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BOTD 8/21/16 "BFTP - 1970 - The New Tom Sawyer" A Kat Production

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David M. Katz

Blast from the Past – 1970 – The New Tom Sawyer
A Kat Production

You teach chemistry at an all-boys independent school in Australia. You have extremely strict safety rules in your lab. Any pupil who breaks one of these rules is required to step into the adjacent room where you store the supplies and bend over for two sharp strokes of the cane.

This year, for the first time, your school and its sister school offer coeducational classes. Two young ladies have signed up for your chemistry class, subject to the same rules and standards as the male pupils. All is well and good until one of these girls breaks a safety rule by mixing a couple of chemicals, resulting in broken glassware (hydrochloric acid and sodium hydroxide). Even though you didn’t see her do it, you’ve taught long enough to read the guilt and fear on her face. Her lab partner, however, 15-year-old Brian Cooke, insists that he is actually the culprit.

Brian Cooke - 15
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Do you allow Brian to take the blame, as the young lady is saying nothing, or do you press her to confess? If she does confess, does Brian get any punishment for lying to you?

*As it has been 35 years since I was in a chemistry lab and did a very minimal bit of research to find something to fit, cut me some slack and don’t nitpick the details on this one! - Kat

Cleverly disguised as a responsible adult.

David M. Katz


Twisted Evil  Twisted Evil

Cleverly disguised as a responsible adult.


I'm actually kind of wondering how I know that's what happened, but...

"I'm sure everyone in class knows what happens when you break a safety rule, and I'm sure everyone how can read the board understands that mixing chemicals randomly or without permission is breaking those rules, correct?"

"Miss Tease, do you know why Mr. Cooke decided to mix those chemicals?"

If she refuses to say, then I have no choice but to act on Brian's confession. I will tell him what I think when we're in private, but if he doesn't own up, then I'll allow him the dignity of accepting the full sentence.

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


I agree with Jack. Sadly, he won't believe me if I tell him his gallantry is likely to go unappreciated in today's world, at least.

Y Lee Coyote

Acting on a false confession is morally wrong. Punishing an innocent is morally wrong. At the very least they are both culpable for they are suppose to watch each other. Also, I don't want to be responsible for encouraging a grateful girl to lead a noble lad into trouble since they are both minors.

But first things first -- two nasty corrosives need to be cleaned up ASAP and before anything else. But during that time, one hopes a confession slips out. Of course, it also a time to emphasize the safety rules.

They both get it and I'll adjust the force based on my assessment of guilt.


P.S. -- No caning in the stock room. Much to crowded and thus dangerous. It is out into the hall where there is room and it is safe.


If I'm any sort of gentleman I won't be very keen on the idea of caning a girl pupil, so young Mr Cooke's confession has saved me from a moral dilemma.

His two strokes are going to be a lot lighter than any he has felt in his previous time at school.


Editor Extraordinaire
I wouldn't be happy about it, but if Brian insists on covering for Miss X, then I will give him the punishment. I probably could get a confession out of the girl, but I'd rather honor Brian's gentlemanly impulse than risk pushing Miss X into progressing from passive cowardice to active, self-serving liar. If the girl has any worth at all, she'll feel disappointed in herself. As for Brian, I expect that feeling like a hero will more than compensate him for the sting of the cane.



Bryan has confessed and it is not my position to question what he is doing. I will punish Bryan as if he is telling the truth, but that will not stop me from warning him to keep a VERY close eye on his lab partner!



I am going to refer the young lady bak to Miss Humulus her Headmistress and tell Brian I will discuss this later. IF/when Miss Humulus has got the truth of the matter and dealt appropriately with the young ladyI will talk to Brian again

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