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BOTD 05-11-2016 Blast from The Past 1999 - Felix and the Field Trip - A Kat Production

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Bransom Postmaster
Blast from the Past – 1999 – Felix and the Field Trip
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.

Felix - 12
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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?

Can you dig it?


For me a field trip is education and banning him from the trip is failing my teaching duty, especially with his background. The boy did right to appeal that kind of punishment. Special needs are special needs and need to be addressed properly. I think assigning extra janitorial duties to him for an extended period of time might be the right answer.

Y Lee Coyote

The purpose of a school field trip is to enhance the education of the students.  It is simply criminal to prevent a student from going on one as a punishment just the same as it is to deprive him/her of a class.  It is not clear keeping a student from the school picnic is the same (depriving of social interaction learning) or not.


I agree with Pad and Y Lee. Felix will go on the field trip. Janitorial duties would seem the logical consequence for vandalism.


It looks like our little barrack room lawyer has exploited the system one time too many.  

I'm going to support his teachers punishment but give him the option of commuting it by choosing to bend over for the cane.  

As he ponders his options I'll point out that in future he can avoid what he considers to be draconion punishments by behaving himself.


I suspect Felix is not very popular with other boys at school. What with being from a disadvantaged background, unusually bright and managing to get himself excused from canings he is very much 'different'.

Me thinks I need a new school psychologist, but as that can't be done immediately Felix can decide for himself between the existing punishment or six with the slipper.


I am inclined to agree with Ivor. Felix cannot pick and choose how he is disciplined if he continues to misbehave. One or the other(and may be the slipper might be a better entree to corporal punishment

Pi Beta

RIP 9 Jan 47 - 17 June 17
I agree with Ivor. His choice between no zoo trip or the slipper, though I wonder also whether I might order him to sand down the desk top to remove his and all other grafitti and carvings.


Editor Extraordinaire
I'll make sure that Felix has no history of physical abuse to explain his fear of corporal punishment. If he doesn't, then I will offer him the option of cp, in the mildest form school policy permits. A spanking or strapping may be less intimidating to him than a caning. If he does have an abusive background, I will come up with an alternative punishment along the lines that Padraig suggests.



It sounds to me rather like the school psychiatrist is the one who needs a thrashing. Fear of CP kind of is the point. Unless, of course, as Kat suggests, there is a history of actual abuse.

If Felix is really that bright, then I need to sit down and have a talk with him about how things stand. I agree with most of the others that missing the zoo is beyond the pale, but I also think Felix needs to be made aware of the fact that, if he doesn't want to face the consequences, he'd best start following the rules.

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

David M. Katz

I agree with Jack's response.

Cleverly disguised as a responsible adult.

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