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BOTD 08-18-2013 Turning a Blind Eye? - A Memory Man Production

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Skater


Bransom Postmaster

TURNING A BLIND EYE?
A Memory Man Production

You are an English headmaster in 1947 and are strict about the wearing of school uniform. The boys are very reluctant to wear their caps and you have issued an edict that any boys seen capless in the street will be caned.

You have been keeping an eye out for 11yo Simon Jenkins, a puny asthmatic boy with a history of poor health who is in his first term at your school. Happily he's a trier (with a capital "T" who does his best to try to keep up with the other boys) and rather than being bullied he is making friends.

One lunchtime you are walking out when you turn a corner and bump into a group of eight of your boys, Simon amongst them, all capless. "My office at afternoon break," you snap at them.

Simon Jenkins - 11
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In the afternoon you open your door to see only seven boys waiting but spot Simon hovering round at the end of the long corridor. You usher them in and as you say, "I'll wait till you are all here," Hudson pipes up, "But we are all here, Sir" and the others nod and mutter their agreement.

You've never seen Simon as a coward (rather the opposite in fact) and this appears to you to be a blatant plot by his friends to deceive you and shield him from the consequences of his rule breaking.

Do you feign a miscount and just cane the seven, or do you summon Simon in and throw the book at them for trying to pull the wool over your eyes?


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David M. Katz


Marshall
I am going to acknowledge the "deception."

I assume each boy is due about three strokes for this?

I will ask for three volunteers to take an extra stroke on Simon's behalf. If they are indeed protecting him I will get my three (or 2 or 4 or 5, etc.) volunteers.

I am actually pleased that they are looking out for the little guy.

I think I will then call Simon in and explain what happened and see if he is willing to accept his classmates "gifts."

After it is all settled out, I will call the canings off with a stern final warning.


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AFinch


Sherrif
Simon's a cutie.

OK. I read Dickens. I even read William F. Buckley. But I can't imagine, even in 1947 Britain, that not wearing a cap is so heinous a crime as to require any strokes of the cane, let alone three. I guess I understand about boys from a prestigious school being in uniform when not actually on school property from said reading, but it always struck me as idiotic, and still does. When mine was going to private school, they were required to wear their official jackets and ties when performing publicly, but not when they went shopping or out to dinner with their parents or friends. By then, of course, the days of open campuses rather than today's mini-prisons was already obsolete.

That said, in 1947 Britain (or 1947 US for that matter), I'd have known all the boys in my charge, and been confident in my ability to count to EIGHT. I'll have Simon in, let all eight boys know that I can count, and ask for an explanation before letting them all go. Assuming things are as I suspect (they're trying to shield their little friend), I'll compliment them on the sentiment if not its execution.

John Boy


Sherrif
Ditto Katz again

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ivor


Marshall
Kier - in 1947 Britain not wearing a school cap was indeed in many schools (and not just private or 'posh' ones) a caning offence. Perhaps not on the first occasion but definitely thereafter.

I would be inclined to have Simon in and give him his three strokes but much more lightly than the others.

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MemoryMan


Sherrif
On a historical note over here campuses were open until comparatively recent times; the tragic Dunblane massacre of 1996 having much to do with the current trend towards lockdown, particularly of primary schools.

At the school I had attended uniform was only compulsory (and still was in 1947) when actually attending school or school functions; but when worn it had to be smart and it had to be complete.  Scruffiness was not generally a caning offence but deliberate violations such as cap in pocket were.

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Jack


Admin
This is a difficult one for me, because I can't quite put myself in the position of making a huge deal about wearing a cap off of school property. I understand it was done, but I just can't put myself in the position of being one to do it.

Whether I'm the type of person to make that big a deal and that excessive a punishment over something like wearing a cap, I know that I'm not a person who will punish someone for trying to protect a friend. I'll simply say, 'No, Simon was with you as well, and here he comes now. Simon, hurry along, lad, before I add an extra stroke for your being tardy.'

Then I'll carry on as normal.

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Padraig


Trailboss
The scenario says I am strict about the rule and it is a caning offense. So they will be caned. All eight of them. As Headmaster I am capable of delivering canings appropriate to age, size and health.

Pi Beta


Deputy
Having had to wear a cap to and from school in the 1960s on pain of a beating - though it would probably have been a slippering rather than a caning - certainly for a first offence, this is a realistic BOYD.

All eight would be caned. Almost certainly Simon, though sore afterwards, apart from his bottom will feel more comfortable and now "one of the boys".

It will help his settling in. Strange, but true.

AFinch


Sherrif
ivor wrote:Kier - in 1947 Britain not wearing a school cap was indeed in many schools (and not just private or 'posh' ones) a caning offence. Perhaps not on the first occasion but definitely thereafter.

I would be inclined to have Simon in and give him his three strokes but much more lightly than the others.
Oh, I believe it was a caning offense.  When I was in 3rd or 4th grade, our class received a new transfer student from London.  As teacher's pet I was given the task of helping him settle in, which was no small feat since he sobbed through the first three days of class, and the two of us spent a lot of time in the boys' room washing his face and trying to get him to calm down.  I know now he had a cockney accent, but at the time, I thought he was very posh, and I loved his accent.

Since we spent a lot of time alone, he regaled me with all sorts of stories of his previous school.  I remember being very happy I lived in the US.   Pretty much all of us were spanked at home then, but school spankings/paddlings didn't happen until middle school (at which time they became very common for boys only).  That apparently was NOT the case at his school in England. The very petty things for which he said you could receive CP there were mind boggling.

I moved the following year, and attended a different grammar school for the next two years, but with the start of middle school, we were reunited.  By then, he was a "real American boy", albeit with a Brit accent.  He'd also become somewhat of a thug, and was only too happy to scam (not bully) me out of snack money during our "nutrition" break--in those days, you could buy an ice cream bar for a dime, and no one insisted on us having "healthy snacks".

Stone Man


Marshall
Padraig wrote:The scenario says I am strict about the rule and it is a caning offense. So they will be caned. All eight of them. As Headmaster I am capable of delivering canings appropriate to age, size and health.

I agree.

squarecutter


Sherrif
Its conceivable that in later years an asthmatic might be immune to cp for fear of setting off an attack but doubt that was the case in 1947. No I think I have to be cruel to be kind and call Simon in with the others. I doubt this is his idea so I will acknowledge his friends seeking to protect him but also explain why cannot turn a blind eye. I think the likely punishment would be 3 on the backside or one on each hand. It is not quite crime of the century. I'm not totally insensitive and if I sense Simon is distressed enough to start an attack I will stop the caning there. He can go first so he will be stressed for less time

1strappedboy


Sherrif
1947? Oh yeah, there are going to be some striped rear ends! I had a real problem with wearing a hat-I genuinely don't like to-and it caused me no small trouble as a young man in the armed forces! I can't tell you the number of times I got gigged for not having my 'cover' on outside! Suspect 

Kat


Editor Extraordinaire
It's best to treat all the boys the same, which means calling Simon to join his friends. Two moderate strokes for all the boys will be sufficient. Simon will be much happier joining his friends, and two strokes won't kill him.

Kat

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