A version of this article was first published in educational Horizons 72,2 (Winter 1994)

School Violence, Punishment, and Justice
©1999 Edward G. Rozycki

See also: Doing "violence" to violence
Permissible School Violence
RETURN
reedited 8/17/11
"During the time men live without a common power to keep them all in awe, they are in a condition which is called war, and such a war as is of every man against every man." Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan
Introduction

Few topics generate more interest than violence in our schools. And few topics generate more profound confusion in both preachment and practice. Consider the following actual incident

About 8:55 on a Thursday morning in May middle school Teacher X is on his way to his first class. As he approaches Room 321, two students, one wearing a blue cap and the other hatless, race by him through the crowded hall. At the door of Room 322 they grab a student (hereafter called Sneakers). Sneakers breaks loose and runs into 322. Blue Cap and Hatless rush into 322 and drag Sneakers back out of the room. They push him into a corner so he can't escape. Sneakers hunkers his five-foot 100 pound frame down into a semi-crouch, crossing his arms. His hands are open and hang limply from the wrist; his face is turned away. Blue Cap, about 5'11" and 165 pounds closes in. Hatless, a smaller 5'6" at approximately 150 pounds, follows. The two begin punching Sneakers, hard but systematically, ignoring the many witnesses to the attack.

Teacher X finds himself the sole adult on the scene. Student eyes are upon him. They know he sees what is going on. Teacher X hurries over to the melee. As he approaches, he says in a loud voice, "Back off!" Hatless casts a glance toward Teacher X, seeing a much older, but not much bigger person than Blue Cap. Seeing that Teacher X's arms are loaded with school materials, Hatless turns back and resumes punching Sneakers. Blue Cap pays no attention to Teacher X's command and maintains the assault.

Teacher X, from bitter experience not daring to put down his personal effects in that crowded hallway, holds his briefcase firm in his left hand and in his right, a stack of tests and lesson plans. Having made no impression on the assailants with his shouted command, Teacher X kicks Hatless and Blue Cap in the calf with the vigor of a hard tap. The kick is intended to be decidedly perceptible but cause no damage. (Distraction, not damage is the intent. After all, the apparent victim may have provoked the beating.)

Hatless breaks off beating Sneakers for a second, drawing back a bit. "Damn Ninja Turtle!" he chuckles at Teacher X. Teacher X steps into the space opened, pushing Hatless aside with his hip and blocking his access to Sneakers. Blue Cap continues punching. Hatless runs away. Teacher X, still carrying his briefcase and folders, nudges into Blue Cap. But Blue Cap persists in hitting Sneakers. Teacher X steps into Blue Cap and pushes him to the wall. Blue Cap, now distracted, directs himself to the still encumbered Teacher X. Sneakers runs away.

Blue Cap sticks his face into Teacher X's face, staring hostilely. Then he backs off, laughs and says, "C'mon, I can take you, I can take you," and runs off down the southwest hall.

Teacher X returns to 321 where his first class is waiting. It is 9:00. While his class does boardwork, he writes what information he can fit on the disciplinary report form and takes it down to the principal.

The principal is quite perturbed over the "violence" in Teacher X's intervention. The principal insists that such behavior on Teacher X's part was dangerous and unprofessional, and only exacerbated the situation. Teacher X protests that his intervention is in accord with both state school code and school board policies permitting the use of reasonable force to impede assault or quell a disturbance.(1)

No disciplinary action is taken against Blue Cap and Hatless. Pressured by the parents of Blue Cap, the principal, not having witnessed the incident himself, relies solely on the testimony of Blue Cap and his friends. The principal's report to his superiors judges that the boys' attack was mere "horseplay," ignoring Sneakers' reluctant participation in the affair. Furthermore, he writes that he "feels" that Teacher X, solely by virtue of his having used his feet, committed a violation of the school district's policy against corporal punishment. He recommends punitive action and warning of intent to dismiss.

Teacher X's appeals to higher administration are unsuccessful. Those officials concur with the principal's "feeling."

Such a decision is not an unusual . Discussions of punishment in schools usually contain a mishmash of metaphorical and legalistic concepts with little attention paid to using consistent, much less moral, criteria. In addition, the whole process is often subject to political corruption.

There is also a great deal of confusion in schools about how to deal with violence. Physical force, for example, tends to be condemned no matter what circumstances prompt its use. Kids who fight to protect themselves from a bully are frequently given the same penalty as the bully. The muddled rationale for this procedure is often that the school cannot "condone any violence." However, by failing to confront the moral issues involved, the school inadvertently teaches another, more profound lesson: he who aggresses first, wins.

The problem with violence is that most people, like Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart with pornography, can't say what it is yet claim to know it when they see it. Other than to signal disapproval, the term violence makes it hard to discuss important problems calmly. It means too many things to too many people. Some especially perspicacious persons see children playing video games to be engaged in "violence." Oversheltered academics discern "violence" even in forms of discourse. "Violence" also occurs on TV and movie screens, as well as football fields. Apparently, the only thing unable to suffer violence is, itself, the concept of violence. Perhaps a more neutral term might help the analysis and avoid premature moral posturing.

Vigorous Interaction

I propose the phrase vigorous interaction as a first approximation of a description of interactions that less analytically inclined persons might characterize as violent. We can then

1) investigate what makes a particular vigorous interaction violent; and

2) under which circumstances how much interactional vigor is permissible, and by appeal to what standards.

There are benign actions that clearly have a high level of interactional vigor and may even cause pain, such as leading an aerobics class, or massage, or even karate sparring. Though it is beyond the scope of this short essay, we can imagine an extensive analysis that ranges from low levels of interactional vigor, say, aerobics to rough play, through wrestling and up to torture and killing. Are they violent? And if so, are they justifiable?

For a rough illustration of how an analysis of vigorous interaction might proceed, figure 1 sets up the vigor of the interaction as one dimension while, for example, willingness of the participants is given as the second dimension. (Risk of physical damage, amount of pain inflicted, or other criteria could be used instead of willingness.)

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figure 1

We might distinguish between items at the same level of vigorous interaction by considering the willingness of the participant. Figure 1 illustrates how important the willingness of the participants is for distinguishing sparring from assault. Note that even if participants are unwilling, as in the case of vaccination, condemnation may not be called for. There is something deeper here than just a matter of willingness and interactional vigor. We will examine other supporting criteria later on.

Our analysis must not be prejudiced by our terminology. Not all vigorous interactions are condemnable, even if violent. Just think of some circus acts or any number of common sports and games, e.g. touch-football, buck-buck. (Nor need an interaction, if condemnable, be violent, e.g. theft, humiliation, lying.) While violence is often imprudent, because it risks wider undesirable consequences, it is not, solely because of its imprudence, immoral. For example, wrestling in a concrete schoolyard is imprudent because the opponents risk severe injuries on the hard surface. It is not immoral, however, even if violent, as we can see by removing the contest to a gymnasium mat. But if one of the parties has been bullied into the conflict, then it is immoral, even if done on pillows.

The problem of dealing with violence in the public schools is this: it is far easier to obtain consensus in a community on what is imprudent, because risky, than on what is immoral. Thus public schools tend to treat imprudent violence as a moral dereliction and to overlook bullying where severe harm is not likely.

It is no accident that in the public mind to be an educator is to be a Pollyanna. The public schools have long promulgated a 19th Century caricature of "feminine" behavior as the general student ideal: docility, cheerfulness, and forbearance are among its characteristics. Matters of "refined taste" are mischaracterized as ethical issues. Thus in the schools we find resistance to observing morally critical distinctions between rough play, mock fighting, sexually exploratory conflict, intimidation, coercion, or assault. These distinctions are administratively too fine-grained and morally too subtle to enjoy a wide consensus on their particulars. In addition, teachers who are willing to make such distinctions are not likely to be the passive policy-slaves that many school systems prefer to hire.

Punishment

Our particular interest will be in interactions called punishments. The justice and cruelty of punishment are critical moral concerns. Punishments may or may not be vigorous interactions. The justice of punishment, or its cruelty, can be judged independently of the vigor of its interactions.

Punishment is itself not a univocal term. A debate of sorts reported more than a decade ago retains its cogency, primarily because not a whit of progress in that controversy has been achieved. In the June 2, 1980, issue of U.S. News and World Report , Temple University Professor Irwin Hyman and then Los Angeles School Board member Bobbi Fiedler gave us two very different characterizations of corporal punishment.

Should spanking be allowed in schools? Yes, replied Fiedler to her interviewer, because teachers and students suffer assault in school in increasing numbers. Will it be effective? Teachers voted to restore it, responded Fiedler, not answering the question. How can excesses be avoided? Her answer: by proper policy! (However, to rely on policy to avoid excess in a vigorous interaction betrays a naive optimism. Football players, for example, still get hurt, despite the rules and penalties!)

Hyman's responses are hardly better. He would outlaw corporal punishment because it "doesn't work." He adds, "The only thing it does is temporarily suppress behavior. It doesn't change behavior or teach new behavior." (This is not even clever academic sophistry on Hyman's part. So far as behavior is concerned, if it is suppressed, then, practically, it has been changed. Discipline need not be soul-craft.)

Now, whatever problems we might find in these arguments, it is a safe bet that corporal punishment means something significantly different to Fiedler and Hyman. Fiedler argues that a reasonable, effective procedure can be found; Hyman denies this vociferously, anathematizing corporal punishment as a "violence that breeds violence."

Such jousting between advocates such as Fiedler and Hyman is probably more entertaining than illuminating. Mustering arguments to persuade us that corporal punishment is either civilization's last hope or a barbaric torture, they confuse crucial issues. The failure to distinguish different conceptions of punishment undermines efforts to address important questions. For example,
 

1. Is a certain kind of punishment moral, both generally and in a specific application?

2. Does the use of punishment have social benefits or costs apart from those that accrue to the punished individual?
Teachers know, for example, that when individual offenders are unable to be identified class detentions often work to restore order. Yet many feel uneasy about the justice of them because they involve punishing the innocent along with the guilty.

Our final question in this group is

3. Is it good policy for the school to permit or prohibit a certain kind of punishment?
The extent to which these questions are related warrants careful examination. The answer to one of them may have no bearing on the answer to another.

Recalling our concerns about vigorous interaction, violence, justice and cruelty, we might ask in addition:

4. Are all punishments, even corporal punishments, vigorous interactions?

5. Are those punishments that are vigorous interactions necessarily cruel or violent?
To clarify some of these issues I would like to briefly sketch four different conceptions of punishment. The normal confusion of these different "concept families" lies at the bottom of much schooling mispractice.

Four "Concept Families" of Punishment

There are four concept-families of punishment: the metaphorical; the psychological; the legal; and the ethical-moral.

The metaphorical concept is often the tool of sportswriters and novelists who write about "punishing blocks" or "punishing winds." Imagined characteristics of unpleasantness , vigorous interaction, or affliction are the stuff of such metaphor. However, considerations of justice and cruelty are clearly out of place here. A punishing storm is not acting for justice. Nor can we complain of its cruelty, except in a poetic vein. Ironically, however, this metaphorical concept is the one in most common use, even among psychologically well-trained educators. There is an uncritical tendency to regard any vigorous action as "punishment" when it is directed at another person.

Psychological concepts of punishment focus almost exclusively on aversive stimuli and their effects on conduct: behavioral change in the face of pain defines punishment. Justice and cruelty do not fit in with this family of concepts, inasmuch as the psychological criteria cannot help us distinguish torture from accident: a lashing is as morally neutral as a sunburn. This is why psychological concepts of punishment are so handy in totalitarian environments: "Science" may be solemnly invoked to quiet the conscience and questions of justice may be cleverly finessed. If we use pain to control behavior but label it "treatment" instead, even the law helps us dodge the issue of justice.(2)

Western legal conceptions of punishment historically have required that conditions of the proper authority (3) of the punisher, the guilt of the punished, and commission of misdeed be met. The unpleasantness of the affliction is also generally assumed, but due to the impersonal level at which the law works, such unpleasantness may vary greatly in relation to the offense. Moral monsters may enjoy the blandishments of an Allenwood prison, while nuisances rot in local dungeons. And depending upon the circumstances of the person punished, there may be little unpleasantness about it. Counselors have told me how some of their middle school students look forward to prison as providing at least three meals a day and some protection from arbitrary violence -- in unfortunate contrast to their normal home and school experience. A prison term serves not only as a rite of passage, but enables them to make social contacts and learn what to them are useful skills.

The ethical-moral family of punishments tends to involve five criteria(4) that distinguish them from important examples of non-punishment such as rewards, assaults, reprisals, and accidents. As I present each criterion I will indicate what an interaction might otherwise be if the criterion were not met.

To be a punishment in an ethical-moral sense:

1. a treatment must involve unpleasantness to the victim, otherwise it might be a reward, or a bribe;

2. a treatment must be for a (supposed) offense, otherwise it might be an assault;

3. a treatment must be of a (supposed) offender, otherwise it might be a reprisal against a hostage;

4. a treatment must be the work of personal agencies -- not merely the consequences of an action -- otherwise it might be an accident; and

5. a treatment must be imposed by the proper authority, otherwise it might be revenge.(5)



Figure 2 gives the conditions defining the ethical-moral conception of punishment across the top and illustrates how not only the other conceptions of punishment are degenerate cases but shows how related items meet or fail to meet those conditions. We can understand how metaphorical and psychological conceptions of punishment are easily confused with a variety of other treatments and afflictions by their sharing so very few criteria with the far-more complicated moral and legal notions.

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........Criterion

Action

Intended
Un-pleasant
Of Offender
For Offense
with Authority
with Vigor
Aimed at Effect
Moral Punishment
X
X
X
X
X
Legal Punishment
X
X?
X
X
X
Psychological Punishment
X
X?
Metaphorical Punishment
X
X

Assault

X

X

Reward

X

Accident

X

Reprisal

X

X


X


X?

Revenge

X

X

X?

X?

figure 2

By considering these conditions we can come easily to some conclusions which, though hardly startling, contradict much of what passes for knowledge in school and society. First let us follow the Oxford English Dictionary in defining cruelty.

Cruelty is insensitivity to or pleasure in the infliction of suffering on others.

If our agreement that something is violent requires that we agree that an undesirable level of interactive vigor has occurred, it follows immediately that

1. punishment, even corporal punishment, may not be either violent or cruel.

2. More importantly, non-violent acts can be both unjust and cruel.(6)

But most children over the age of six know that! Yet we adults must philosophize intricately to overcome that blindness brought on by years of adaptation to institutional ideologies. There is little doubt that the principal's judgment of Teacher X's action involved a profound confusion of these different conceptions of violence. His "feelings" were probably rooted in the metaphorical, supported in their intensity by the vigor of the interaction. His judgments about student and teacher culpability, however, reflect other agendas and lack an understanding of the commitments important to maintaining our traditions of justice.(7) Educators are often tempted to deal with conflict situations in the practically most expedient manner: bullying is rebaptized "playing around," assault is called "challenge," and battery, "roughhousing." In this way, often legally pointless time-consuming investigation is forestalled, parents are placated and one's own career prospects not jeopardized by controversy. Punishment, and challenges to its justice, is avoided. (Only the students' feelings of morality and security need be offended: they can always bring a gun.)

Punishing the Child

Commitment and justice are the crucial issues with respect to the use of punishment. When it comes to these, both the advocate and opponent of corporal punishment sit on the wrong side of the fence. Neither wants to bring into question the desirability of their educational commitments. And both are concerned to institute social controls irrespective of considerations of justice. The dispute, for example, between Fiedler and Hyman is little more than a quibble as to the amount of pain, mental or physical, necessary to achieve their goals.

Most children I encounter in my school experience care less about whether punishment is corporal than whether it is just. The question of justice presents itself readily when corporal punishment is at issue: court rulings ensure it will be addressed in the school. But the justice of noncorporal punishment is far from ensured and appears, in fact, to be of little concern to those who mistakenly believe that lack of physical contact, which may preclude violence, also precludes cruelty and injustice.

Punishment is the sacrifice of the individual's comfort to the professed ideals of a community. It is at the very least a demonstration that the unpleasantness suffered by the one punished is of lower priority than the commitments celebrated in its execution. Yet the concept of punishment in a community helps define that community's concept of the individual. The more "fine-grained" the one, the more "fine-grained" the other. School practices of reprisal in the use of class detention, or team "punishment" exercises, are techniques that can be used to strengthen the perception of community by blurring the otherwise important distinction between what one directly controls and what one is accountable for.

Ideally, the moral use of punishment rests on the presumption that commitments about what is right and wrong should be shared by both punisher and punished. In the educational context where we take development into consideration, the moral use of punishment rests on the morality of our imposing the consequences of our commitments upon children who may be too immature to appreciate their desirability (8).

What are the commitments that underlie the use of punishment in the school? What ends are served not only by punishment, but by any of the kinds of imposition that are the common experience of school children: waiting to go to the bathroom, keeping silent, remaining immobile for lengths of time? The commitments that underlie the use of punishment to maintain such "discipline" usually serve institutional convenience rather than individual well-being. The fact that many educators avoid such insights is obscured by irrelevant arguments about the effectiveness of certain treatments in "improving behavior" or "reducing violence."

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The Central Question

The central educational question is this: what conduct is to be achieved at what cost in human anguish and for what reasons? I see concerns about "violence" and "child abuse" and worries about "corporal punishment" to be distractions from this basic question.

I am not insinuating that punishment be abandoned, although I personally find little in the school's academic curriculum worth the sacrifice of human pain. Curricula are traditionally organized for the convenience of academic specialists rather than the needs of learners. My personal indulgence -- one that I try to share with my students -- is that one should not study what one cannot love; and a good teacher is one who can bring us to love what we study.

Just punishment, to give it its due, is a moral refinement when we compare it to assault, reprisal, or many of the informally sanctioned demands it is school practice to subject students to. The blurring of the concept of punishment in the schools, although administratively convenient, undermines the development of an adult conception of individual rights.

For example, one technique touted to be a disciplinary innovation is to have the "malefactor" write an essay as to why her behavior was undesirable. This presumes the child understands that her behavior was undesirable. But suppose what the child did was to resist bullying or to protect a friend, only to be told that "fighting" as the school calls it, was wrong. Advocates of this disciplinary approach no doubt imagine themselves to be morally superior to those who would use corporal punishment. But can't we understand this "disciplinary innovation" to risk a moral abomination of a far more profound sort? Might it not attack the student's very integrity and coerce her to lie so as to extricate herself from the threat of something worse?

By way of parallel imagine yourself constrained to write an essay on why critical thinking is in general undesirable and why your particular practice of it is morally wrong. Imagine yourself vulnerable to severer unpleasantness should you fail to complete your assignment.(9) This is the essence of "reeducation" as practiced in totalitarian societies the world over. If what we do with children is somehow different, then this difference merits substantial investigation.

I mentioned earlier that distinctions between rough play, mock fighting, and sexually exploratory conflict are morally too subtle to enjoy much of a consensus on their particulars. But growing up where a consensus exists on these particulars is essential to one's moral development. Where children from quite different communities are thrown together willy-nilly without regard for the stage of moral development they may be in, the school, usually a very big school, transforms moral discourse into political ideology. In the multi-ethnic school where Teacher X works, children are given "tolerance lessons" and earn good grades in proportion to the number of heart-warming things they can learn to say about a variety of different ethnic groups. In the halls and schoolyard, their punching, name-calling, and shoving - seldom seen as "violent," now that they have been taught to be "tolerant" - indicate what they have really learned.

It may be that there some commitments are worth even a high cost in human anguish and justify unpleasantness of almost any kind. Or maybe "humaneness" is a value that supercedes all commitments. This possibility remains to be investigated. However, noncorporal punishment, or other "nonviolent" treatments are not necessarily more humane than corporal punishment, and unpleasantness is not necessarily a bad thing. The sentimentality that strives to remove "violence" from the schools does not necessarily strive for an educational improvement. For apart from some consensus about what education is to achieve and some knowledge of feasible means - both lacking in present-day American schools - we have few grounds for rational judgment.

Morality, like mind and muscle, develops.(10) Children are not yet adults. Forcing the competitive egalitarianism of the adult world into the school does not nurture moral development. Those of us who have worked in the public schools are sometimes seized by a dark despair. We cannot morally educate children in the vast, pluralistic bureaucracies that, with the best of intentions, pit us as adversaries against each other: student versus teacher versus administrator versus parent. In this vast community of compulsion, or carceral, as Michel Foucault calls it, punishment is transformed from a means of education in a community into the instrument of its dissolution. The student's path from classroom disruption to disciplinarian's office to detention room is not a Pilgrim's Progress.

Foucault writes that in a bureaucratic institution

Punishment ... will tend to become the most hidden part of the ... process. This has several consequences: it leaves the domain of more or less everyday perception and enters that of abstract consciousness; its effectiveness is seen as resulting from its inevitability ...; it is the certainty of being punished and not the horrifying spectacle of public punishment that must discourage crime. As a result, justice no longer takes public responsibility for the violence that is bound up with its practice. ... Those who carry out the penalty tend to become an autonomous sector; justice is relieved of the responsibility for it by a bureaucratic concealment of the penalty itself.(11)
In many schools, however, we have given up not only the "horrifying spectacle" but also the inevitability of punishment. To the rational mind unencumbered with moral misgivings, any action is permissible. Only considerations of prudence are cogent. As a colleague of Teacher X complains, "These kids don't play by the rules, they play the lottery!"

Not only has the sentimental pursuit of physically non-interactive correction made it possible to inflict anguish upon children in ways impervious to the discipline of justice, it has also transformed many schools into instruments for realizing Hobbes' dismal vision: the war of each against everyone.

A Parable

In the Republic of Foz a group of high-minded citizens undertook to remove the bitterness from every medicinal preparation. And with all but one potion they succeeded. But there was an elixir the curative power of which diminished with its bitterness. This elixir was the only antidote for the fatal sting of the Fozfly. Thus there arose at first a murmuring, then public indignation at the efforts of this band of crusaders.

Fearful that their quest be frustrated, our noble champions regrouped and with the help of a government grant formed the Foz Foundation. The members of the Foz Foundation dedicated their research to demonstrating that the sting of the Fozfly, far from being an affliction, was merely an occasion that precipitated a "natural life crisis."

Now, in the Fozian language, nothing categorized as a "natural life crisis" is considered to be a disease. Nor is anything characterized with the term disease also conceived to be a natural life crisis. Since only diseases require medical treatment, the proper Fozian response to a natural life crisis is acceptance and resignation.

Thus as the influence of the Foz Foundation waxed, the need for the recalcitrantly bitter potion waned. In the final stages of enlightenment to which most of Fozian society was educated - called Fozzy thinking - there existed in all the land no medicinal preparation that had a bitter taste.

And death by Fozfly - still rumored by certain barbarians to be avoidable - came to be accepted as natural and necessary, if still a discontent of Fozian civilization.

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ENDNOTES
(1) Pennsylvania State Board of Education regulation 22 § 12.5 d. "In situations where a parent or school board prohibits corporal punishment, reasonable force may still be used by teachers and school authorities under the following circumstances: 1) to quell a disturbance; 2) to obtain possession of a weapon or other dangerous objects; 3) for the purpose of self-defense; 4) for the protection of persons or property."

(2) See Ramsey v. Ciccone, 310 Supp. 600, 605 (W.D. Mo.1971): "Even though the treatment is usually painful or causes unusual mental suffering, it may be administered to a prisoner without his consent if it is recognized as appropriate by recognized medical authority or authorities."

(3) See for example the discussion of novel disseisin in Harold J.Berman, Law and Revolution. The Formation of the Western Legal Tradition (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1983) pp. 240-245. An ancient principle seems to be to deny self-help to injured parties. A person wrongfully deprived of property may not use extra-legal force to recover that property. If party A wrongfully deprives B of some property, then should B regain it by force, B must return it to A before bringing complaint about A to the courts.

(4) This follows Anthony Flew in S.I. Benn and R.S. Peters, The Principles of Political Thought (New York:Free Press, 1965) 202.

(5) Some philosophers prefer to overlook certain ancient members of the family. Efforts toward deterrence and reform are congenial to modern tastes; retribution is a relative easier forgotten. Atonement is pretended dead, or left to thrive only among those unblessed of "modernity." Cf. Ted Honderich, Punishment: The Supposed Justifications (Middlesex, England: Penguin 1971).

(6) Edward G. Rozycki, "Pain and Anguish: the need for corporal punishment" (Champaign, IL: Philosophy of Education 1978: Proceedings of the thirty-fourth annual meeting of the Philosophy of Education Society,1979) 380?392.

(7) Such techniques are generally moralized about in this fashion: "We are all our brother's keeper!" or "We have social responsibilities to correct our comrades", or by means of theories justifying reparations.

(8) But isn't this justification circular? We impose on children because they are immature. They remain "immature" so long as they do not accept our commitments without imposition. They become mature only when the imposition is no longer necessary, i.e., when they accept what we have heretofore had to impose on them. Can such a justification survive a thoroughgoing "multiculturalism" or a recognition of a potential infinity of "lifestyles"? Doesn't this kind of thinking support what many condemn as "imperialism"? Or might it be that "imperialism" can be justified in much the same way moral education is? These are intriguing questions but beyond the scope of our present enterprise.

(9) This "uncertainty manipulation" tends to replace corporal punishment. It is psychologically very effective but requires deliberate obfuscation by the manipulator of the possible consequences of manipulated person's actions. Cf. Daniel Kahneman, Paul Slovic and Amos Tversky (eds.) Judgment under Uncertainty: Heuristics and Biases (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1982) 3?20.

(10) What we observe are changes. That we judge any change to be development or degeneration depends on our accepting certain standards. Is there any consensus on this in the schools?

(11) Michel Foucault, Discipline and Punish. The Birth of the Prison. (New York: Vintage, 1979) 9-10.

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