Monday, June 13, 2011

Sincere condolences to the Gaynor Family.

From the NZ Herald
A 17 yo student of Kings College dies after a School Ball related social gathering.
Kawerau, pop 6950, loses 13 youths and young men to suicide in 18 months.

Kings have had, I think, 4 student deaths in just over a year.
Something is seriously wrong.

I endured 4 years of boarding school in the middle of last century and have absolutely no knowledge of a youth taking such drastic action in that time.

We had bullying, corporal punishment, failure at sport where rugby and cricket were compulsory for all, academic failure, 50% of school certificate candidates FAILED due to scaling of the national results, the whatever % of students with issues around their sexual orientation had to deal with it alone, We had zero counseling available (the alcoholic careers advisor only did it as a supplement to his funds for booze), many of the staff were emotionally crippled, and for a boarder getting out of the place was nigh on impossible, 3 "tea leaves" 1700 till 1900, and one "theater" leave 1900 till 2300 per term with a parent or an approved substitute. Sunday leave 1300 till 1900 to an approved person with a signature required to verify on the leave pass and there were very few prepared to falsely sign.

All this failure and control was transparent to every other student, there was nowhere to hide.
But we had it easy didn't we Yeah Right.

With all the accumulated Knowledge and progress (advisedly), we all face an epidemic of self harm, self abuse and suicide that seems exponential in its manifestation and there have to be solutions, perhaps the wrong people are being used to find the answers as they are surely not succeeding.

I apologise to those who see my timing of this as inappropriate but this tragic waste of human life is just too serious to not address it now.

RIP David Gaynor, my sincere condolences to all who mourn you.


Anonymous said...

I saw Watoto choir on Saturday and it struck me that these Africans rescued from absolutely desperate circumstances have a vision and purpose that lets them look way beyond themselves while our kids and society are in decline, probably because life has too much superficial crap and too little real meaning in it for kids to realise how precious they are as people. Sometimes less is more and its a terrible thing that our values have become so distorted.

The Veteran said...

Most people know of my association with King's College. It is not my intention to defend the place. King's doesn't need defending. The Gaynor family will be hurting; the King's family is hurting.

But I repeat the advice of the Headmaster, Bradley Feener, that people should avoid jumping to conclusions before the facts are known.

And I do think the media is running true to type in their coverage of the story ... it's too easy to criticise success (by innuendo) as a scapegoat for your own inadequacies.