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BOTD 07-27-2013 Charles Chickens Out - A Kat Production

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Skater


Bransom Postmaster

Charles Chickens Out


A Kat Production


You are the assistant principal in charge of freshmen at a Texas high school, which has recently reinstated corporal punishment, but on a voluntary basis. For certain offenses, students can opt to take three swats in lieu of an hour-long after school detention. Only students whose parents have signed the corporal punishment consent form are eligible. In addition, students who opt to take the swats must fill out and sign a request form, which they turn in to your receptionist. Because demands on your time make scheduling swats difficult, you call the students out of class when it is convenient for you to deal with them.



You were a little surprised this morning to find a request form from 14-year-old freshman, Charles. Charles is a quiet, studious boy who received a detention after a teacher caught him surreptitiously reading a sci-fi novel during a lesson. You make a point of getting to know all your freshman by visiting around the classrooms, joking with them in the hallways between classes and in the cafeteria at lunchtime and so on. You had Charles pegged as a kid who wouldn’t much mind detention, which is nothing more than a silent study hall. You find it hard to imagine the slight, bespectacled boy, who seems rather sensitive, choosing swats.


Charles 14
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During second period you begin calling the kids who opted for swats down to your office. Charles is the last kid on the list. When he reports to you, he looks scared to death, but he confirms that he wants to go through with the paddling. Though nervous, he goes through the preliminaries of clearing his back pockets and bending over your desk without a fuss. But after you give him the first swat, he stands up, clasps his hands to his backside, and with tears in his eyes, says, “I can’t do it. I’m sorry. I didn’t think it would hurt so much.”


Of course, if he insists on aborting the paddling, you must honor his wishes. However, you worry about the effect on him socially when his classmates learn he “chickened out” – as they likely will deduce, from his being called out of class and then serving a detention anyway. Will you try to convince him to take the remaining two swats or stop now? If you do try to convince him, what will you say?


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Skater


Bransom Postmaster
I will suggest to him that the first swat always hurts worst!


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AFinch


Sherrif
I will suggest to Charles that if he terminates his paddling now, he will have taken the swat for nothing, and will lose street cred with his classmates. I will assure him that swats are supposed to hurt, that having tears in his eyes doesn't make him a wimp, and that while the decision is ultimately his, having come this far, it would be in his best interest to finish what he started.

If he is adamant about no additional swats, policy says we're done. He'll serve his detention (and everyone will know).

If he agrees to proceed, I'll give him two quick swats, less intensely than the first. That way, he can feel proud of himself for having seen it through and survived. It's meant to be punishment, not abuse. If it's hard enough FOR HIM, it's hard enough.

David M. Katz


Marshall
AFinch wrote:I will suggest to Charles that if he terminates his paddling now, he will have taken the swat for nothing, and will lose street cred with his classmates.  I will assure him that swats are supposed to hurt, that having tears in his eyes doesn't make him a wimp, and that while the decision is ultimately his, having come this far, it would be in his best interest to finish what he started.

If he is adamant about no additional swats, policy says we're done.  He'll serve his detention (and everyone will know).

If he agrees to proceed, I'll give him two quick swats, less intensely than the first.  That way, he can feel proud of himself for having seen it through and survived.  It's meant to be punishment, not abuse.  If it's hard enough FOR HIM, it's hard enough.

Well said. DITTO!



Last edited by David M. Katz on Fri Jul 26, 2013 8:30 pm; edited 1 time in total


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1strappedboy


Sherrif
I'll go with Skateski's advice here.

Encourage him to 'get it over with' (and I'll do so quickly if he agrees) and I may back off the swing just a bit as well.  I can make the board crack loudly enough to satisfy any who may hear.

If, however, he adamantly refuses to go through with it, then he will have to deal with the societal fallout as it develops.

As a side note, I may explore why he elected for swats in the first place; was he dared or otherwise pressured?

As the principal I have a duty to my students that includes more than just the disciplinary aspects of school life.

Doc's right about the final sentence!

Stone Man


Marshall
I hoping I would have the sense, knowing my students as I do, to ask Charles why he is opting for swats over a detention that he could easily serve standing on his head.

My suspicion is for street creds, and whether it is or not, Charles will be losing all creds if he does not go through with the next two swats.

I would be telling him that swats are supposed to hurt, and point out that the first one is often the worst as ones butt has not yet numbed itself.

I will follow his wishes when it comes down to it, but I'm hoping he will take the next two, cry if he needs to, and know that he has lived to tell the tale.

Padraig


Trailboss
Difficult one. But something that had to be expected sooner or later.

However, since I didn't try to get to the bottom of the story before the paddling it might be a good time to do now. He might be a bit more talkative at the moment. Nevertheless the talk has to be directed to his punishment eventually. But at the end, the decission is his, though I hope I can convince him going through the paddling.

John Boy


Sherrif
David M. Katz wrote:
AFinch wrote:I will suggest to Charles that if he terminates his paddling now, he will have taken the swat for nothing, and will lose street cred with his classmates.  I will assure him that swats are supposed to hurt, that having tears in his eyes doesn't make him a wimp, and that while the decision is ultimately his, having come this far, it would be in his best interest to finish what he started.

If he is adamant about no additional swats, policy says we're done.  He'll serve his detention (and everyone will know).

If he agrees to proceed, I'll give him two quick swats, less intensely than the first.  That way, he can feel proud of himself for having seen it through and survived.  It's meant to be punishment, not abuse.  If it's hard enough FOR HIM, it's hard enough.

Well said.  DITTO!
Ditto

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ivor


Marshall
Seems to me that either this is a credibility issue or Charles has decided to test himself. I ought to try and find out which and if t is the former, do as Stoney suggests. If the latter then it is something he can decide.

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Jack


Admin
Charles first - I'm simply going to explain to the kid exactly what the scenario says I'm thinking. I wish there was a way to imply I'd lighten up a bit (did I really give a full-strength swat to this kid, or can't he even take a lighter one - if it was a lighter one, and he couldn't take it, it might make me re-think talking him into the rest).

I'm not sure why I 'must' honor his wishes. Once all the ducks are in a row, it seems like I should be able to carry through with it. Unless there seems to be something seriously wrong, I think a stern, "We're already started, Charles, so get back in position, please," would be the best approach to firm him up a bit.

In the end, the way the scenario is stated makes it sound like he has the right to back out, so all I can do is repeat my thoughts, and maybe ask him why he opted for swats in the first place, and point out that those considerations haven't changed.

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Jack


Admin
ivor wrote:Seems to me that either this is a credibility issue or Charles has decided to test himself. I ought to try and find out which and if t is the former, do as Stoney suggests. If the latter then it is something he can decide.

Actually, since this is a Kat scenario, there might be another reason Charles decided to take the swats...Twisted Evil 

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squarecutter


Sherrif
I'll tell him its all down hill from here. He did the hard part. It need never happen again and he won't be pressured (if he was) into taking swat again. A few moments of pain for a school career of being tested out by his peers.

Kat


Editor Extraordinaire
I would do my best to help Charles get through the remainder of his paddling. I think that almost any supportive, encouraging comment would help. It's true that the first lick usually seems especially bad, as it's a shock.

Jack wrote:I wish there was a way to imply I'd lighten up a bit (did I really give a full-strength swat to this kid, or can't he even take a lighter one - if it was a lighter one, and he couldn't take it, it might make me re-think talking him into the rest).

Let's just say that you gave due consideration to Charles' size, and are always careful to use moderate force. Also, the design of your paddle is calculated to sting but not bruise. However, you didn't give Charles any special leniency, as he chose this punishment and it's meant to be punishment, i.e., to hurt.

Kat

Jack


Admin
That's good to know, and it's something I always tried to do.  On the other hand, I knew - as a student and teacher both - too many teachers who seemed to believe in a 'one size fits all' approach.

Of course, considering where and when I taught, I always assumed every boy had at least some experience with CP, though I did try to find out for sure when I had the chance (though I might have had ulterior motives for that Smile ).

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