Cane for 15 boys who marched with teachers

FIFTEEN schoolboys were caned yesterday after they went on strike in support of teachers.

They were among 30 boys who walked out of school and joined a teachers’ protest march on Tuesday.

Yesterday the 15 fifth-formers at Rutlish Comprehensive School in Watery Lane, West-Wimbledon, London, were called to the head master’s study after assembly.

There, acting head master Mr Hubert Walker gave most of the boys one stroke on the seat of their pants. Others got two strokes.

A nucleus of boys who claimed he had no right to cane them were threatened with suspension until the end of term. But they backed down and agreed to be caned.

“Victimised”

Fifteen-year-old Mark Moran, one of those caned, said: “We have been victimised. We went on strike in support of the teachers’ pay claim.

“I feel very angry that we are not allowed to show our strong feelings over this matter without being punished.

“The boys who walked out were from the sixth, fifth and third-forms. But it was only the fifth-formers who were caned — I don’t know why.”

The protesting boys joined nine girls from nearby Rickards Lodge Girls School to march with the teachers to the education offices in Morden.

No disciplinary action has been taken by the headmistress.

Twelve teachers went on strike at the boys’ school but 18 stayed at work.