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Students Display Literary Knowledge in Debate

After a spirited debate among students, Head of Upper School Matt Bolton ruled to suspend, but not expel, The Pardoner, a character from Geoffrey Chaucer’s “The Canterbury Tales,” who was a Seven Hills junior for the sake of the debate. Mark Beyreis’ British and postcolonial literature class split into two teams and conducted a disciplinary committee hearing through the lens of Seven Hills’ own disciplinary guidelines, overseen by Bolton, for The Pardoner, a character who greedily sells church pardons and fake relics while pointing out the greed in the Church and other people. One team argued that The Pardoner should be expelled because his misbehavior and greed violated the Seven Hills values. The other argued that The Pardoner should stay because there could be underlying issues causing his poor behavior and the Seven Hills community could have a positive effect on him. “There were some readings that were really clever. It showed the students know the book really well,” Bolton said.