This will be my last blog about that Maureen Dowd article (the one about the grade 8 Landon boys involved in the “sex draft”). I promise.
I’ve been trying to figure out how we would handle a situation like this and have asked a number of people for their suggestions. A good number have said, “The first thing I’d do is expel those boys.”
That’s certainly a reasonable response, but I double clutch at the thought of expelling elementary school students. You can make the case that any boy of any age who so grossly objectifies girls deserves a very severe consequence, but removing these boys from the school may not do much to improve their distorted world-view.
The tension in disciplinary issues like this is between justice (What the boys and the community need to see as a consequence ) and compassion (We know boys, even the best boys, make mistakes. How can they learn from their errors?).
You may have heard the one about the man who was bitten by a dog and came down with an incurable case of rabies. The doctor told him there was no cure for him and that he should draw up a will. The man was in the process of writing a very long document, when his doctor stopped him to say he didn’t need to write such an elaborate will. The man responded, “I’m not writing a will. I’m drawing up a list of all the people I want to bite.”
I understand the desire to sink one’s teeth into injustice. It’s just that with young boys, that impulsive response can sometimes undermine what we are really trying to achieve.