Boys give school wine a caning

Press cuttingONE of the punishments a headmaster gave four pupils caught shoplifting was to carry in case after case of wine for the parents’ dance.

It was thirsty work so they helped themselves — to 39 bottles of beaujolais.

Their punishment for that was six of the best — and the caning, the first at their school for two years, worked wonders.

“You’d be amazed at the improvement in the school generally,” headmaster Mr Geoffrey Goodhall, of Lord William’s comprehensive in Thame, Oxfordshire, said yesterday.

“The beating had quite a salutary effect on discipline.

“I am not an enthusiastic flogger but as they were already on fatigues for stealing it was either a good caning or expulsion. They’re husky specimens and took their punishment, and wine, like men.”

The raid began with an acrobatic feat. After the dance — in the gym — one of the boys climbed in through a high window and shinned down on a curtain cord. The he opened the door and let the others in.

Next day, the school authorities were perplexed to discover that a loss had been made on the sale of wine to the parents.

A check revealed that 39 bottles were missing. While the boys were at church, Mr Goodhall instituted a search of the school and eventually a single empty bottle was discovered at a camp site in the grounds.

A watch was set and 24 hours later the four boys returned to their den to dig up some more of their loot, buried nearby and were caught.