Anthony Mako (ajmako@NLS.NET)
Wed, 5 Aug 1998 14:15:10 -0400
>ALL forms of discipline are hazing???? Not according to the bible.
Steve, the argument involved distinguishing between discipline and
punishment. Discipline involves an attempt to correct behavior while
punishment involves enforcing an penalty for incorrect behavior.
>You must be able to discriminate between discipline and hazing.
Disciplining someone should not even come close to hazing. If it does then
you are talking about a punishment.
>Our troop has a simple rule - anything that might endanger yourself or
>others results in all doing pushups.
If you simply assign pushups without an explanation of why their activities
endangered themselves or the group, you are punishing them for their
actions. They will learn only that some actions will result in having to do
pushups. They won't necessarily learn why these actions result in pushups.
As they get better and better at doing pushups, you will have to assign more
and more pushups to the offense in order to get the desired effect.
If, on the other hand, they have to explain why their actions are dangerous
(etc.) you are disciplining them. The pushups simply reinforce the lesson.
In this case they learn the reason their actions are dangerous and are
inconvenienced by the pushups. If the actions are repeated it becomes a
simple matter of getting them to recall the lesson they already learned and
adding to the discomfort (more pushups). If they learn the reasons behind a
rule or policy (or why an action is considered bad), they will be more
inclined to follow the rules. In this case, increased penalties are not
>If two are separate from the rest of the patrol or troop and one
>misbehaves, then those two do pushups.
Why does the other Scout have to be punished or disciplined? Is it because
the buddy is somehow responsible for the mischievous Scout's actions? Do you
expect buddies to be able to stop misbehavior? There are only three
possibilities: 1) Neither Scout misbehaves; 2) One Scout misbehaves and the
other does not; or 3) both Scouts misbehave. If neither Scout misbehaves we
are happy. If both Scouts misbehave determining who gets disciplined is
easy. If one misbehaves but the other doesn't, only one should be
disciplined. Disciplining the Scout who didn't misbehave only serves to
generate negative peer pressure on the Scout who did misbehave. I know some
have called it positive peer pressure, but I find nothing positive about it.
After 28 years in Scouting I can tell you that when all the pushups are
over, the misbehaving Scout isn't going to be calmly and rationally dealt
with by his fellow Scouts. More likely he is going to be threatened calmly.
>If that is hazing, then I vote that hazing is necessary and beneficial!
The act, in and of itself is not hazing (although it comes pretty close). I
would submit though that it is neither necessary or beneficial. Peer
pressure is too easily turned negative to be very helpful in disciplining
Scouts. Negative peer pressure often leads to suspicion and distrust among
the Scouts. Disciplining Scouts for no other reason than their proximity to
misbehaving Scouts send all Scouts a bad message.
AJ Mako, firstname.lastname@example.org, Scoutmaster Troop 381
http://members.aol.com/Scouts381/ "Home of the Unofficial Boy Scout Desktop
Great Trail Council - Old Portage District - Akron, Ohio
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City