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BOTD 04-06-2017 School Choice A DMK Production

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A DMK Production

You got a promotion at work that required you and your family to move.  Your family, especially your fourteen year-old son, Ike, really enjoy your new community. Your spouse found a job in the area and enjoys the better climate.

There was an issue.  Ike was starting high school and the only *public high school in your county had a bad reputation.  You researched further and found the school had poor test results, graduation rates, and academic standards.  Ike is an honor student and the high school was a poor match and might even hurt his college admission opportunities.

The other choice for Ike's education (home school is not an option due to your and your spouse's work schedules) is a Christian *private school.  The private school has high academic standards and has produced many students who were accepted to prominent universities.  You aren't strongly religious but have no real issue with Ike being at a Christian school.  Because of his grades, Ike was offered a partial scholarship to help with the tuition.  It all seemed like a great choice and you, your spouse, and Ike were all on board.

The only negative was the school uses corporal punishment and it seems to be the go-to option for a number of issues. You and your spouse do not use nor have you ever used spanking with Ike.  Whereas you are not an adamant anti-spanking type you simply do not see the need for physical punishment when other options are available.  Ike is a mostly well behaved boy and is a fine young man and has always responded to non-corporal punishments. The CP is a point of discussion but the family decides the private school is still the best option. Ike simply says that he will stay out of trouble.

IKE - 14
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Today Ike decided to skip a couple of classes with some new friends. (So much for his promise to stay out of trouble.) Ike was caught.  The principal is required to give notice before using CP.  You have been called.  The situation is explained and you are told Ike is to receive three paddle swats.  If you don't agree to the CP then Ike will be suspended for three days. (A suspension on Ike's record could hurt him when it is time to find a college and Ike would also miss a major test if he is suspended. He will get a zero on the test.) Remember, Ike has never been spanked.

What do you do?

*In the United States a 'pubic' school is operated by a government entity and enrollment is open to all students within the specified geographic area the school serves. In many rural and small communities there would be only one public high school. A 'private' school is tuition based and enrollment is selective and is often based on academic accomplishment and/or affiliation with a specified group such as a church or synagogue. Private schools are overwhelmingly operated by religious entities.

Can you dig it?


Would never happen to me... under no circumstances whatever would I send a child of mine to a religious school of any kind...


Last edited by StevieWeeks on Thu Apr 06, 2017 2:00 pm; edited 1 time in total


What I should have done before this, but probably trusted Ike to use good judgement. I will remind the principal that Ike has never received CP before, and ask if there's some way he can be sure to have a lot of privacy, so he won't be too humiliated if he breaks down. Of course, I won't mention that to Ike, since I don't want him to think I didn't think he can take it.

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


I agree with Jack. Ike knew the rules. He knew the consequences. He chose to break those rules. Children have received CP in schools for thousands of years and didn't die from it; in fact, it's pretty difficult to argue that academic standards weren't higher when it was still employed.

Assuming I trust the school not to be abusive (and if I didn't, I wouldn't have allowed Ike to go there, even if it were free and considered the "Harvard" of high schools), I think my job here is reminding the administration of Ike's "never previously spanked" status and helping him get through the experience rather than trying to change the known consequences of his actions.


Not sure I would have sent my kid to such a school in view of the fact that there are multiple online alternatives, and it is high time that a high functioning student get involved in "independent study" classes rather than be taught all the material by a teacher teaching the same tired material year after year. But, I will for the sake of this scenario, go with this and "allow" the boy to go to this school. (In my case, because of a huge disparity of religious beliefs, without question, I would never have my child attend their school.) Anyhow, having sent the boy to the school, he and I would have a long discussion about the school rules long before he had attended a minute of the day there.

It would have been made very clear to my child that if he were to violate the rules, I would not be trying to "protect him" or shield him from any CP consequences. If he chose to violate the policies, he would have to face whatever consequences they would set. So, in view of the given circumstances, I will agree what Jack suggests and call the Principal to seek that he be punished with whatever privacy that can be afforded him so as to preserve his fragile teen ego and dignity. But, once I have done that, my hands are tied, and he will suffer all the consequences of his actions.


Skater wrote:
You aren't strongly religious but have no real issue with Ike being at a Christian school.

That must mean that this school has convinced me beyond any doubt that they do not discriminate against atheists or students of any other religion and that they do not proselytize (and, of course, that they teach science instead of nonsense).  Given that assurance and that the only issue is their use of CP, I would have informed Ike that this could happen to him if he goes there.  Since he still wants to go there, I'm assuming that he accepted that possibility.  I would tell him that I would not interfere with his punishment in the unlikely event that it ever became an issue.

So now that it is an issue, I would remind him that it was a package deal, either a good private school with CP or an inferior public school without it, and he chose the former.  I'll tell him I hope he doesn't find it too unpleasant and I hope he will be able to learn something from it and avoid it in the future.  (I might also tell him that my own school used it, and I survived it.)

And as for the alternative of a three day suspension in lieu of CP, that just isn't a viable alternative - too harmful to Ike's academic record and future prospects.

As for his previously unspanked status, I'll leave it entirely to the principal's discretion to determine how much privacy he gets - no more than any other boy under similar circumstances.  The fact that he has never been spanked shouldn't make any difference.  It's up to Ike to be brave and avoid humiliating himself.  I think he can handle it.

Last edited by Adric on Thu Apr 06, 2017 9:21 am; edited 1 time in total


Ike knew the rules beforehand and we signed him up for it. I think we need to chat this through. It may well be that Ike wanted acceptance from his new classmates and will almost certainly get that if he takes the licks. I will be letting the Principal know Ikes not been spanked before in case Ike reacts badly. but I don't want Ike suspended unless Ike is too terrified at the whole idea


The one thing we don't know in this scenario is how Ike feels about what is going to happen.

There is no way I can try and stop it. I could remind the Principal that Ike has never been spanked before and ask for him to be allowed some greater degree of privacy than is perhaps normally offered to students. On the other hand this whole situation might just be something Ike has contrived to 'prove himself' to his new classmates which would mean he wants to be treated exactly the same as them.


Ike is a teenager, he knew the rules , he agreed to sign up to them.  Three swats does not appear to be excessive so I'll simply sign the consent.

"It's his first time" - so what?  It probably won't be the only time.

He'll be getting the same punishment as his companions in crime, perhaps one or more of them are first timers too.

If he's not robust enough to take it like them its time he toughened up.

David M. Katz

The scenario states that this was a well-thought-out decision. All factors, including "Christian" and CP, were weighed.

It appears Ike was very much involved in the decision making and, along with my spouse and I, agreed that this was the best school.

I do wonder if Ike isn't trying to fit in with some friends. I do hope he has found some friends in the new town.

Anyway, he signed up for this (probably literally) and he sealed the deal when he decided to skip.

I do think he would prefer to be in solidarity with his friends.

I will do as Jack suggests and give consent but advise the principal that Ike is a CP virgin. We obviously found the principal to be reasonable or Ike wouldn't be at the school. I think the principal will take the knowledge and do what is in Ike's best interest.

"If you can't do the time then don't do the crime."

Cleverly disguised as a responsible adult.


So, Ike is at a school which uses corporal punishment. This was something both we and Ike knew and accepted from the start. Now Ike has been caught out in an offence where the penalty is corporal punishment. Obviously, Ike gets paddled. How does this logical consequence not happen? What is there to complicate this apparently simple situation?

Maybe there are a couple of concerns or caveats. It is one thing to accept that school used corporal punishment in theory but the reality of it might be different matter entirely. It is not until there is a run in with CP that you find out how it actually works and is used practice and that might not be quite what was expected. If the reality seems excessive then I will have to consider a different school. That might sound an extreme option but it adds to the market forces which are going to have more of an effect on a private school.

Since the school's use of corporal punishment is the only issue we have about the school and something we have accepted as a possibility, it mainly a case of there needing to be a good reason for Ike not to be paddled. This rather a mid-level offence [a sample offence for the purpose of the scenario] and perhaps CP should be reserved for more serious transgressions but it plenty of schools do use corporal punishment for it, others would if it was available to them. It is can hardly be described as manifestly unfair, trivial, or something that Ike could not have easily avoided. The only thing he was unlikely to have avoided was getting caught out. So, there is no reason to prevent Ike from being paddled.

The second concern is a rather unnecessary complication by the school. If I do not agree to Ike being paddled he will suspended, which will effect his record, and miss a test a get zero. That would be much more injurious in the long run so that is not a viable alternative. And this the problem, it is hardly an equitable choice - and most likely it is not meant be. Why should a suspension be on the record but not a corporal punishment? I feel that I am being cajoled into agreeing to Ike being paddled and I don't like it even if it was what I was, and probably still am, going to do anyway. It would have been better if no alternative had been mentioned unless I had refused to let Ike be paddled.

I will not stop Ike being paddled despite this second concern but I will express to the principal. I will also mention that Ike has not been spanked or had any previous experience of corporal punishment before though I am not sure what he will do with the information, or really what quite what difference to expect it to make.

Ike's paddling was a forgone conclusion from moment he skipped class. Had I used corporal punishment at home with Ike I might be pondering whether it should earn him a spanking at home.

The schools academic standards at the ground level had better match its reputation on paper.

Re-reading the last paragraph of the scenario I am little unsure if the purpose of the requirement for the principal to give notice is to acquire explicit parental permission or to give me the opportunity to object.


Give Ike the swats. It's only 3. At 14 he won't even break a tear.

He broke a secular rule. He skipped classes, which also means he left the school grounds.

There is nothing religious with this scenario.

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