A Kat Production
Twelve-year-old Felix is a boarder at an independent school in Australia, where you are the headmaster. You have implemented a multi-layered system of appeals to ensure that pupils have due process in disciplinary matters. Today Felix is in your office, having appealed a punishment from his form master up the chain of command until it reaches you for the ultimate decision. The punishment is missing a field trip to the zoo for carving his initials into a desk.
For most twelve year olds, missing a visit to the zoo would be disappointing but not devastating. Felix, however, is a scholarship pupil who comes from a very disadvantaged background. He has never been to a zoo and for him the punishment IS devastating. You are aware of the reason the form master deprived Felix of the zoo outing rather than caning him: in the past, Felix has appealed successfully to the school psychologist to get out of canings. He seems to have a disproportionate fear of corporal punishment and has never experienced it at school.
Which punishment is in Felix’s best interest; is there another alternative? If you opt to cane him or use a milder form of corporal punishment – and assuming the school psychologist doesn’t uphold an appeal from Felix – do have a plan for getting him through it?