Testimony 144

I attended KEGS between 2003 and 2010. It had a bullying culture which was thriving, creative and so omnipresent it verged on the religious. It was more powerful than any individual, and more powerful than the teaching staff. Upon reflection there was a certain inevitability to that. KEGS was male, Essex-based, filled with hyper-creative people in a traditional environment and combined an above average number of teenagers with neuroatypicalities (potential victims) and above average numbers of teenagers with hyper-successful and distant father-figures (potential bullies), putting the two together was like a blowtorch to petrol.

I have no desire to re-tread the precise details of what occurred or didn’t, the simple fact of the matter is that everyone has their own problems and repeating them isn’t as interesting as we think it is. That said, if you are reading this now rest assured you are and were not alone, and that secondary school is far closer to a prison environment (close-proximity, variable purpose, no formal hierarchy) than anything that exists outside of well… prison. It will never be fair, and your bullies are never punished or made liable, but the pain goes away, you slowly feel better and, whilst a decade on it still matters to me, it matters much less.

The recommendations made by this website seem reasonable and just, and I support them. Though I believe the root of this misogynist tree stems from this quasi-religious bullying culture. Both should be reviewed in tandem (excepting the accusations of sexual assault and rape, which cross the boundary from oppressive into illegal).

Much comment is made on the role of teachers within this. They were negligent and did permit ill-intended people to say reprehensible things on public platforms. This needs to change urgently, but let us have some sympathy. I have since spent some time as a shepherd and can attest that it is very easy to become fatigued, outmanoeuvred, and negligent when outnumbered even by farm animals bred for docility. A cult of ‘gifted’ teenage males is a truly remarkable force, any change needs to come from within us first.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: