Skip to comments.History of boarding school 'torture' uncovered in Switzerland
Posted on 10/09/2012 1:55:08 PM PDT by Dr. Thorne
ZURICH Thousands of children fell victim to violence and abuse in Catholic boarding schools in Switzerland up until the 1970s, according to a recent study decrying "sadistic" practices resembling "torture".
"There was always this incredible fear, fear, fear, fear," recalled a former student of a Catholic boarding school in the German-speaking central Swiss canton of Lucerne.
Some cases of violence and sexual abuse were already known, he told AFP, but "we were not expecting it to be this large-scale."
(Excerpt) Read more at google.com ...
Were the kids troubled to begin with?
Permit me to doubt this.
No doubt there were SOME abuses. But one of the purposes of a boarding school is to teach kids, who are often rich and spoiled, some sort of discipline.
I went to an Episcopal boarding school back in the fifties. There was corporal punishment (split baseball bats) administered by the senior prefects, or extra time in the study hall or working on the grounds administered by the teachers. Discipline was very firm. If you were caught smoking a cigarette, you were kicked out of school.
Some of the lessons I learned to avoid certain kinds of misconduct, to take your punishment, and to learn that sometimes life is unfair if the punishment doesn’t always suit the crime. And never to rat on your fellow students.
Seniors sat at the head of the table, second formers at the bottom, and indeed sometimes we went hungry, or had to sneak into the kitchen after hours and beg some bread from the Puerto Rican cooks. I made friends with the cooks, and they taught me some great Spanish revolutionary songs for the guitar.
It wasn’t always fun, but on the whole it was an excellent experience, and I’ll always be greatful for it.
One thing—people coming out of those Swiss boarding schools were usually very well educated, in every way. Perhaps an occasional exception, but this account sounds extremely biased and exaggerated to me. Some sort of lawyer’s feast, I suspect.
Didn’t John Effin Kerry attend boarding school in Switzerland?
Just another attack on the Catholic Church, nothing more. Or ALMOST nothing more.
What a bunch of BS...
The article is very interesting. It has over 50 people who now described horrible punishment including sexual molestation. Some of these kids were taken from their “poor” families and placed into the boarding schools. I understand what you are saying about a “lawyers feast” but any claims that this occurred to the 60’s aren’t included in any sort of legal action (limitations of time). The time period of abuse was from 1930-1970. Punishment is one thing... if what was described actually occurred.. abuse. IMHO.
Oh, I’m sure there were some abuses. But the Swiss boarding schools were famous all over Europe for turning out good products. Upper class English and American parents often sent their children there.
If you invite comments from thousands of people, 50 isn’t really very many, over a period of forty years. Yes, it’s 50 too many, if true, but such is life. With such large numbers, I imagine that parental abuse would match it.
50, across multiple schools, over 40 years... large-scale??? please
I too am beginning to take some (certainly not all) these reports with a grain of salt. One reason is that most of the accused are not alive to defend themselves so claims can be made against them without refute. Another reason is that I think there are a small number of people who lie in order to gain some sort of compensation. Also I doubt Church boarding schools were any harsher than secular ones for the time. That is not a defense it is just pointing out these schools have always had a reputation for harshness much of what we now consider abusive. I am writing of physical punishment not any sexual abuse which would always have been considered abuse.
I would like to see a chart of the number of cases per decade and also what defines abuse. Was it corporal punishment? Regarding sexual abuse who were the perpetrators and who were the victims? Was it mostly priests abusing adolescent boys? Was it nuns abusing elementary school children?
Predators go where the prey is and many years ago people did not know how to screen this perverts out and keep them from children. Most people were not willing to believe the truth that there were some very evil people amongst the clergy and religious.
Wait they came up with the number in the thousands from a report that drew conclusions from an interview with 50 people? So they are not relying on direct testimony but on the recollections of 50 people some of whom were in the schools 70 years ago? That just seems odd to me.
Any abuse is wrong but I have to wonder about the stats this report came up with.
The Statute of Limitations applies to criminal charges, civil charges are another matter.
One of my old flames ...a ballet instructor...taught at a boarding school in Lugano....ironically called The American School....tuition is like 130,000 US per year room and board included
She was paid like 80,000US and all expenses...and only for 9 months a year. She traveled Europe in summer and came home for a 6 weeks...and Christmas too.
Nice gig....she did it for a few years.
She’s now married to a Washington bureaucrat...go figure.
She went to the W...if anyone here knows what that means..lol..
Oh great...they have discovered more 50 year old accusations against the Catholic church which cannot be verified.....must have discovered some money, somewhere, to go after.....By the way, I was involved as a victim....please send my check at once!!
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.