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BOTD 10-04-14 A Blast From the Past - The Letter in Frank's File -1970 - A Kat Production

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A Blast from the Past – The Letter in Frank’s File – 1970
A Kat Production

You are the principal of Chenault Junior High School, which is located in a small Texas town. You use corporal punishment fairly frequently. You can give up to ten ‘licks’, but you very rarely give more than three.

Almost all of the boys in the school have bent over in your office at one time or another. One notable exception is an eighth grader named Frank, age 13. Frank’s mother is a widow, who moved into town just as Frank started at Chenault in his seventh grade year.

She made a verbal request to your secretary that you excuse Frank from corporal punishment; she followed up the request with a letter. You have never spoken to the lady, though you have read her letter. You are under no obligation to grant such a request; however, you do try to be accommodating when you can. Up until now, Frank has stayed out of trouble.

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Today is the last day of school, and Frank, along with two of his friends, is in your office after being caught having a water pistol fight in the restroom during lunch – an offense for which you routinely give three licks. You announce your verdict and send the boys out, intending to have them in one at a time for their punishment. Frankie hangs back, so you assume he wants to be first. However, he reminds you he isn’t supposed to get licks because of his mom’s letter. How will you handle this?

Can you dig it?


I'm going to ask Frankie if he thinks it fair that he should get no punishment for the same activity for which his friends are about to be punished. Normally, I'd offer detention (or suspension) in lieu of the licks, but as it's the last day of school, that's not really an option (unless Frankie is attending summer school, in which case he CAN serve detention).

I'll point out that while I try to be mindful of a parent's wishes with respect to CP, I am under no legal obligation to do so. If he'd rather I call his mother and let her deal with his punishment, I will. Hopefully her request to excuse Frankie from CP is not a blanket request that her angel never be punished. It may well be that, if mom is strict in a way not involving CP (grounded for life?), Frankie may prefer to just get it over with. Otherwise, the ball is in mom's court--sometimes life isn't fair.


the other kids get three... he gets nine for being a sissy mommy's boy and all...

Stevie Twisted Evil

John Boy

Ditto Kier.


As I'm under no obligation to accede to his Mom's wishes, Frankie is going to get his 3 licks just like the others. I rather suspect that it being his first time I'm almost certain to deliver his with less force than the others get. That ain't fair I know, but it' how thing go.

As for his Mom, well either Frankie is going to rush home and tell her what I've done in which case she has the vacation to get over her upset at me not abiding by her wishes; or he's going to keep quiet about it. As he's try to get off the licks with his reminder to me I rather suspect it will be the former.

Ah well, what's that line........ 'Hell hath no fury like a woman ignored' Something like that Smile

David M. Katz

Kier and ivor have made similar points and so I shall join with them.

Cleverly disguised as a responsible adult.


"The rules apply to everyone Frank.  If you didn't want licks, you shouldn't have pulled this stunt."

The fact that it's the last day of school changes my answer. Normally I would have given him a choice, made him explain to the other boys why they were getting paddled and he wasn't, and then offered them the same choice.

If he throws a fit, maybe I'll just put a hold on his report card, so he can't start school until his mother and I have dealt with this issue.

"In the end, it's just a story. But if you ask me, it's all true."


ivor wrote:As for his Mom, well either Frankie is going to rush home and tell her what I've done in which case she has the vacation to get over her upset at me not abiding by her wishes; or he's going to keep quiet about it.

Ivor, in most Texas schools, 8th is the top grade, so you probably won't have to deal with her next year.

I can't remember where it is now, but a several years ago, I found a school in Texas where parents aren't allowed to opt out of CP, 'because unequal enforcement is unfair to everyone.'

"In the end, it's just a story. But if you ask me, it's all true."


I am going to talk this one through with his Mom. I need to know why this stipulation. I also need her to understand what treating these boys differently from each other could mean as I'm sure Frank will. I think that unless there are medical or psychological reasons for not using Corporal punishment on Frank I am likely to do so anyway.

Emlyn Morgan

I had a water pistol once: made of orange-coloured translucent plastic in the shape of a space ship.  That was before the days of real spaceships.  Mind you, Dan Dare in the Eagle had a spaceship even then: open top, as I remember!

Those were the days!

Anyway, I'm going to whack him!


Editor Extraordinaire
I'm in agreement with most of the other posters.


Stone Man

And I'm in agreement with Kat.

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