A Pi Beta Production
You are the Headmaster of a small independent school in New Zealand and these are your sons, Hamish (16) and Jonathan (15).
The school rules to which parents have to assent when enrolling their sons to the school stress that corporal punishment is used and that boys in uniform travelling between home and school are subject to all the rules of the school. For boys of their age, at school you would utilise the cane, but don’t feel that the cane is an appropriate instrument for home discipline, preferring there to use a strap. Both have suffered the strap occasionally at home while you’ve caned Hamish at school once, together with a couple of other boys of his age, for an act of mischief that got out of hand.
Hamish and Jonathan have remained late in school for a rehearsal for the school play and have to make their own way home which involves a public footpath across a field. They arrive home at dusk rather out of breath, telling you, when you ask, that they were running to keep fit. You think nothing more about that until the next morning when you get a telephone call from the farmer over whose land the footpath passes. He complains that the previous evening, he saw a couple of boys in the uniform of your school rolling a straw bale onto the footpath, partially blocking what is legally a public right of way.
He yelled at them, calling on them to stop, but they ran off down the footpath.
The only two boys who would be using that footpath at that time would be your sons. When you challenge them, they claim that the hay bale was already blocking the footpath when they came home. What they don’t know is that you walked home along that path only about ten minutes before they arrived home and that then there had been no hay bale within about five yards of the footpath.
Will you accept their protestations of innocence? If not, how will you deal with them – as pupils of your school or as your sons?