We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
I scanned Dalrymple's piece and came away thinking it was pretty much boilerplate sob story stuff about the human condition. Bad kid does bad things, the good kids don't do anything to stop it, the victim forgives, bad kid triumphs. Let sadness and introspection ensue.
Ok, I agree that turning the other cheek has it's limits, certainly in the school setting and when the offense is so violent and bloody. Maybe that soft hearted teacher was also too soft headed? Or was she?
I see something else here. I see the child who contracted for the beating and I see him or her taking charge of an otherwise untenable circumstance. Is that a good or bad thing? From his perspective, the teacher was the oppressor. His appeals for clemency had been denied. That teacher was going to mark him as a cheater and punish him for it. I can only guess how far that would follow him and what impact it might have on his future. From the child's perspective, it must have looked hopeless. He was trapped in a tyrannical system, his appeals were denied and he took action. I have to admire that.
That soft hearted teacher was going to nail his ass to the wall. For cheating. I have to wonder where that teacher's sense of forgiveness was? I have to wonder if that teacher didn't have a beating coming to her?
What lessons might we learn from this? I see a real life example of mankind's natural aversion to tyranny to begin with. And maybe, an illustration of why organized crime will always be with us. Sometimes, the dark side is the one we need.
Probably both of these young men are deeply flawed and may well be irredeemable. This was a psychopathic act for both the kid in the class and the hired hitman. I will predict that the system will not punish either of these appropriately to their crime and that sometime in the near future someone else will suffer probably a worse fate at their hands. Some people simply do not belong in polite society and become wolves among sheep.