each other by their surname

There are some people who for about a year I had no idea what their first name was because of this.

Tough times if you had a surname that was hard to pronounce.

2. God help you if you missed prayers before bedtime

The guilt was almost too much to bear so you rarely did it.

Because you knew, if you got caught, either matron or one of the boarding house masters would give you an earful that you had no energy for.

3. Matron was your best friend and arch-enemy wrapped into one The original love/hate relationship.

She was like your mum away from home, gave you advice, the best hugs and sometimes, if you were good, even sweets.

But if you got on the wrong side of her all of that went out of the window.

Life was not easy if she was not on your side, so you made up with her ASAP.

4. Day students arriving in the morning was one of the highlights of the day

The fresh and boundless energy they brought.

They didn’t look as stale as we boarders, who basically never left the four walls of our prison, sorry, boarding house.

They brought tales of the outside world. OK, you had Google, but they could tell you about what was going on in the local high street.

5. House rivalry was very real

House competitions, no matter the challenge, were the most exciting points of the year.

Battle lines were drawn, cross-house friendships ceased for the duration of the competition.

Most of all for the time you were in competition, if they cut you open you would bleed your house colours.

Loyalty was everything.

6. It’s a miracle nobody died from cross-country running each year.

The treacherous muddy fields and awful weather.

I’m a netballer, but this was honestly the worst time of year for me.

I would see some people storming ahead like they actually enjoyed the rain and subsequent wet hair slapping them in the face.

I could never comprehend how almost catching pneumonia was fun and, unfortunately, compulsory.

7. The fight for the television remote

For two years I didn’t watch my beloved EastEnders because the drama of fighting for control over the television remote was not worth the hassle.

Hundreds of boarders spread across the school, the majority of whom are in the games room which has just one television.

Who could be bothered with that?

8. Who needs EastEnders when you have debating club?

Utter pantomime. Oh the drama of it.

The arguments, the persuasive rhetoric, the nail-biting public vote at the end.

Those debaters were writing Shakespeare and they didn’t even know it.

9. Apart from good grades, everyone’s aim in life was to become a prefect

You weren’t even quite sure what a prefect even did or what special powers were bestowed on them.

You just knew that the teachers treated them differently and with respect.

For that alone you were down for being one.

10. Ties determined your social standing

Forget what your parents did, what was around your neck determined who you were in school.

If you had just your basic house colour tie you were simply unambitious.

You wanted to reach the top of every field. You wanted your full house colour tie, but you also wanted a sports tie or a music tie.

11. You make friends for life.

The friends you make within the four walls of your boarding house are your friends forever. How could you possible not stay mates with someone who understands why you randomly wake up at 7.14 every morning even years later (a hang-up from morning roll-call)? Who else will understand how you can make snap judgements on people’s personalities after asking, ‘What house was he in?’ Who else was with you during all the highs, lows, trials, tribulations, breakups and makeups during one of the best times of your life? Your fellow boarder, that’s who.

How about discussing this article over on our Forum?

The Metro

Mum Divides Opinion As She Slams Parents Who Send Kids To Boarding School

Boarding schools have always been a contentious issue, now one mother has reignited the debate after slating parents who choose full-time boarding.

Some of the world’s brightest minds have attended boarding schools, from Prime Ministers to members of the royal family and even actors such as Eddie Redmayne.

However, the idea of sending your kids off to live at a school miles from home has always been a point of contention.

Now one Mumsnet user has reignited the long-running debate after asking parents to explain their decision to “send them away” to be raised by other adults.

The post read: “I’m going to get flamed probably by the people who send their child to boarding school full time.

But how could you?

Read more and vote at Heart.

Crime statistics: Boarding school sex offences rising, police figures suggest

BBC News reports that sexual offences in England and Wales have have more than doubled in the past three years.

Some of this increase comes from the growing number of sexual abuse investigations of UK boarding schools. This includes physical abuse such as beatings, which almost always have a sexual (power/control) element.

Janitor jailed for 19 years for ‘terrifying’ abuse of boarding school boys

A former boarding school janitor has been jailed for 19 years for committing ‘heinous’ sexual assaults against schoolboys.

Anthony Bennett, now 65, befriended schoolboys as young as 12 at Shebbear College in rural North Devon during the 1970s and 80s and groomed them and then repeatedly assaulted them in his caravan.

The victims, now all middle aged men, gave moving evidence to the jury about being humiliated and terrified by their ordeal at the private boarding school.

Bennett would share cigarettes, coffee and alcohol with the children and encourage them to watch porn with him before subjecting them to frightening abuse, Exeter Crown Court was told.

His actions had severe psychological impact on his victims and left them wondering about the people they might have grown up to be if it wasn’t for Bennett.

Devon Live

Stonar School: Boarding school music teacher is banned after making inappropriate sexual comments

A music teacher who likened himself to Brad Pitt and boasted about his sex life to pupils has been struck off.

Guy Rogers, 44, told pupils he could “take your mum off your dad” and asked female students if they found him attractive, a panel heard.

The guitar tutor, who taught at private boarding school Stonar School in Melksham, Wiltshire also quizzed pupils about their own love lives.

He denied the allegations but was found to have breached professional standards.

BBC News



Government continues to flog failed social care boarding school scheme

Whilst looked after children do deserve the best chances in life, sending them away to boarding school is probably not the answer. Boarding School Syndrome for all? Previous schemes have failed in the past and for good reason. Those who look after children in care don’t want to expose them to anymore harm in UK boarding schools…

BBC News


Former housemaster at top private school jailed for abusing pupils

Peter Webb, 74, sentenced to four years in prison for abusing boys at Christ’s Hospital school in Horsham in 1970s and 80s

A former housemaster at a top private school has been jailed for four years for sexually abusing four of his pupils.

Peter Webb would sneak into dormitories and touch the boys while they slept at Christ’s Hospital school in Horsham, West Sussex, in the 1970s and 80s, Hove crown court was told.

The children would wake to find the teacher sitting on the edge of their beds with his hands in their pyjamas. He also pushed himself up against one of the boys during a woodwork class, the trial heard.

The judge, Christine Henson, described Webb’s crimes as a “gross abuse of trust”.

The Guardian

BBC News

Australia child abuse inquiry: Final recommendations released

A five-year inquiry into child sexual abuse in Australia has released its final report, making more than 400 recommendations.

The royal commission uncovered harrowing evidence of sexual abuse within institutions, including churches, boarding schools and sports clubs.

Since 2013, it has referred more than 2,500 allegations to authorities.

The final report, released on Friday, added 189 recommendations to 220 that had already been made public.

Tens of thousands of children have been sexually abused in many Australian institutions. We will never know the true number,” the report said.

“It is not a case of a few ‘rotten apples’. Society’s major institutions have seriously failed.”

Religious ministers and school teachers were the most commonly reported perpetrators, the report said.

[Two inquiries in the UK into sexual abuse of children in boarding schools and other institutions are ongoing…]

BBC News