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Alternative Punishment Program
Standing On Their Own Two Feet - Part One

by Red Sore Teen Bottom

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Copyright on this story text belongs at all times to the original author only, whether stated explicitly in the text or not. The original date of posting to the MMSA was: 09 Feb 2018

This is an introduction to a new series that I call The Alternative Punishment Program because it presents an idea as to where our Juvenile Justice System in the United States is headed considering a number of factors such as overcrowded juvenile detention centers (Juvie,) the low regard that juvenile offenders have towards showing up when required to do community service, the reported growth in juvenile crimes and juvenile involvement in gangs, the increasing violence in schools, the fact that teachers spend more time correcting misbehavior among students than actually feeding hungry minds, the rising dropout rates, the lowering school standards, the requirements for the two income family, the number of families that have to struggle to support themselves as their real dollar incomes drop and lastly (for this sentence,) a government that wants to prioritize punishment over helping those with the least among us to pull themselves out of this mine field of holes.

Alternative Punishment Program Part I and II are also a coming of age story. Two boys who get to know themselves over a weekend better than they could have imagined a week earlier because of their unfortunate circumstances.

It is longer than a typical Spank the bad boy story because I want to delve into the minds of a couple of normally good fourteen year olds who frankly, have the same exact questions that I had at the end of eighth grade with my own situation.

Like Mike and Ricky, I had to make the choice of getting off free and clear or admitting to something that would mean what we called in our class, a tomato butt because of the thoroughness that I knew that my punishment would be delivered and how long those red stripes would remain......I reach back over forty years to how I had to prepare myself both before and after I had made my really tough decision.

********************************************Please, let me know what you think!********************

It had been almost three weeks since life long friends Ricky Bradshaw and Mike Walker had been picked up by Officer Dexler at 11:30pm for throwing pebbles from the hill over I-75 at cars that were traveling down the interstate towards Florida. The two Tifton, Georgia fourteen year old boys had decided that this would be a fun way to spend an evening that they had escaped the confines of their respective bedrooms where they were SUPPOSED to be asleep in preparation for another day of eighth grade classes at Cross Branch Middle School. The boys though had gotten cases of early May Spring Fever and decided in their independence to sneak out and meet at the hillside to raise some Hell by destroying drivers’ windshields. They hadn’t thought of the danger that the little rocks could cause, and luckily, no accidents had happened but one of the drivers called 911 after seeing one of the boys toss a rock that hit his windshield.

And then, Officer Dexler showed up and from that second on, the raising some Hell had turned into an unfun night as the police officer took both boys to their homes where he had conferences with their fathers. He then gave each teen a ticket that required the now frightened to the point of tears children to appear before a juvenile court judge in three weeks to resolve these crimes.

Ricky’s father had grounded his 5′7″ black haired son for a week on that early May Midnight while Mike’s father had taken his 5′10″ blonde son up to the bathroom and had him lower his blue jeans to his ankles and bend over the toilet so that the boy could scream out in pain as seven hard lashes of the doubled over belt could be fiercely laid across the seat of his briefs.

Mike had pleaded that this not happen as he had faced his father while reluctantly unbuckling his belt at the same time that his father unbuckled his own belt. Tears running down his face, the boy was whining, Please, Dad! I don’t want this! I promise that I’ll be good from now on!

Mike, I don’t want to do this either, but that ship sailed when you climbed out of your bedroom window at 11:00 on a school night.

The tears got thicker as Mike realized that there was no way of getting his twitching bottom out of its first midnight whipping. But, Dad, Can’t I at least leave my jeans up?

Sorry, Pal, but I think that you’ve earned yourself a fire truck red bottom, and there is no way that I can light that up through a pair of blue jeans. So, get them down below your knees, turn around and bend over so that your elbows are on the toilet seat.

Mike had never before been whipped with just underpants on, nor had he ever been required to put anything but his hands on the toilet seat, so he quickly realized that this was far different than his last whipping three months earlier as the first lash crossed his buttocks and he shrieked out in pain. His bottom as well as his feet danced as the seven lashes all fell with a vigor that he had never experienced before.

By the time that he was allowed to rise and feel the heat pulsating from his striped red skin, the whole Walker family was awake. Walking down the hall, crying, with his hands inside of his jeans and underpants, Mike was carefully massaging the scorched skin which would be put on display in about ten hours in the locker room for twenty five thirteen and fourteen year old boys to make fun of.

But now, it was a Friday morning, almost three weeks later as Mike nervously looked at his long healed bottom in the bathroom mirror. It was Friday morning and time for Mike and Ricky to go to court and face the music as Mike’s mother liked to put it.

Thursday evening, there had been a firm lecture in which both sets of parents had laid guilt trips on the two boys that the money to pay fines and restitution was coming out of the summer vacation trip funds, so there would be no trips for the Bradshaw or Walker families. As you can imagine, both fourteen year old eighth graders were being treated as pariahs by their siblings.

The boys had gone up to Mike’s room after the lecture while their parents had remained downstairs talking about how much their children disgusted them. Both boys felt extremely lonely, believing that their entire lives were ruined.

Almost in tears, Mike wistfully said to Ricky, God, I wish that we hadn’t snuck out. Now our whole families hate us. My mom doesn’t even say, How was school, Honey, any more when I get home. A tear ran down Mike’s cheek. I wanted so bad to be able to say how good I did on that math test, but she said, I don’t care when I tried to show her. If you look around the house, you’re gonna see that all of my pictures are taken down. Now, Mike started crying into his hands. Ricky, I don’t want to live any more.

Ricky put his arm around Mike’s shoulder and, also with tears running down his face, leaving red streaks, said, I know just what you mean. My sister Margie is the only one who talks to me. He wiped the tears from his face with his shirt sleeve and then pulled a couple of pieces of folded legal size paper from the back pocket of his jeans.

Look, Margie heard my mom talking to your mom about how mad they are that our whole families are having to pay for our badness. She told your mom that we should have to stand on our own two feet and pay for what we did by ourselves.

Mike looked over at his friend and, shaking his head, said, Ricky, I have a total of thirteen dollars and seventy-two cents. There’s no way that I can pay a two thousand plus dollars fine and rest–whatever that word is–to fix those windshields!

Ricky, opening up the pieces of paper, said, Restitution. And if you have thirteen dollars plus, you’re a whole lot richer than me. Getting the two pieces of paper unfolded, He handed one to Mike, nervously saying, This could be the answer to our problems. It should show our parents that we are willing to stand on our own and take our punishments, plus it will make it where our family vacations don’t have to be canceled. Only thing is, they have to receive this at the court by ten tonight to make sure the right judge gets it in the morning before our 4:00 trial tomorrow.

Mike’s heart sped up when he looked at the piece of paper..... APPLICATION FOR ALTERNATIVE PUNISHMENT PROGRAM (APP) He stared at his friend who was watching him expectantly. Ricky! Isn’t this that thing where the kid goes to Juvie for the weekend and gets his butt whipped with a strap at a middle school on Saturday morning?

Yep, Mike. But the kid also has to do community service to pay his fine and restitution for so many hours within a year. And if he doesn’t do the community service, he ends up getting one lash at the end of the year for every hour he missed, PLUS a whole week in Juvie.

But Ricky, If we have to work for like five hundred hours or something to pay the fine, that’ll come to like ten hours a week! That’d blow our vacation anyway!

No, Mike, I figured it out. See, since Summer is here in another week, Me and you can work together for like twenty five hours a week for seven weeks which leaves three weeks for going on vacation and just hanging out. So we would do one hundred seventy five hours over the summer. Then, when school starts up again, we could do up to six hours a week on Saturday for forty weeks and extra during Christmas vacation and Spring break to get to whatever our community service has to be. Most sentences are four hundred hours or less–so it IS possible to avoid that extra whipping.

But Ricky, your dad doesn’t believe in whipping you, and I can tell you from my experiences that these whippings WILL scorch our butts a lot more than a regular whipping from my dad does.

First off, Mike my dad is against HIM whipping me, but he DID sign and make me sign the agreement that allows me to get paddled at school. Second, which would you rather have, a weekend in Juvie and a burned butt for a few days AND that ten days at the beach or our families treating us like SHIT?

Okay, I agree. But how do we get these forms filled out and to the courthouse by 10:00 tonight? It’s already 6:00.

Okay. Mom and Dad are still downstairs drinking and griping about how we should be the ones getting punished, so we let them build up their anger some more while you fill out your form and I fill out mine, then we take them downstairs to have them sign them and then we fax them. I think it will be pretty easy to get them to really agree that it’s us who should get punished and not them since that’s what they’re talking about anyway.

Both boys started filling out their forms. As Ricky had guessed, when they finished and quietly walked down the stairs, Ricky’s father was somberly saying that maybe he should have used the belt on his son’s bottom a few times as his own father had done with him. The parents were a little tipsy when the two boys walked into the room with the two filled out applications for the APP.

The parents immediately verbally jumped on them spewing their anger about, as Ricky’s mother charged, you children keep expecting us to bail you out when you misbehave, and this time, it is going to cost thousands of dollars!

Ricky stomped his foot and screamed, NO MOM WE DON’T!

Mr. Bradshaw gave his son an angry look as he snapped, Richard Bradshaw, Don’t you dare yell at your mother! Now, you apologize immediately for your tone of voice.

I’m sorry, Mom, Ricky said in a frustrated voice. It’s just that me and Mike DON’T want you all to pay money to get us off of what should be our punishments. And we think that we’ve got a way where WE’LL have to take our own medicine.

Mrs. Walker spoke up, saying, There is no way that you two can come up with the money to replace eight windshields and pay the fine.

Actually, Mom, There is, Mike nervously announced. He opened up his filled out Application for APP and showed it to his parents. See, Ricky and I first heard about this program in our Current Events Class. It is for kids like us who are usually pretty good, but what they did to have to go to court was bad enough to have to get punishment.

Mr. Walker took the application from his son and started reading it as Mrs. Bradshaw did with Ricky’s.

Ricky took over the explanation. See, if the judge accepts us, we will get sent to a special courtroom tomorrow afternoon and there are three parts of the sentence.

Mike took over. First, we have to go to Juvie for the weekend for their Scared Straight lessons. We would be locked up until Sunday night.

Ricky began to talk. Yeah, but on Saturday morning, we would get taken to Abrams Middle School where people are invited to come and watch us and other kids get whippings.

And then, Me and Ricky will have to do however many hours of community service to pay for the broken windshields over the next year., Mike said, and then added, So, see, Mom and Dad, we wouldn’t have to cancel vacation after all.

And we heard you talking about how we need to be held responsible for our action, Ricky piped in, and besides, Dad, I just heard you say that you should have whipped me.

But, boys, First, Juvie is a horrible place where the inmates are treated like nobodies, Mr. Walker began.

Mike said, That’s better having that happen THERE for two days than it happen in my own house for the WHOLE SUMMER.

Yeah, Ricky said, seconding his friend’s comment.

As I was saying, boys, Mr. Walker continued, Juvenile Detention is a terrible and sometimes dangerous place to spend any time. We are trying to figure out ways to keep you two from ever having to go there....and your behavior three weeks ago sure hasn’t helped us do that.

But, Dad, Mike began.

However Mr. Walker held up his right hand. Let me finish with what I have to say, Mike. Secondly, I promise you that what they would be doing to your bottoms far exceeds what you have ever gotten, Mike, as it also far exceeds what your father was talking about when you two came in, Ricky. Let’s read the description of what they do.

Mr. Walker looked at the back of the application and began reading aloud. ’The teenaged offender is taken on Saturday morning from his cell at the juvenile detention center to the infirmary for examination by a doctor. The doctor shall determine if the child is medically capable of withstanding the intense pain that he must accept during the actual infliction of the strap.

He then went on, If the offender is medically approved, he is then put on the detention center bus along with other offenders who are to be strapped and taken to a local middle school gymnasium where all offenders are taken in and confined to a private room. Then, one at a time, each offender is taken to a table on the gymnasium floor where he shall be secured and his pants taken down. The strapping sentence shall be executed upon the offender’s bared buttocks.

He looked into the eyes of both nervous but determined fourteen year old boys. Then he said, Here’s something good. For modesty purposes, the public spectators will not be able to see either the genitals or buttocks of the offender, but they will be able to see the offender’s face as he suffers the infliction of sentence. Now THAT is how it is done. Do you two boys think you can take that and that you deserve that?

Mike nervously felt his heart pounding loudly and his mouth going dry while he felt a boner growing in his tight jeans. He knew that this might be the point of no return, a point that could guarantee the worst and most painful weekend of his life. He rubbed the sweat off of his hands on his pants legs as a tear ran down his smooth right cheek. His father had seen this reaction or something closely resembled to it during talking to’s that sometimes preceded a walk to the toilet where the boy would be bending over to feel the lash of the belt. It was the way that his middle son reacted when he accepted the realization that he did need to feel the leather to pay for his indiscretions. That did answer the father’s question.

But Mike reluctantly spoke anyway as his tears started to flow. Dad, I don’t want for us to miss our vacation and for Steve and Josh and you and Mom to be mad at me for it all Summer and to not see Grandma and Grandpa because all of the vacation money has to go to pay a fine and fix windshields. He wiped more tears from his face before continuing. And yes, I KNOW FOR SURE that this is exactly what I....We deserve since we fuc, I mean screwed up and this is the only way that I see to make sure that we have to be the ONLY ones who get punished. He sniffled. And yes, we can handle it. Zach Owens got it a couple months ago and said it hurts like Hel, I mean, Heck but within a couple of weeks he said it only hurt when he plopped down on a hard seat.

Ricky spoke up. Yeah. And I guess that Mike and I will just have to deal with it just like Zach did......and he’s not even fourteen yet.

So, You agree with what Mike said, Ricky? Mrs. Walker was looking straight into her oldest son’s blue eyes.

Uh Huh, Mom.

Tell us exactly what you believe, Ricky, Mr. Walker demanded.

Okay, Dad. First, the boy held up his index finger, I believe that I should be allowed to fax my application for the alternative punishment program within fifteen minutes so that tomorrow I will get took to Juvie for the weekend and get whipped on my bottom on Saturday morning at Abrams Middle School, and then that I should have to do community service to pay for the windshields that I broke.

The boy felt his bottom tingle and his own penis start to harden as he held up his index and middle fingers. Second, I believe that you guys should let me and Mike stand on our own two feet and be responsible for our own actions, and that you guys should accept and respect our decisions. He wiped a tear from his face.

Next, he held up three fingers. Then, I think that since we ARE going to get punished, and we ARE going to accept our punishments, that you all ought to quit treating us like crappy garbage. Margie is the only one in our family who has said anything nice to me in three weeks. FINE! We admit that we fucked up, and that we deserve to get it for what we did and we even filled out forms to make SURE that we’re going to go to a horrible place for the weekend and get our butts busted black and blue, but you guys need to quit adding nasty looks and words to our punishments. You don’t do that when we get detention at school, so why do it when we already feel bad enough?

Wiping his tears again, Ricky finished up. I’m sorry about the language Mom and Dad. But you asked me what I believe. And Dad, you are right. You probably should have used the belt on me especially when Mike was getting it. I’m just as tough as any other kid.

Mr. Bradshaw said, Ricky, I will talk to you about why I don’t like to use corporal punishment on you and your siblings sometime soon. I promise you that. But now, we need to look at this Alternative Punishment Program and come to a decision. What do you say, Bill? The metaphorical talking stick went to Mike’s father.

Boys, you two go up to Mike’s room while we talk about this.

The two eighth graders slowly rose and reluctantly walked upstairs and closed Mike’s door and sat on the bed, nervously awaiting to hear the order to come downstairs to hear if they would be given charge of their own fates.

His right leg nervously bouncing up and down, Ricky said, Oh Man. That was hard. I feel like, exhausted.

You sure did good though, Ricky, Mike responded. I wonder how long it’ll take for them to decide? And I sure hope my mom and dad won’t decide different from yours.

Yeah. We both did good. But now, I feel a lot sick. It’s like I’ll feel relieved and disappointed if they don’t sign but I’ll feel real scared and even more nervous if they do sign.

I know Ricky. I can tell you that the absolute worst part of getting a whipping is after you know that it’s going to happen but before it actually happens. Mike took off his Converse gym shoes and continued. I’m also feeling sick waiting, but I’ll feel proud of us if they sign and if we don’t act like babies at court or Saturday morning when it happens. In fact, I think that we should tell the Current Affairs Class tomorrow if they sign.

Why, Mike? It’ll be all over school and we’ll get hassled and every eighth grader will show up to watch it happen!

Exactly, Ricky. And that’ll give us reason to psyche ourselves up enough to show them that we’re really tough. Besides, if our parents sign, every kid will know after PE on Monday, Right?

Yeah, Now that you mention it. Okay, Mike, but I’ll still feel scared if they sign. That’s for sure.

I will too, Ricky, but you’re gonna be the only one that I tell. But, besides, if just a few eighth graders show up, and we figure out a way to take it without acting like little kids, then we have WITNESSES that we handled it tough. If we didn’t have witnesses, then in PE on Monday, they would all say that we probably cried like babies.

But, what if we DO cry like babies?

Ricky, I think that first of all, we can figure out ways to NOT act like a little kid, and second off, those eighth graders who show up will SEE some sixteen and seventeen year old kids who DO cry like babies because they won’t have thought up ways to NOT cry like babies.

Mike put his hand under his chin in the thinking position. Hmmmmmm, yeah! He snapped his fingers, I got it! We both do play football, and you being a running back and me being a tackle, both of us spend the WHOLE GAME getting hit hard–harder than a belt lash. We both come home with bruises on our arms and legs! We also play football over in back of the school on weekends and then we don’t have our uniforms and pads, and after THOSE games, I even have bruises on my butt! You got hit hard enough in a game WITH pads that you got your arm broke! And, no crying!

Yeah, but that was FOOTBALL! Both me and you LIVE TO PLAY FOOT BALL! Ricky’s eyes lit up as he imitated the way that Coach Crew said two separate words Foot Ball rather than one word. Football is FUN Mike, and when I got the broken arm, I still dragged three kids from Abrams fifteen yards. That was probably the most funnest play of my shortened season. Ricky’s smile and eyes were sparkling!

Yeah, Ricky, but it was a play where you left the field hurt worse than this whipping is going to hurt, and hurting longer than this whipping is going to hurt! See, we just have to imagine that we’re playing a real real tough team for a few minutes! OR, we can think about next weekend when we’ll get bounced around by a few real real big waves. Let’s take this chance to show everyone that we’re the toughest kids around! We enjoy that kind of pain even though it is the same kind of pain as that whipping will give us. Hell man, it’s just the way that you look at things! Then, if we feel the need to cry like a baby, we can hold off until Sunday night!

Okay Mike, but let’s keep this experiment to ourselves instead of telling other people. It might be a good project for the Science Fair next year. I can see it now, in bright lights, PAIN CONTROL DURING AN ASS WHIPPING! Both boys started laughing and socking each other with Mike’s pillow and stuffed bunny.

At that point, Mike’s seventeen year old brother, Steve came in and said, You two dweebs are really weird, asking Mom and Dad to let you get your asses whooped and then laughing. You are both wanted downstairs.

Standing up, Mike said, You should be happy, Dumb Ass since if they agree, you’ll get to WATCH us get our asses whooped and also, you’ll probably get to drive your car to the beach.....but I don’t know anybody who’ll ride with you.

When the two boys got to the living room, both of their stomachs were experiencing butterflies and they were breathing heavily.

Mr. Walker began to speak as the sweating teenagers stood before the Board of Parents with their eyes wide while all four parents were stone faced and grim. Boys, the first thing that we decided in discussing your proposal was that for any one of us to agree, we ALL have to agree. He then looked at his notes.

The second thing that we had to do was to come to an agreement that by signing, we would have to agree that we respect the decision that you two made and therefore, that we would stop with our unfortunate behavior that made you two feel even worse, AND that we would require your siblings to do the same.

Mr. Bradshaw took over, And then, we discussed the merits of your presentation as well as checking out the APP online to review its pros and cons and how we each felt about the prospect of you two having to go through that. See, we all love you both very much. And we came up with a problem, and that was that none of us want to see you boys being brutally beaten to the point of swelling and bruises that are promised. Nor do we want to see your summers spent cleaning up roadsides when you should be riding bikes and swimming.

Mrs. Walker then took over, looking right at Mike, Honey, I am SO sorry that we made you feel so bad, and we all agree that we have put you two through emotional hell....and since I found out what that is like when I was a girl, I humbly apologize as do we all. You boys feeling that way makes me so sad.

Mrs. Bradshaw got up and hugged Ricky hard before sitting back down with tears running down her face.

Then Mr. Walker began speaking again. Mike and Ricky, on one hand none of us want to see this happen to you, and on the other hand, you two made an excellent presentation as to why we should put away our opposition and let two bright and thoughtful teenaged boys who are three months from beginning high school decide for themselves about how to best handle their retribution. He then took out the Application for the Alternative Punishment Program and signed the line for father’s authorization and then handed it to his wife who signed over mother’s authorization. At the same time, Mr. And Mrs. Bradshaw signed their son’s Application.

As the papers were handed back to both boys, Mr. Walker said, Now boys. You need to understand that once this is faxed, you can’t back out. It is written there on the back of the form. Also, the only way that your application can be rejected is if the authorities have tried to use this method of attitude adjustment at least twice on you. So, if you fax that, you WILL be severely and publicly whipped on Saturday morning. Do you understand that?

Mike responded, Yeah, Dad, we understand. Then to Ricky, Let’s go fax these right now.

Don’t you boys want to think about it first? Mr. Bradshaw was giving the two the opportunity to back out.

Mike asked, Dad, this means that our vacation to the beach is back on?

Yes, Mike, it’s back on.

Ricky then asked, And we’re going too, Dad?

Yes, Ricky, We’re going too, though you two may still have very sore bottoms for the five hour drive to Florida.

No, Mr. Bradshaw. Me and Ricky don’t need to think about it! And the two boys ran excitedly upstairs to use the fax machine.

But now, it was Friday morning and Mike was staring at his smooth and unmarked bottom in the mirror after a fitful at best night’s sleep. Feeling those butterflies stronger than ever in his stomach, he quickly dressed in a clean pair of jeans that molded to his body, particularly his still double bubble buttocks. He knew that after third period, Current Events, a whole lot of kids would be checking them out, wondering how well he was handling their impending doom. He chose a red shirt and his black pair of Converses. As he was grabbing his Math and Spanish books from his desk, he noticed the two pieces of paper on the fax machine and picked them up. His heart jumped as he read them. They were from The Juvenile Court and they confirmed that both he and Ricky had been approved to be sentenced for eight counts of vandalism and reckless endangerment under the Alternative Punishment Program. The paper showed which courtroom the boys were to appear in and who the judge was.

He felt more excitement than dread as he read, Michael Walker will be incarcerated at The Juvenile Detention Center from 5:00 pm on Friday, May 25, 2018 until 5:00 pm on Sunday, May 27, 2018 for an intense Attitude Adjustment Session and also a public bared buttocks strapping of an appropriate number of lashes at Abrams Middle School between 10:00am and 1:00pm on Saturday, May 26, 2018. Ricky’s paper read exactly the same, so Mike mumbled to himself, It’s really going to happen!

He went down to breakfast–a piece of toast and a glass of milk before getting up to head for school.

Now, Mike, Honey, I’ll be in front of the school at 3:00 sharp so you and Ricky be ready and we’ll meet your fathers at the courthouse.

Okay, Mom. I love you!

I love you too Honey Bunny!

Mike sort of shook his head, (Honey Bunny?) half wondering if the silent treatment of three weeks had really been worse than the making up for the silent treatment. Of course, he knew the answer. He smiled. And there was Ricky, ready to walk with him the half mile to Cross Branch Middle School.

My mom’ll pick us up at exactly 3:00 in front of the school so we can be at court where our dads’ll be waiting.

Good. I didn’t sleep too good wondering if we’d be accepted or not. I sorta hope that we’re not because then we can say that we at least tried and we wouldn’t get our asses whipped.

Mike reached in his pocket and pulled out the acceptance faxes. He gave Ricky his and said, We are. Ricky stopped to read his and Mike said, Come on man! We sure as Hell don’t need three whacks from Coach Crew for being late today!

Ricky caught up with his friend and said, I know it sounds weird, but I’m a little excited about this weekend and I’m a lot excited about going to the beach next Saturday! Do you think you can get your grandma to cook a chocolate cake?

Yep, she’s already planning on it.

When the two boys got to school, Ricky went to his Earth Science class while Mike went to Spanish. Next, they met up in Pre-Algebra also known as 8th Grade Math where they spent fifty minutes working on a worksheet of problems in preparation for the final exams the next week....then the two nervously walked into Mr. Clinton’s Current Events Class.

Sitting in their desks which were arranged alphabetically, so they were across the room from each other, they listened to the excited conversations between classmates as Mr. Clinton walked in and held up his hand, Quiet down, young ladies and gentlemen! A lot of current events to talk about today! Anybody got any suggestions?

Randy Miller raised his hand first and Mr. Clinton called on him. Yeah, Mr. Clinton. My dad got mad at me for sneaking out to see Jerry last night after dark, but he didn’t do anything to me but yell, but this morning he told me that tomorrow morning, I have to go with him to see that whipping thing at Abrams. Both Mike’s and Ricky’s ears perked up.

Mr. Clinton said, Now that the Alternative Punishment Program has been going on for four months, how do you all feel about it? Show of hands, Who is for it? Seven hands went up including Mike’s and Ricky’s. Okay, Who’s against it? Eighteen hands went up. Now, let me see. I’m interested in knowing the reasons behind your strongly held views. We have twenty five students in this class and not ONE of you is indifferent about teenaged bottoms getting beaten.

Mr. Clinton wiped his glasses. I noticed Mike that you said you’re Pro-APP. Can you tell us why?

Yes, Sir, I have thought about this a WHOLE lot over the last few days. See, without the APP, it isn’t the badly behaved teenager who gets punished, but the teenager’s parents who pay fines and stuff. Part of growing up is being forced to take responsibility and consequences for what we do. It’s sort of funny that some of you on the other side gripe a lot about your parents treating you like little kids but you think that THEY should be the ones who pay for when you do something really bad and ACT like little kids.

Randy Miller shook his head and laughed as he said, Goody Goodies like Walker and his shadow Bradshaw find it easy to talk about it being good for OTHER KIDS getting their asses whooped on, but let’s see what it would be like if THEY got a life and had a little fun? Ha ha!

It was Ricky who pulled out his fax sheet and asked, Mr. Clinton? Can me and Mike talk about our current event?

Ricky, We’re talking about APP now.

Thank you. Ricky stood up at his desk. Three weeks ago, Mike and I thought we would have a little fun as Randy puts it, so we stupidly threw some pebbles off the hill by our houses at cars on the expressway. We got caught and we WERE going to let our dads pay the fines and restitutions but last night, we got a really hard lecture about growing up. So, Randy, you ain’t gonna be the only kid in this class who’ll be at Abrams Middle School. But you may be the only one who won’t get an ass whipping.

Mr. Clinton, surprised that two of his best students were admitting that they would be on the receiving end of what he considered overly brutal judicial corporal punishment asked, Ricky, Don’t you think that the punishment is way too severe for a fourteen year old boy to have to go through?

Yes, Sir. But that isn’t REALLY the point. Let’s see if I can explain this.... Ummmm, yeah.... See, There were two boys who did something really really bad and they got caught and the choices are that the boys’ parents pay a big fine OR the kids spend a weekend in Juvie and do some community service and get their butts busted. Which choice is best for the teenagers as far as making them understand that they would be much more comfortable if they didn’t break the law?

Mike held his hand up but just started speaking anyway.....Mr. Clinton let kids do that..... Plus, Really which respects the kid as a young man more?Letting Mommy and Daddy get him off by paying his fine like Randy likes or requiring the kid to accept whatever the punishment is? Yeah, it’ll be way more horrible than whippings like my dad gives, but Ricky and I, Well we should have thought about that BEFORE we decided to have some fun as Randy calls it.

Mr. Clinton, quite shocked that Ricky’s and Mike’s current event was that they would be going through APP said, Randy, Any response?

Yeah, Mr. Clinton. It doesn’t mean that you’re a little baby if you don’t want your butt beat. I could handle the weekend in Juvie fine, and even a few hours of community service but getting my butt beat in front of a lot of people, NO WAY!

Mike spoke up, So, Randy, you’re saying that you’re willing to personally pay the price for, let’s say, ripping off a pack of cigarettes at Kroger if that price was a weekend in Juvie and some community service, but if the price includes a butt beating, then you’ll let your dad just pay the fine?

Yeah, Walker, that’s what I’m saying.

See, here’s the problem Randy and everybody, We agree! Me and Ricky would be much happier if we could go to court at 4:00 today and tell the judge, ’We will do the weekend and the community service, we just don’t agree to getting whippings. That would be great! Only thing is, the judge won’t give a shit! Mike’s face got red. Using that word at school meant an automatic two whacks if Mr. Clinton sent Mike to see Coach Crews. Please, Mr. Clinton, I’m sorry! Please, I really need to avoid the paddle today.

I understand Mike. We’ll let it go today especially since it is the most polite way to describe the judge’s attitude. Continue with your response to Randy.

Thank you, Sir. Anyway, so Randy, if you don’t want your dad to have to pay, AND you can’t handle getting your butt beat on a Saturday morning in a middle school gym, then you shouldn’t rip off cigarettes at Kroger! Because, soon, one of those things IS going to happen.

Matt Sanders raised his hand and Mr. Clinton called on him. Mr. Clinton, I would like to know how Mike and Ricky feel right now. See, when my dad tells me that he’s going to get a switch off the peach tree for me, my stomach hurts and my mouth gets all dry while I am pulling down my pants and getting bended over the tub.

Ricky said somberly, Yeah, Matt. That is a pretty good description of how I feel right now. I know it’s gonna hurt a ton, but it helps to know that you do deserve it. And me and Mike sure know that we deserve it.

Mr. Clinton said, Well, Mike and Ricky, It sounds to me like you two boys have matured quite a bit in the last few days, so much so that you won’t be throwing any rocks at passing cars any more. I will be looking forward to talking about Randy’s thoughts after witnessing you take the consequences of your behavior and your thoughts if you are willing to give them on Monday.

Mike responded, Yes, Sir, ESPECIALLY if we can stand up when we give them.

Now, Anybody have any other current events to talk about today? I saw that you brought in a clipping, Sally. Mr. Clinton headed into talking about animal cruelty and how people who are mean to their pets should get mandatory prison sentences. There was little disagreement on this subject.

A day in the life in Mr. Clinton’s Current Events Class at Cross Branch Middle School.

At lunch, Mike and Ricky found out how many of their fellow eighth graders cared about them as kids came up and wished them good luck and some even talked to them about how hard it is being the kids of parents who still whip teenagers. Mike did most of the commiserating with them while Ricky argued that grounding was just as horrible. Many of the kids said that they would try to come to give support the next morning.

Finally, school let out at 2:45 and the boys rushed out without running, (again, they didn’t need to feel Coach Crew’s paddle,) and at exactly 2:50, Mrs. Walker pulled in front of the school.

The boys climbed into the car, and Mrs. Walker asked, Did you boys have a good day at school?

Mike said, Yeah, Mom, it was mostly preparing for exams next week.

How do you think that you’re going to do, Mike?

I think I’ll do pretty good, Mom. The English exam might be a little hard but I think that I at least won’t get a D.

That’s good, Honey. How do you think that you will do, Ricky?

Pretty well, Mrs. Walker, so long as Mike can help me to get some of these math concepts down! That and Science are my two hardest subjects.

Now boys, are you two ready to face the music? Because I know that this weekend is going to be hard on both of you, as it will be on all of us.

Mom, you don’t need this to be a hard weekend for you. Yes, we are ready to face the music, and we might even cry since we have to spend a couple nights in Juvie instead of in our own rooms, but that’s our faults, not yours.

I do want you both to know that we are all proud of you for accepting what you are going to go through this weekend.

Mom, do you think that Dad will be willing to jump in the waves with us when we’re at the beach? He said last week that he didn’t even want to go to the beach with a delinquent like me. A tear ran down Mike’s face.

A tear also ran down his mother’s face as she wanted to hug her almost six foot tall little boy. Oh, Mikey, Baby. He didn’t mean that. You’re not a delinquent, though you did do something very naughty. But you are really a fine young man who is always willing to help others. We are so proud of you both.

As they arrived at the juvenile justice center fifteen minutes later, the boys stared forlornly at the detention center with its five stories of darkened windows across the street. They also noticed a two story building in the same complex that had a sign, ALTERNATIVE PUNISHMENT PROGRAM CENTER. Both Mike and Ricky gulped when they saw the razor wire fence with the electronic gate. There was a red school bus with Alternative Punishment Program across the side, and the windows all had what looked like heavy gauge chicken wire on them.

Ricky looked at his best friend and said, I guess that’s our ride tomorrow.

Then, they all went into the three story courthouse where Mr. And Mrs. Bradshaw were waiting along with Mr. Walker. While Mike and Ricky were trying to stay calm, their parents could tell that the full weight of their decision of the night before was setting in. They all sat silently on a wooden bench waiting for their case to be called.

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