Re: Hazing and Humiliation - More
Ed Darrell (EDarr1776@AOL.COM)
Tue, 20 May 1997 10:27:49 -0400
In a message dated 97-05-20 09:40:17 EDT, chuckb@AZTEC.ASU.EDU (CHUCK
<< Bobby is now in jail, and who knows what will happen to him.
While he was not a victim of Hazing (TTBOMK) Scouting did him no
good, nor did his church or family. I doubt if jail will. You can
draw any conclusion that you like from this story, and likely all of
them would be incorrect to some degree. But I, personally, feel that
he could have benifitted from a good whipping. Or, as my father (now
82) puts it "He wasn't given enough pats on the back often enough,
hard enough, and low enough down to do any good." >>
Chuck has found the one exception that proves the rule. Here in Texas we
have 405 people on death row (it'll be 401 by the end of the week, and well
under 400 by the end of June, on the current schedule). Of the 405,
according to a lengthy study by the Dallas Morning News not a one of them
suffered from a lack of corporal "discipline" as children. Of all the people
sentenced to die for murder in the U.S., those spoiled by a spared rod can
probably be counted on one hand.
I'll put up our 405 killers to Bobby any day.
In the grand scheme of things, it is unlikely that one small incident of
hazing or humiliation will seriously affect any kid. Unlikely, but not
impossible. The effects are cumulative, however, and we cannot know in
advance which one will be the spark that ignites a conflagration. Around
gasoline, make no sparks.
I used to know a dear woman, a high school English teacher, who had a son who
also seemed not to thrive on positive strokes. He was sentenced to die for a
murder in California just before the Supreme Court struck down all U.S. death
penalties in the Furman v. Georgia case -- so his sentence was commuted. My
friend spent a lot of time with the prison's psychologist, and at one point
just asked point blank how she had failed so badly with the one kid. She
wanted to know what to tell parents not to do.
The psychologist told her that he had worked with the worst criminals
imaginable. He spoke from years of experience, he said. He told her that
her love had prevented the boy from turning killer at the age of 8. He said
that her love and understanding had nearly saved an incorrigible man; and he
told her that her love might yet pull him back from the brink.
The psychologist told her that it wasn't a lack of discipline or love that
made the kid go bad; it was an abundance of love that had kept him straight
for every moment he wasn't bad. In a life full of miracles, the psychologist
said, why do we dwell on the one time things work as normal.
I'm sorry Bobby didn't turn out to be the guy who cured cancer (though the
Leopold & Loeb case tells us that Bobby may yet do that!). I doubt seriously
that leaving him in the cold on a dark night with a bag looking for snipe
would have kept him out of trouble. I doubt that Bobby could have been
humiliated out of trouble.
And for those reasons, I must agree with earlier posters that these games
have no legitimate place in Scouting, save for examples of what not to do.
We don't know for certain exactly how people learn in all circumstances. But
there is not a study anywhere that suggests that hazing and/or humiliation
speed the process or improve its effectiveness.
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City