Misbehaviour by two St Bede’s boys called for stiff punishment but protective parents stick an oar in

School discipline and the punishment of delinquent lads suffered a setback today.

As a consequence two St Bede’s College students from Christchurch were enabled to row with their school’s Maadi Cup rowing team instead of being given six of the best on their bums with a cane, which is the punishment Alf would have meted out.

They can thank a judge and their parents for the leniency they have encountered (a family who apparently does not subscribe to the view that sparing the rod will spoil the children).

The two boisterous lads have been named as Jordan Kennedy and Jack Bell.

According to this report from the NZ Herald, they were chucked off the rowing team after breaching Auckland Airport security on Friday.

They were caught riding on the baggage conveyor at the Jetstar carousel in the arrivals hall at Auckland Airport’s domestic terminal.

The pair were given formal warnings by police and the Aviation Security Service (Avsec) after the prank shortly after arriving on a domestic flight from Christchurch.

The school decided that Jordan and Jack, aged 16 and 17, were in breach of the school’s code of conduct and banned them from competing at the regatta, which started this morning.

It’s a measure of modern parental attitudes to discipline that the boys’ parents did not feel a sense of huge embarrassment and lug the brats home to give them the thrashing they deserved  to dish up the most severe punishment they could think of that passes muster with our namby-pamby child-protection laws.

Nah. They hastened to seek an urgent injunction at the High Court in Christchurch to allow their sons to row in the first race at 11.28am today.

Justice Rachel Dunningham heard the case via a tele-conference this morning. St Bede’s College rector Justin Boyle and the Board of Trustees of St Bede’s College were named as respondents.

In a decision released before the race, Justice Dunningham granted an interim injunction to prevent St Bede’s from stopping the boys rowing at the 2015 Maadi Cup.

Lawyers for the boys’ parents also tried to have their names suppressed, but the judge declined to make a name suppression order.

The Herald’s report quotes a spokesman for the Civil Aviation Authority, who said the two miscreants  were spotted “instantly” once they passed through the rubber curtains by a Jetstar ramp agent.

The Jetstar rep called his supervisor who, in turn, involved Avsec.

“The boys apologised immediately and said they did it for fun,” the CAA spokesman said.

“We were satisfied no breach of the sterile area occurred as the boys were spotted by Jetstar staff from the moment they emerged airside, after which they were escorted out of the airside baggage area to landside, almost immediately.

“We do understand that students travelling as a group can get quite excited and have a lot of nervous energy, but they must understand that in airport environments there is zero tolerance for games or pranks and we would discourage any further instances of this type of behaviour.

“The boys are very lucky they got off with a warning and that there was no risk to the safety and security of other passengers or airport staff.”

Indeed, they are lucky

But their good fortune has come at a cost: the authority of school authorities in matters of discipline has suffered yet another setback in the courts.

And so, with the help of pampering parents and an accommodating judiciary, young people are taught to be disdainful to school rules and, as a consequence, to law and order.

Our society is on a slippery slope.

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