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8/26/16 - Under Construction: A DMK Production

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Jack


Admin
UNDER CONSTRUCTION
A DMK Production

You are the assistant principal at the local middle school. You are responsible for disciplinary issues. You have several options available to you: warnings, detentions, ISS, lunch detention, lines and essays, privilege revocation, out of school suspension and CP. You may give up to a maximum of four swats with a paddle as long as a signed waiver from a parent is on file.

Your school building is currently undergoing a much needed expansion that will add ten new classrooms and a new library. The contractor has fenced the construction area off and posted signs warning unauthorized persons to keep out. Students are specifically forbidden from entering the construction area and such has been communicated to all students and parents in writing as well as weekly reminders during morning announcements. This is considered a serious offense and a safety violation. No one has ever tested this rule until today.

Today, three students who are best friends and siblings have been brought to you. You have the twelve year-old seventh grader Adam Swanson and his brother the thirteen year old eight grader Aaron Swanson and their best friend the thirteen year old eight grader Tyler Jones

ADAM SWANSON - 12, TYLER JONES - 13, & AARON SWANSON
[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]

The trio were caught by a teacher sneaking through a hole in the fence to go in to the construction area. The boys had left the cafeteria during lunch period (another rule violation) to satisfy their curiosity. The construction crew was off and so there was no active work going on at the site. None of the boys have ever been in trouble with you before. The boys all say they just wanted to look and they do not think it is a big deal because no one was working and none of them got hurt.

The Swanson boys' parents have signed the CP waiver but Tyler's have not.

How do you deal with these boys?



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AFinch


Sherrif
I basically agree with them--with no one working and no harm done, it's NOT a big deal.

Pushover that I am, I'm giving them a one off, with notice that should there be a recurrence, everyone will serve a prolonged and miserable detention.

Reminds me of an old story--Construction taking place at a Catholic School. After a few days, one of the nuns comes to the priest in charge, and says: "Father, you must say something to the workmen. Their language is atrocious, and the boys are picking it up." "Sister, these are simple working men. They call a spade a spade." "No, Father, that's not what he called it. He called it an f'ing shovel"

Jack


Admin
AFinch wrote:Reminds me of an old story--Construction taking place at a Catholic School.  After a few days, one of the nuns comes to the priest in charge, and says: "Father, you must say something to the workmen.  Their language is atrocious, and the boys are picking it up."  "Sister, these are simple working men.  They call a spade a spade."  "No, Father, that's not what he called it.  He called it an f'ing shovel"

Very Happy

I see this a bit differently. The fact that no one is working does not mean that everything is safe there.

I'm really torn on this. The fact that it's a first offense is good, but I'm afraid that if I respond too lightly, that might cause it to not be the last offense.

I'm not going to go with one of the big hammers, but I think they're going to have to at least do a detention spent writing lines to keep anyone else from thinking they can get away with it.


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Kat


Editor Extraordinaire
There was every reason for them to think this was a big deal, as the school made rather a point of warning the students in writing, reinforced by weekly reminders. They each get two swats, which is a lenient punishment that takes into account the fact that no construction was going on at the time and that they had clean records up until now.

Kat

ivor


Marshall
But Kat, you can't give one of them two swats because his parents haven't signed the waiver.

I think that as they are apparently the first to breach the edict I have to impose some sort of punishment to indicate that I meant what I said when it was issued. Detention and a 1000 word essay (not to be written during detention) on the subject of 'Behind the Fence' should suffice.

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squarecutter


Sherrif
Building sites are dangerous whether there is work going on or not. I have to take a firm line as whatever the boys behaviour has been hitherto this was flagrant disobedience. The brothers will be getting 3 swats and the parents informed. Tyler Jones's parents will be informed that Tyler will be serving Saturday detention or his parents can agree to swats. I dont really care about any perceived inequalities of treatment, My first concern has to be the safety of the student body as I'm sure the parents will agree



Last edited by squarecutter on Fri Aug 26, 2016 12:56 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : typos)

Kat


Editor Extraordinaire
ivor wrote:But Kat, you can't give one of them two swats because his parents haven't signed the waiver.

Well, hell. In that case, Tyler can do two detentions. That's not exactly equivalent to two swats, but I hope it communicates to him that this was serious misbehavior, even though this is his first time in trouble. The other two may choose the detentions if they desire. I don't want them to feel hard done by. I think two swats is actually more lenient than two detentions, but their mileage may vary.

Kat

StevieWeeks


Trailboss
Stevie is inclined to take this one very seriously indeed... possibly because he has spent his entire working life until now in industrial environments and has seen the kind of thing that can occur...

The risks those boys were taking are difficult to exaggerate... the fact that no one was actually working there is totally immaterial to the issue - there are enough passive hazards around a construction site - the accident rate in the construction industry is actually appalling by any standards.  

The boys have to be made a serious example of to prevent others from following their example, and I'm going to do so. Fair or not, it's better to prevent a child from being critically injured or even killed on school premises...

The boys whose parents have signed the corporal punishment waiver get the maximum allowable. The other boy gets suspended for a week... unless I can contact his parent and get the necessary form filled...

Again, it's imperative that no other kids are tempted to follow their example...

Stevie.

On edit - I'm also going to have words with the construction company regarding the efficacy of their fencing arrangements and all...



Last edited by StevieWeeks on Fri Aug 26, 2016 8:16 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Addition)

Pi Beta


Deputy
I think squarecutter has it about right.

Zac


Wrangler
(Tyler looks like the ringleader in the picture but probably because it makes photographic sense to put him between the two brothers)

The sanction must impress upon these boys seriousness and danger of what they have done, and that is a very "big deal", with the fact that no one working there making no difference whatsoever and that no one was hurt was just fortunate, in a way the signs, fences , repeated notices, announcements and other warnings seem to have failed to have conveyed. It must also impress on the rest of the school how serious this and discourage anyone else. In short, the boys have to made an example of so I cannot be too lenient with them.

However, while the fact that no one was working there and none of them were hurt does not make any difference, I am inclined to take into account that they were only interesting in looking (the inevitable lecture will include the phrases "observer effect" and "remember what curiosity did to the cat") and that they had not been in trouble before. I don't want to go so far that I risk turning otherwise good boys bad. Also, I don't want everyone so fixated on the punishment that it overshadows what they and why is so wrong. Serious as is there are worse things that they could have done and worse things they could do so I do not see this as maximum four-swat level offence, this time.

That Tyler's parents have not signed a corporal punishment waiver complicates matters. I want to give all three the same punishment. While I might generally prefer not give people a choice between corporal or other punishments but if I do want them all to have the same choice. I will be contacting Tyler's parents to ask for permission to use corporal punishment at least on this one occasion under the circumstances if not with an enduring waiver [How that request is received might make for interesting scenario by itself]

The boys will have to do at least one detention in which would involve writing about the potential dangers on building sites. It I can get permission for corporal punishment from Tyler's parents they will each get [still wavering between 2 or 3] strokes with the paddle but the I will suspend the final swat because of they have not been in trouble before. If I cannot get permission for CP I will impose an equivalent punishment, probably one or two more detentions, I probably have a table of comparable alternative punishments. There will be some revocation of privileges. The necessary notes home might not include anything to discourage any further sanction at home.

Something else that needs to be dealt with is, as StevieWeeks pointed out, the gap in the fencing through which the trio entered is an issue to be taken up with construction company as the boys should not have been able to get in so easily. Also, can I find a away to assuage, not just deter, the curiosity that all the warnings about the construction site might have piqued?



Digression 1:
I can remember a campaign in Britain in the late 70s to deter children from playing on building sites called 'Building Sites Bite'. I found one of the public information films about it.
https://youtu.be/IPHMBJ51pF4

Digression 2:
When I was 7 construction work on a new gym started at my school. I don't know if anyone tried sneaking into the site but not long after excavation of the foundations started a ww2 uxb was discovered.

David M. Katz


Marshall
Zac wrote:I will be contacting Tyler's parents to ask for permission to use corporal punishment at least on this one occasion under the circumstances if not with an enduring waiver [How that request is received might make for interesting scenario by itself]


Zac,

I agree.  I think you should try your hand at writing it.  Very Happy

See your PM.  

Thanks for your interest in BOTD and for calling forward some older scenarios!  cheers


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