Nearly 100 Schoolboys Caned

Council May Order An Inquiry

From Our Special Correspondent

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BARNET, Herts, Monday.

ALLEGATIONS concerning the caning of a large number of scholars at Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School for Boys here, which have been made before the Barnet Urban District Council, are now a topic of local discussion.

To-day the Hertfordshire County Council referred to a subcommittee a resolution that an inquiry should be made into the organisation of the school.

The chairman of the school governors, Alderman H.E. Fern, told me to-day:

“It is perfectly true that about 100 boys were caned by the headmaster, Mr. E.H. Jenkins, as a disciplinary measure. Two general warnings had been previously given by him.

“In this case he had either to give the punishment he did or else give the boys lines or curtail their holidays. In his discretion, and perfectly within his rights as headmaster, he decided on the caning.

Only “A Gesture”

“In my view the whole matter has been very much exaggerated. A councillor is said to have read at the urban district council meeting a letter stated to have been written by a parent of one of the boys who protested against the punishment.

“None of the governors of the school has received a similar letter. If any such letters reach us then there will naturally be an investigation.”

The headmaster, Mr. Jenkins, told me: “The matter has been grossly exaggerated. According to local reports, the punishment I gave is said to have been severe. This is not so.

“The cane I use is very light, and it was a gesture rather than a punishment. Fewer than 100 boys were dealt with.

“I had one mild letter of protest from a parent of one of the boys, but the writer accepted the explanation I gave in reply.”