Moral Environment of a DoDDs School

 

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Unknownya High School: Politics of Morality

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A. Introduction

In Lewis's work The Abolition of Man he argues that schools should teach about right and wrong. Few would argue against that position. The more difficult question, however, is how effectively they are taught and if they might be taught more effectively. In order to explore this topic, it's first important to explore the topic of what constitutes right and wrong.

B. The Ideal

Lewsis's argument in The Abolition of Man is one that anyone wound disagree with: education ought to teach the young about right and wrong. It's hardly a new idea. Socrates argued the same thing in Gorgius.

In Asia, where Unknownya High School is located, this position goes without argument. The Chinese, since the Tang dynasty, always relied upon an examination system that tested knowledge of the Confucius's works, which explicitly spelled out a moral-social framework for governmental leaders. Today, Japanese students receive explicit instruction in "Buddhist ethics." Even the Communist countries make certain that students are taught the Communist ideals of community responsibility.

Lewis's other works indicate this teaching of right and wrong ought to be relatively simple because Lewis never hesitates to divide the world into two distinct parts: the good and the bad. In Out of the Silent Planet, for example, the evil scientist spouts off about survival of the fittest, the law of nature, and the importance of killing while Ransom and the Martians spout love and kindness. In That Hideous Strength, the modernists work in laboratories for a literally and figuratively severed head while the Christians meet a Christianized Merlin in the forest. The Narnian Chronicles, written for children, again, show Aslan, the brave lion dying for his people. In Lewis's world, then, there is a clearly a division of good and evil, and teaching the children morality consists in showing them the difference. The fictional world, and even the world of Lewis's essays, however, is not the real world, and the real world there are different ways of looking at right and wrong.

C. Absolutists, Positivists, and Realists

Three oft-discussed paradigms regarding "right and wrong" are that of the absolutists, the positivists, and the realists though these positions are often discussed under other names. The absolutists hold with Lewis that there are standards of right and wrong that are drawn from some ultimate source beyond debate. For explicitly Moslem countries, this source is the Koran, for Fundamentalist Christian the Bible, and for Chinese Communists, until quite recently, the works of Chairman Mao such as the The Little Red Book. The discussion, regarding questions of "right and wrong," then, becomes issues of interpretation of these works. A school exposing an absolutist position, then, simply teaches these works to students.

The positivists take their queue from the social sciences. Sociologists show that ideas of right and wrong swell up form the community that espouses them. As a result, they point out that absolutist authorities such as the Koran and Bible portray commonly held beliefs by their authors' cultures that may subsequently change. In other words, what is right and wrong, to a positivist, alters over time. As a result, a positivist is more concerned with studying current beliefs of the community, especially popular mores, to determine what should be taught to children. Teaching "right and wrong," then, would not involve teaching any standard set of works so much as in studying society itself to determine its core beliefs.

The relativist position seems, at first glance, not to be a position at all. The relativists would agree with a famous quote from Oliver Wendell Holmes, regarding the law: "By the law I mean what the courts will do and nothing more pretentious." The relativist position is not concerned so much with what people believe as what they do, no matter what their beliefs. Teaching "right and wrong" to a relativist would not involve explicitly teaching anything except the subject matter-unless there is pressure to do so. Implicitly, however, by simply studying the manner in which adults behave, students would learn a certain morality.

It's important to note that these positions are not mutually exclusive but complementary. The relativist, absolutist, and positivist forces together equal the totality of ideas of "right and wrong" being taught by the school. By looking at the relative weight of the forces that tend to support each of those positions, moreover, its possible to compare and contrast schools. Before considering Unknownya High School's ideas of regarding at right and wrong, it's important to briefly review some key aspect of the DoDDs system of which it forms one element.

D. The DoDDs System

This author has written extensively (Fruit 1992) using research from (Oshirto 1973) and others on the subject of the evolution of the DoDDs system. Here, I will state some relevant conclusions.

The Department of Defense Dependent Schools were originally designed to be a temporary solution to a temporary problem. After World War II ended, the United States stationed troops in Japan and Germany for what it hoped to be a short-term occupation. As the Cold War set in, however, the number of troops overseas continued to remain high. Inevitably, a number of the single service members married local spouses, resulting in a dependent population. The DoDDs system evolved as a make-shift solution. As the US. government took a number of measures designed to improve the standard of living of service members in order to build the large professional military, the number of dependents increased. Eventually, this created a school system, today, educating about 200,000 students, one of the nation's ten largest.

The DoDDs schools are unique in their funding, status, isolation, and student population. As the only schools financed by the United States government, their funding is subject to the whims of the US. Congress. Unknownya High School, for example, needed to have an act of Congress to install air-conditioning units. In twenty years, three different bills containing clauses authorized the funding have been struck down or shorn of the particular clauses. This is, needless to say, different from schools east of the Mississippi, dependent on local millages, and west of the Mississippi, dependent on state tax levies. This means the schools have to cater less to local sentiment regarding "values issues."

The status of DoDDs schools is unique, also, in that they're not really international schools and not really American schools. Unlike international schools, they feature an American-style curriculum, not the International Baccalaureate. Until the recent merger with the Section Eight schools (schools in the continental United States, "stateside," receiving some government funding due to having some military dependents), DoDDs had no formal connection to any stateside school district. Moreover, each school functions as a "company town" for the local military (Fruit 1993) whose commanders can exert a high amount of influence. This leaves each DoDDs schools more influenced by their local employer than most American schools.

Further, the DoDDs schools are extremely isolated, not only from one another, but also from the surrounding, host nation. Obviously, there is the physical isolation of a system where the nearest school may be days of travel away. Just as importantly, however, is the fact that military personnel are paid in deteriorating-value dollars, unlike parents of international school students. This means that in countries like Germany and Japan, where the cost of living is extremely high, few Americans leave the base for other activities. As a result, far more attention is paid to school activities and operations than would otherwise be the case in schools in the United States.

Finally, there is the diverse student population. While military parents are American and predominantly white or African-American, DoDDs students represent all colors of the rainbow and nearly every conceivable cultural mixture. Moreover, as military members typically have a "three-year-tour" (which may be suddenly cut or extended, without notice, by the military), the student population constantly changes. This means that while the total community has more total influence on a DoDDs school, the individual actors are constantly alter. Having seen DoDDs in general, Unknownya's individual situation will be presented.

E. Unknownya High School

Unknownya High School sits at the site of an old Japanese Air Force Base. The first DoDDs school in the Pacific began at Unknownya. In 1947, Unknownya sat in the midst of ruins far from the heart of Tokyo. In the fifty years, since the base began, Tokyo has stretched so that its urban area engulfs the base.

While other bases around the Pacific bask in the glory of hosting bomber wings and fighter squadrons, Unknownya has three less conspicuous but more important "missions": the 374th Air Mobility Command, the air supply squadron for the Pacific, USFJ (United States Forces Japan, a liaison with the Japanese), and 5th Air Force Headquarters, of which the 374 predominates in terms of numbers of personnel. To give just as example of the 374's importance, nearly every vehicle or round of ammunition that fought in the Gulf War passed through Unknownya Air Force Base courtesy of the 374th.

These organization effect the operation of the school. The officers of the 374th, and, more rarely, 5th Air Force Headquarters, tend to dominate the interactions between school and base. The last two commanders of the 374th for example, sat on the school advisory council (SAC). The commander of USFJ gave the commencement speech. The preponderance of officers (college-educated) and senior enlisted (tech sergeants and above), makes Unknownya more like a middle class neighborhood whereas other bases are more like working class neighborhoods. Relations between the school and squadrons have been, for the most part, cordial and sometimes warm, depending on the personalities of the commanders present. It's important to note that, for many operations, such as a homecoming parade, a field trip, etc. coordination with the military authorities is mandatory.

If Unknownya is a company town, it's a rather conservative company town. Most people attend, or are in general sympathy with, the Catholic or Protestant churches. Off-base, there are several more Fundamentalist churches, predominantly black.

One extremely important group, present at Unknownya, is the Mormons. They constitute less than 5% of the population but exercise importance beyond they numbers. The bonds between members are very tight. Moreover, almost all the adults are officers, and the adults take a keen interest in education, often serving on SAC. In 1992, they fought to make Unknownya High School switch to a seven-period-day despite opposition from students, opposition from teachers, and general community apathy towards the issue. They won.

Most of the faculty at Unknownya, unlike other DoDDs schools, stay long periods of time. About fifty percent of the teachers are currently eligible for either full or early retirement. There have been few labor problems at Unknownya, especially in comparison to other schools around the Pacific. The elected union representatives typically try to work with the administration rather than against, and management takes a "laissez faire" attitude towards teachers.

Students at Unknownya are fairly typical of DoDDs in general with a few qualifications. Unknownya, for example, has every ethnic group present in America and more. About 25% of all students are bi-racial.

Students fall into two categories, long-term and short term. About 25% of all students have lived their entire lives in Japan, their fathers having married Asian wives and stayed. They regard Unknownya, or at least Japan, as their home. Mainly due to this group, Unknownya enjoys an atmosphere of racial/cultural tolerance that schools in America would envy.

The other 75% of students are somewhere in the midst of a parent's three-year tour. This group, in particular, hates Japan, and feels some resentment for their parents having accepted an assignment in such a "boring place." They tend to regard the military, or wherever their parents lived that they liked the best, as their home.

F. Moral Absolutist Position: Not Particularly Relevant

There are few "absolutes" regarding Unknownya High School and its concepts of right and wrong. DoDDs has general guidelines for personnel. The following are excerpts from the code of conduct for DoDDs employees:

"Put loyalty to the highest moral principles...above loyalty to persons, party, or government department."

"Unhold the constitution, law, and legal regulations of the United States.."

"Give a full day's labor for a full day's pay."

"Seek to find and employ more efficient and economical ways of getting tasks accomplished."

"Never discriminate unfairly by the dispensing of special favors...."

"Expose corruption wherever discovered." (DoDDs Employee Handbook, 1995)

Note, significantly, that there is no clause specifically enjoining employees to teach these standards to students. The best that might be claimed is that, by example the DoDDs employee might show students "right" and "wrong."

For the students, Unknownya High School issues a student handbook. This handbook gives a rather general set of rules governing behavior. One assistant principal used this as his "master guide" in dealing with student misbehavior. Significantly, though, he organized a handbook committee, including students, teachers, and parents, and , to work on these rules, more of a positivist than an absolutist, approach.

It's worth noting that no laws, in fact, cover dependents. The uniformed code of military justice covers military members, and transgressors risk court martials or non-judicial punishment. Military law, perhaps obviously, doesn't cover military dependents, and the physical location of Unknownya Air Force takes them out of the legal jurisdiction of any of the states. When a student commits a serious offense, then, the school must contact the student's sponsor's commanding officer. The commanding officer, then, assigns the consequences through the service member. For example, when the son of a sergeant stole a guitar, the store called his father's commanding officer who had to make sure, through the father, that the son did his assigned community service, cleaning up trash. Sometimes the sponsor and/or commander will simply recommend sending the dependent home to live with a relative, a prospect most dependents relish. This has led to cases in which students purposely commit crimes or misbehave in order to be sent home.

In extreme cases, Unknownya High School or the military police will contact the Japanese Police and, literally, beg them to take jurisdiction. Whether a student at school or home can commit a serious offense, then, becomes a function of whether an administrator is willing to make some phone calls, the military member(s) reaction to those phone calls, and possibly the reaction of the Japanese police.

While this discussion of the law seems abstract, it can have an pertinent effect on student perceptions of right and wrong. Three years ago, one boy stabbed and killed another at a night-time outdoor school function, and the Japanese police, at first, declined to take the case. A girl who was raped at a base on Okinawa recently declined to prosecute because the local Japanese police didn't wish to become involved, and the military only offered to send the boy back to the United States. Needless to say, this has an effect on student ideas of what is acceptable.

At Unknownya, generally, administrators and the military have cooperated. In the case of two serious crimes, the local Japanese police, after much begging, did decide to become involved. On the other hand, students continue to shoplift, off-base, with impunity knowing that Japanese shopkeepers will not want to try to bother them. The same holds true for drinking and smoking in which the only high prices form a deterrent to student purchases.

In conclusion, then, there is little of an absolute idea of right and wrong for Unknownya Air Force Base. Military members have an explicit code of conduct that most can recite, but their dependents, technically fall through the legal cracks. Further, the enforcement of serious rules depends, in large measure, upon the personalities and ambitions of those functioning to uphold them, which changes quite regularly.

To summarize, then, looking at Unknownya High School from an absolutist perspective, the following are the rules that are explicitly taught to students:

(1) Follow the rules in the student handbook.
(2) If you're really bad or violent, you may receive punishment-or be sent home.

G. Morality as Community Standards

The idea of community standards of morality provides for a more convincing explanation of "right and wrong" at Unknownya High School. To look at this concept, then, requires looking at the standards of morality as the forces of the community present them.

On the surface, again, Unknownya High School resembles a typical stateside school. Its teachers, union, administration, parents, students, and a school advisory council (SAC) all, theoretically, give input into the running of the school. Each will be examined in turn to compare its relative strength to that of a typical stateside school.

The teachers at Unknownya High School, again, constitute a relatively old, conservative group. Most see retirement as their main goal. As a result, they have little interest in any issues that don't directly affect their working environment or threaten their retirement. Perhaps their most important influence stem from their representing a generation older than the parents and their relative longevity at the base, which tends to earn then more respect than might fall to younger, newer teachers.

Governmental unions are notoriously weak, and AFT forms no exception. Management in Washington determines the issues on which the union gets to bargain. At Unknownya, local representatives, isolated from other schools, have little knowledge of problems plaguing other locations. At other schools, the union has functioned primarily to assist individuals involved in terminations, but at Unknownya firings seldom happens. As a result, the union primarily concerns itself with pay grievances for the seemingly unending serious of errors committed by payroll, usually with assistance of the administration. The one area of potential influence for the union is the yearly administrator rating survey, which was recently restored after a four-year lapse (at the behest of the Okinawa schools).

The SAC's level of influence tends to vary with the personnel. At Unknownya, officer's wives or officers tend to win these elected positions. If the group has goals that it wants to achieve, it can have quite an effect on what and how the school teaches as the seven-period-day incident shows. The SAC, then, is sometimes stronger than a school advisory council, but this depends on the influence of the members themselves, not the body.

Parents have an influence that varies between dramatic and nonexistent, and this influence comes mainly from complaining. Parents fill out an annual voluntary survey about the school, called the DoDDs Report Card, which goes to Washington. As a voluntary survey, only the most dissatisfied or satisfied tend to fill this out. Having many parents fill out positive reports and send them in can result in a high rating for an administrator. At very least, then, an administrator works to avoid massive numbers of negative surveys.

The students influence on all of the groups above tends to be indirect. This comes from doing things that influences the behaviors of the adults.

One key difference between Unknownya High School and stateside schools is the influence of the military. Commanders have the power to influence, punish, and transfer military members if the behavior of their children is not acceptable. For example, our school counselor recently tried to persuade a parent to come in for a conference for three months but was told she was "busy." When he called her commanding officer, she suddenly "found time" the very same day. Commanders can give military members time off to attend school events, conferences, and volunteer sessions. Again, however, the commanders' willingness to cooperate or not depends on the personnel, who constantly change. An effective administrator, in particular, must actively court commanding officer's cooperation.

If the influence of the military forms a contrast with a stateside school, the importance of the press and complaints form another. Unknownya High School represents a school bureaucracy alongside a military bureaucracy subject to a Washington political bureaucracy. This makes achieving objectives a process of political maneuvering, and the two simplest means of achieving goals are complaints and bad press.

Unknownya Air Base houses most of the personnel who work for the paper almost every single military member in the Far East reads, The Pacific Stars and Stripes. As a result, articles and letters to the editor in Stars and Stripes can have a dramatic influence on public opinion. Unknownya's best assistant principal, for example, received an unwanted transfer merely on the basis of three articles by a handful of disgruntled parents who painted him as "racist."

Parent complaints, while not so public as Stars and Stripes articles, can have similar impact. Throughout the DoDDs hierarchy, from Washington down, everyone fear negative letters from either the military and/or parents. As a result, a well-written letter, the kind that an officer might make, has far more influence than in a stateside school system. Further such a letter could be written to an almost unlimited list of potential recipients from senators to commanding officer. Though not at Unknownya High School, many DoDDs teachers will not fail students because they know that parents will pressure administrators who will pressure them.

Together, then, the social forces at Unknownya Air Force Base, then, make for an extremely conservative social environment. While on the surface, teachers, the SAC, and the administration appear to be the decision-making bodies, those decisions fall subject to review by an oft-changing group of parents, military commanders, and the press. A single complaining parent or commander can, under the correct circumstances, alter course content, cancel a social event, even change a grade.

Overall, then, a community standards approach explains much of what constitutes "right and wrong" at Unknownya Air Force Base. None of the following "rules" are stated explicitly, but they are implicit in the decisions made by the forces outlined above:

Implicit Code of Conduct for Unknownya High School
(1) You will be educated in the classroom.
(2) You will see or hear no opinions that are too liberal for the most conservative, vocal group of parents (i.e. the Mormons).
(3) You will typically see nothing taught in a radical way.
(4) You can expect your teacher not to be fired or removed.
(5) You can expect that if your parent complains a lot or is a SAC member, you may receive special treatment from the administration and/or teachers.
(6) If you really are doing poorly, complain.
(7) If your parent's commander is very dedicated to education, your parent will have plenty of time and support to point you in that direction.

H. Moral Relativism

Finally, consider the moral relativist position. From the previous two sections, it should be clear that relatively little, except teaching personnel, at Unknownya is unchanging or secure. To consider this situation from a moral relativist position, instead of looking at positions, look at roles. Let's consider what might be a winning moral position from the point of view of: (a) administrator (b) teacher (c) parent (d) commander (e) student

To an administrator, the quietest school is the best. That means no news stories, no reports, and no unrest. The key word, here, is reasonable. If an administrator is reasonable to all sides and seems an honest, disinterested, broker, he or she can run the school fairly effectively. If there's a serious problem, such as between student and teacher, the best course is to do something that results in no further noise from any interested party. A special case involves the ambitious administrators, as that person must do more to enlist parent support-at the cost of potential fights with the union and teachers.

To the teacher, the quietest classroom is the best, meaning one that arouses no interest from any other group. Like the administrator, he or she must deal with parent complaints and concerns. In the case of an uncooperative or hostile parent, the teacher cannot count on the administration. For example, this year several teachers had to teach a loud, obnoxious young girl. When the parent came in for a conference, she was equally loud, obnoxious, and insulting to the teachers. The administration, while they sympathized with the teachers and occasionally took the girl out of the classroom, would not pursue the matter with the military, and the child continued to be loud and obnoxious until the end of the year. Naturally, this disrupting the education of all of the children of parents who didn't complain and ask to have their child switch classes.

To the SAC member and/or parent, however, the quietest school is not the best unless it is accomplishes the goals they set for their child. There are no real penalties to complaining too much, so the more they complain, call, and write the more likely they are to obtain results. If this does not achieve results, complaining up the chain of command, writing letters to Congress and editorials all might achieve results

The commander probably the most independence of all of the interested parties. Should he or she choose to support the school, generally this will result in good publicity for his unit and help in his or her own career. On the other hand, he or she can veto anything that seems likely to cause controversy.

This leads us, finally, to children. If everything is well, it is their best interests to have a quiet school and classroom. However, if anything does not go well, however, they naturally want to persuade parents to complain. If things go really badly, they should misbehave and get sent back to the United States where they'd probably rather be anyway.

In conclusion, then, if you look at morality in a relativist way, the idea of "right and wrong" differ again. Here a study of the individuals themselves is more important than that of social forces.

To summarize this last, implicit rules for students:

Implicit Code of Conduct for Students

(1) Be aware that others want you to be quiet.

(2) When you want something, persuade your parents to make noise.

I. What Should Be Done: Can There Be Absolute Standards at Unknownya High School?

Recently this author has been having a discussion about the idea of teaching morality in the schools ala Lawrence Kohlberg. Kohlberg's idea of "moral reasoning," except for having the Bible to back them, basically resembles a Judeo-Christian set of precepts. After about three or four exchanges, I realized why this approach would lead nowhere: I misinterpreted the forces in play. At Unknownya High School, there are two groups that would oppose this idea.

First, there are the Christians, especially the Mormons, who believe that schools should teach morality. They believe, however, that this should be done through the explicit teaching of religion. Needless to say, this will not happen in a public school. To teach ideas of "right and wrong" to them is unsatisfactory if it doesn't have religious reference.

On the other hand, the secularists didn't like the idea of schools teaching "right or wrong" in any fashion whatsoever. They view the sole function of the school as teaching skills and seem uncomfortable with the suggestion of even a "hidden curriculum."

In short, then, the idea of teaching any kind of formal study of ethics, morality, etc. as Unknownya High School seems highly unlikely. Further, DoDDs increasingly rigid requirements regarding course content do not allow for offering such a course anyway.

J. What Can Be Done: A Community Standards Approach

As explained above, what functions for "right and wrong" tends to derive from community standards of morality. As a result, this holds the most promise in terms of teaching students right and wrong. At present, two main vehicles exist that teach what Unknownya High School believes acceptable: the principal's addresses to the students and the student handbook.

Unknownya High School's Handbook represents a vision of what the school believes. Parents, students, and teachers all participate in the writing of the book, and the discussions constitute an open forum. Of course, parents can (and do ) complain that the book went to press before they PSCed (transferred) to Unknownya and shouldn't apply to their children. Beyond listing rules and regulations, it also lists items such as "The Characteristics of a Good Sport" and "Self-Defense: A Definition." The former came about because students seemed to behaving badly at sporting events (rather like fans on television). The latter resulted from the number of student fights in which students claimed "I was defending myself," and contains a narrow definition of that concept. Teachers took time, each day, the first month of school to go over the most important parts of the handbook.

The principal's direct addresses to students at early assemblies constituted another way of transmitting expectations. At the very first orientation assemblies with parents and students, he took the time to give a general idea of how students should behave. Several subsequent appearances at pep assemblies reinforced these ideas about general standards of behavior.

A couple of illustrations display the difficulties in defining Unknownya Air Force Base's concept of acceptable. The handbook contains a rule that students should not wear hats in school, including the hallways. This rule made perfect sense to the faculty and administration, but apparently didn't make as much sense to the generally younger military parents. More than one argument arose when a member of the administration asked a parent to remove a hat at a school function, and the parent refused.

Another example involved the dress code. Unknownya prohibits the wearing of clothing that exposes too much of the human form or advertises drugs or alcohol. Yet parents send their children to school dressed in such a fashion and purchase such products. The more conservative, and vocal, members of the handbook committee, including parents, urged these rules on the school only to have their more liberal brethren complain about the implementation.

In recent years, however, the principle means of transmitted these ideas have waned. First, our principal, having gotten stung by several complaints from various directions, simply stopped going to most assemblies. Lacking a strong push from the top, it fell to the teachers to teach the rules on an "as-you-go" basis. Secondly, the handbook, a product of a previous assistant principal, stopped being used as the "Bible" in disciplinary matters, leaving more judgment of discipline and conveying expectations in the hands of the teachers.

As a result, then, ideas of "right and wrong" have, for several years, have depended on the individual teachers. Each issued rules and enforced them, subject to the vagaries of complaints. The administration stuck to the role of usually supporting the teachers.

K. What Can Be Done: A Relativistic Perspective

As the foregoing discussion revealed, a lot of what functions as "right and wrong" and how they are taught to students depends on the personalities involved. In this respect, its important to review the current holders of positions at Unknownya High School.

The administration, next year, will be all new. Considering that DoDDs stills possesses an excess of administrators, due to downsizing in Europe, likely Unknownya will receive an involuntary transfer. Unknownya will, also, lose one assistant principal, making the new administrators' jobs harder. Already two individuals have turned down the principal's job, so quite likely the individuals transferred will represent either (a) troubled administrators from elsewhere (b) individuals currently stuck in less desirable positions (such as Korea). In either event, they will spend some time simply getting established and try to carry on the status quo.

Unknownya's teachers will continue grow grayer. Almost a third of the faculty will be "new," i.e. displaced from Europe, who will spend the year becoming oriented and possibly deciding to retire. The remaining two thirds will try to retain the status quo.

By far the strongest group, next year, will be the SAC and parents. The president of SAC's husband is a colonel, and she is an inveterate complainer who has successfully complained her daughter through rudeness (no consequences), low grades (improved), and class changes. All of this suggests that the influence of parents and SAC will be stronger than ever before.

Probably a third of the military commanders will change, but the commander of the support group, an affable man whose daughters attend YHS, will remain. At this point, the military community supports the school in various ways, but all of the personal relationships built between the administration and the commanders will have to be rebuilt, so the level of their support may be questioned.

In general, then, likely what will happen is an increase in the influence of parents and parent complaints in the perspective of what constitutes right and wrong at Unknownya.

K. What Should Be Done: A Realistic Approach

Given the constraints above, relatively little can be done concerning the teaching of right and wrong other than to shore up systems already in place.

Clearly, DoDDs will not embrace the teaching of any formal system of right and wrong, the absolutist position.

From a positivist approach, Unknownya must continue to make an effort to encode community perceptions of right and wrong in the handbook and to use this as a basis of student-adult interaction. It seems highly unlikely that a new administration will want to chance a high level of exposure by coming up with any bold new initiatives.

From a relativist point of view, all one can say is that Unknownya High School is a political body. To achieve ends of whatever moral level requires political skill. Most students, however, already know that.

 

 

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DoDDs. Civilian Handbook for Governmental Employees: Personnel Division DoDDs-Pacific (September 1995), pp. 6-7.

Fruit, Daniel. "The Effect of Social Environment on DoDDs Pacific Schools:

Or the Little Company Town With the C-130s." (unpublished paper)

(Oshirto, Yoshinobu. Historical Development of the Defense Schools With Emphasis on Japan, Far-East-Pacific Area, 1946-1973. Unpublished Dissertation in Curriculum Development and Supervision (Doctor of Education). Logan Utah: Utah State U

university, 1973.