The Principal of Convenience
By Bryan Caplan
Eliezer beautifully articulates the moral outrage I felt from the age of 3 to 18:
Another example would be the principal who, faced with two children who
were caught fighting on the playground, sternly says: “It doesn’t
matter who started the fight, it only matters who ends it.” Of course
it matters who started the fight. The principal may not have access to
good information about this critical fact, but if so, he should say so, not dismiss the importance
of who threw the first punch. Let a parent try punching the principal,
and we’ll see how far “It doesn’t matter who started it” gets in front
of a judge. But to adults it is just inconvenient that children fight, and it matters not at all to their convenience which child started it, it is only convenient that the fight end as rapidly as possible.
Judging from my kids’ kindergarten, schools seem to have changed very much for the better: “Tattling” on bullies is encouraged rather than scorned, bullies are punished, and justice is served. My kids want the severity of punishment to be harsher still, but they just don’t know how good they’ve got it.