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BOTD 12-14-13 - Blast From The Past 1955 - Ethical Dilemma - A Kat Production

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Skater


Bransom Postmaster
Blast From the Past – 1955 – Ethical Dilemma
A Kat Production

It’s 1955 and you are a senior prefect at a very traditional boarding school in the UK. Though your best friend, Jonathan, isn’t a prefect, the two of you have remained as close as ever. On Jonathan’s eighteenth birthday, you take a major risk to sneak into town with him and have some celebratory drinks at a certain pub that is out of bounds, as it hasn’t entered into an agreement with the school about serving alcohol to pupils. It is unfortunate that a junior staff member sees the two of you leaving the pub. He gets a good enough look to recognise Jonathan but doesn’t recognize you. He reports the matter to you, expecting you to deal with the matter, and making it clear to you that he expects you to cane your best friend – and increase the tariff if Jonathan doesn’t reveal the identity of the boy who was with him.


Jonathan
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Jonathan’s reaction is to urge you to cane him and say nothing of your own involvement, arguing that he can’t possibly escape a caning but there is no reason for you to suffer also. He faces an extra three strokes for not revealing the identity of his companion, added on to the usual six for not signing out of school and being out of bounds. As a prefect, you would receive a twelve stroke caning from the Head, with a slightly longer cane than the one issued to prefects. You might also face demotion, though that is not certain.

So… do you confess to the Head and take your medicine, or do you cane Jonathan and keep silent? If you cane Jonathan, will you risk taking it easy on him? (Others will see him in the showers and notice if the marks are unusually light.) If you do cane Jonathan, is there any way for you to share in the punishment unofficially and thus salve a bad conscience?  


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Skater


Bransom Postmaster
It's six of the best plus three! I will let him decide the payback.. I know what I will be hoping


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Padraig


Trailboss
Tricky one. Of course I can cane my friend. It would probably the fairest thing if he would reciprocate, but that would be tricky too since our classmates would see my stripes too. So that would have to wait until the end of the semester.

squarecutter


Sherrif
I don't think I could be the executioner as I was part of the crime.The honourable thing is to drop myself in it with this master. As I am doing the honourable thing may be he could let us both have 6 strokes and keep this out of the Headmasters hands? Clearly the thought of a prefect being anything less than exemplary in his behaviour will be a new one for this man! The problem is now his.

ivor


Marshall
I think Padraig has hit on the answer that two boys back then would probably have come up with. That way the honour of both is satisfied and nobody is likely to discover their arrangement.

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Pi Beta


Deputy
Difficult. Had this genuinely been me at around that age, my facial expression and body language would probably have given the game away that I was Jonathan's companion when the junior member of staff reported his sighting to me. In that case, I'd probably have suggested that he deal with the pair of us himself - lending him my cane if necessary - and hope he didn't decide to report the pair of us to the Head.

However, the scenario, as written, indicates that I was able to keep my involvement secret from that junior member of staff when he reported it to me. Morally, I would be inclined to report myself and Jonathan to the Head for him to deal with both of us, but that would probably mean that Jonathon would suffer a more severe caning from the Head with his cane than I could give him with my shorter one. Being a bit of a coward and hoping to keep the episode secret, I'd probably go along with Jonathan's suggestion that I cane him, but at 80/85% of my normal force and let him reciprocate at term's end. I would then have been on tenterhooks until I left the school in case the truth were to emerge and would still be feeling guilty about it whenever I heard the name Jonathan or passed that pub or one with the same name!

BTW - Andrew Trevallion would never have got into this position since he'd never have agreed to go to the pub in the first place, so I can't answer for him!

P.S. I don't know how Jonathan has managed to get away with that hair in that era!



Last edited by Pi Beta on Sat Dec 14, 2013 9:08 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Changed Jonathon to Jonathan and added the P.S.)

Jack


Admin
I should have just admitted things to the staff member as soon as he instructed me to give extra to Jonathon if he didn't admit who the other boy was. (I'm assuming he doesn't know Jonathon is my best friend - if he knows that, I might feel justified in finding any way around this, since he's an obvious asshole).

Since I didn't do that, I think it's best I just turn the entire matter, including my involvement, over to the Head Boy. I don't think there's any way I could make a fair decision about the matter otherwise.


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David M. Katz


Marshall
We will both go to the head and both take our punishments from him.


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Iconoclast


Trailboss
I see no ethical dilemma:  the code of silence overrides the school rules!  I will just pretend to cane Jonathon, striking, say, a leather cushion instead of him and instruct him to shower at a time when no other boys are present and/or simulate marks with some kind of make-up!

Iconoclast

squarecutter


Sherrif
Pi Beta wrote:Difficult. Had this genuinely been me at around that age, my facial expression and body language would probably have given the game away that I was Jonathan's companion when the junior member of staff reported his sighting to me. In that case, I'd probably have suggested that he deal with the pair of us himself - lending him my cane if necessary - and hope he didn't decide to report the pair of us to the Head.

However, the scenario, as written, indicates that I was able to keep my involvement secret from that junior member of staff when he reported it to me. Morally, I would be inclined to report myself and Jonathan to the Head for him to deal with both of us, but that would probably mean that Jonathon would suffer a more severe caning from the Head with his cane than I could give him with my shorter one. Being a bit of a coward and hoping to keep the episode secret, I'd probably go along with Jonathan's suggestion that I cane him, but at 80/85% of my normal force and let him reciprocate at term's end. I would then have been on tenterhooks until I left the school in case the truth were to emerge and would still be feeling guilty about it whenever I heard the name Jonathan or passed that pub or one with the same name!

BTW - Andrew Trevallion would never have got into this position since he'd never have agreed to go to the pub in the first place, so I can't answer for him!

P.S. I don't know how Jonathan has managed to get away with that hair in that era!

Ironically, as regards to hair I think the boy is young actor Alex Pettyfer when starring Tom Browns Schooldays, set in 1840. Out of interest if this has not found its way to the US his character was subjected to two canings in the series

Emlyn Morgan


Trailboss
I agree with Jonathan: no reason for me to confess my involvement. The other boys will agree that the teacher was contemptible for stipulating an extra three for not sneaking, so they will think it only fair when they see there are no welts on Jonathan's bottom.

Kat


Editor Extraordinaire
Strictly speaking, the correct thing to do is report to the headmaster and let the chips fall where they may. I'm not going to do that, however, as Jonathan will probably fare worse also; he may receive fewer strokes but I'm sure the head will make up in quality for Jonathan's advantage in quantity. Besides, I am reluctant to risk losing my prefecture.

If I cane Jonathan, I can somewhat moderate the force, as well as allow him complete control over the spacing of the strokes. Also, with me, he won't have to worry about any extras if he breaks position; nor will he need to make a show of stoicism. I don't see how I can ignore the instruction to cane Jonathan without the teacher who told me to do it finding out.

I'm reluctant to involve anyone else in case the head somehow finds out. If I were confident there would be no blow back, and if I trusted the head boy enough, I might approach him and ask him to deal with me. We could perhaps dissemble a bit about the reason. Otherwise, I will just wait and give Jonathan his opportunity to return the caning I gave him. If he is reluctant, I might wait until we are officially free of the school's authority before making a clean breast of it to the headmaster and then taking the caning.

Kat

Jack


Admin
Emlyn Morgan wrote:I agree with Jonathan: no reason for me to confess my involvement.  The other boys will agree that the teacher was contemptible for stipulating an extra three for not sneaking, so they will think it only fair when they see there are no welts on Jonathan's bottom.

Now there's an answer I trust. Sometimes it's impossible for those of us who were never exposed to such to know what really should or should not be done.


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MemoryMan


Sherrif
I will ditto either Padraig or Emlyn depending on whether or not any other boys were aware of the incident.

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