The late 1950's pupils were learning to rebel as well.
I should guess that teenage rebellion is nothing unique. For example when I was at school somebody stole all the school cups and trophies and threw them into the river. (He did finally get caught and most of the cups were recovered.) One morning we found a full-sized zebra-crossing painted across the quadrangle, on another total chaos ensued because some joker had filled all the keyholes with plastic-metal, on yet another we discovered 'X (the nickname of a master) loves Y (the nickname of the headmistress of the neighbouring girls' school)' painted in huge letters on the roof. This was just the normal vandalism and the masters were used to coping with it.
The rebellion started when one of the star rugby players, a member of the first fifteen, decided that he had more important things to do on Saturday than play for the school, and refused to turn out.
He was immediately stripped of his prefecthood and there was a complete moral panic because none of the masters could think of a way to make him play, and as far as I remember he never played for the school again. I suppose that this was the first crack in '50s conformity that I was aware of.
These deeds were all perpetrated by the generation who grew up in school uniforms, the generation whose grandchildren are taking part in 'That'll teach 'em'.
My impression is that the children are less unthinkingly cruel, brutal, and destructive than we were then, but of course most of them are from co-educational schools, and I suspect that co-education must have an emollient effect on boys' behaviour.
(Or to put it another way, compared with us today's hooligans are just wimps.)