Friday, 15 April 2011

Corporal Punishment

There was a programme on BBC the other week, part of a series about crime and punishment, I spotted the one about corporal punishment and tuned in expecting it to be entertaining. It was but no really salacious twists in fact only a couple of references by psychologists about sexual undertones where certain types of corporal punishment had been administered. What surprised me was the frequency with which it was used in schools, boys and girls, and the resistance from teachers and parents to its gradual withdrawal. Some of the interviews and accounts were funny, it was finally an EU directive which led to it being banned.

I googled for accounts of school punishments, there are rather a lot including some from 'reform' schools which were particularly harsh and there are lots which are obviously exaggerated beyond any possible credence. Here's a plain simple one I found in the Experience Project:-

* * * * * * legs were shaking as I stretched myself over the desk. It was wide and I could only just reach the far edge with my toes on the floor, I still had my shoes on and felt ridiculous, it was not at all the way I'd imagined it when I'd heard of others getting it. I tried to make my grip as firm as possible and closed my eyes tight shut. I felt Mrs Tyler lift my shirt tail up and pull down my pants.

Oh christ this couldn't be happening.

I was concentrating so hard that I didn't notice any further movement by Mrs Tyler. Time was suspended then, suddenly, my bottom exploded in pain. It wasn't a line of pain it was my whole backside ablaze. I squirmed over the desk, holding on desperately, determined not to earn extra strokes. The awful smart got worse and worse. I still had three to come. Tears were squeezing out of my shut eyes. I had to be brave.

This time I heard Mrs Tyler move and tried to tense myself. The cane thrashed down again, and the awful pain in my rear went to a new level. I yelled out in agonised protest, trying to let the teacher know how much she was getting through to me but I'm sure she knew.

I held on although all my instincts were yelling at me to stand up and hold my poor backside. The third stroke landed lower than the first two, whether intentionally or not, it whipped across the tops of my thighs and stung like the devil. I screamed at the top of my voice and writhed over the desk. Somehow I managed to stay down and channel all of my efforts into holding on, but I was sobbing by then, no more pretense at being brave, as I awaited the fourth and final stroke.

Mrs Tyler kept me waiting for what seemed a long time, perhaps she enjoyed the sight of me sobbing over her desk my poor backside bouncing up and down trying to dissipate some of the sting. Finally it came. A whopper across the centre of my bottom. I howled out in pain again but kept my position.

The senior mistress kept me bent over like that for about a minute or so, crying, my bottom flooded with pain. Finally, she patted me on the back and told me to stand up. I can still remember my relief knowing it was over. I stood up slowly and I pressed both hands to my poor injured bottom, the embarrassment and humiliation coursed through me as I stood in just my blouse and shoes while my punisher returned her cane to the cupboard and then sat casually on the edge of her desk next to where she'd caned me.

"Uniform back on then."

This took a while, given the painful state of my posterior, my knickers and skirt were tight fitting and felt even tighter now. I could feel one particular mark, the one not being covered by my knickers as the others were, I thought it was swelling. Eventually I stood, still tearful, facing Mrs Tyler, waiting further instruction. My hands were carefully massaging my smarting rear, no point pretending it didn't hurt, she knew well enough.

Mrs Tyler passed me a box of tissues. She warned me to behave myself in future and told me that if I hadn't liked the cane from her I wouldn't like it any better from the headmaster and that's where I'd end up if I was caught fighting again. Then she dismissed me and told me to be sure not to dawdle going straight back to my class.

I walked unsteadily from her room and resisted the urge to stop at the cloakroom, she'd said straight back to class and that's what I did and of course all the others knew what had happened to me, I supposed my tear stained face and awkward attempt to sit naturally were dead giveaways. I just wanted to open the lid on my desk and hide my head in it and cry.

The incident led to better behaviour, I never got into the kind of trouble that could get me the cane again.





Malcolm said...

Thanks for your story Ronnie.

The cane was used where I went to school, but not often. It was taken clothed. Although I was not particularly naughty, I did disregard the rules somewhat and earned a couple of such punishments. Most boys never got it. I can't remember any pain and the punishment did not cause me any distress, but it must have actually been painful because the marks were still there after a couple of weeks.

I don't think it is a bad kind of punishment, especially if it's generally part of the culture. I didn't find it humiliating, and even if it had been what's so terrible about that? Humiliation can be a deterrent.

Anonymous said...

In the US, the teachers in the school I attended used a wooden pointer and belts, but never on the bare. And, of course the ever present ruler on the hands. Brother E. splintered his board of education, (nasty ruler), on my hands once. It was always done in public with other students watching to add to the humiliation.

ronnie said...

Malcolm - My pleasure. I know it was used a lot in English school but what really surprised me was the number of parents in the programme who wanted to keep corporporal punishment. The cane was never used at either of the schools I attended. Your right humiliation can sometimes be a deterrent.

Joey - I suppose the belt like the tawse used in Scotland on the hands only. There is reference to the cane being used as long ago as 1787 and I'm sure I've read somewhere that the birch was still used in some English public schools in the 1960's though I think the birch was outlawed in the 1940's

Thanks both. Have a good weekend.

PK said...

When I was in school every teacher had a wooden paddle displayed in the room and it usually got some use during the year. It was always over clothes and usually in the hall where we could hear but not see.

Paddling is still used but now it is only done by the principal and with the consent of the parent and with an adult witness present. So it can be used but I've only know of it being used 3 or 4 times in my 20 year career.


Our Bottoms Burn said...

As one who was bent over a desk a few times, I wonder if anyone thinks we are better off without CP in schools.

Hermione said...

What an effective enforcer of discipline. The cane came into use because it delivered maximum pain with minimum effort. A headmaster could discipline a huge number of boys in no time at all!

If you read David Niven's autobiography, The Moon's a Balloon he tells about his time in a reform school. Sir Lawrence Olivier's autobiography also includes lots of discipline, which he did not suffer silently!



Florida Dom said...

I love spankings as part of a scene or in TTWD between consenting adults but am totally against CP in schools or used on children at home. There are much more effective means of disciplining children in school or at home. Hope I don't preachy.

And talk about good spankings, be sure to read Ronnie's new story on PK's site,

Ronnie has to start writing more of them.


ronnie said...

PK - I didn't realise paddling was still applied. Is that across the US or just in particular States? I take it you never had the paddle in school?

OBB - There is still a call to bring back CP now. Never having had the cane, ruler or slipper I'm not toally sure. What's your opinion?

Hermione - I have an article where a school master canned all 37 of his boys in 1957 because one of them defied him. He was cleared of all the charges bought by the parents of the boys.
I haven't read Sir Olivier's autobiography, sounds interesting. Will have to hunt it out as I love to read autobiographies. Thanks.

FD - I hate to hear anything about children being abused as well. Your lovely, thanks for the plug for my story on PK's, I wished I could write more.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend and thanks so much for stopping by.



Valdor at The Spank Statement linked to this documentary (I think that it is the same doco) on YouTube for those that cannot see it in their own country. Address below.

It was a very informative piece of TV.


ronnie said...

Thanks Prefectdt, will take a look.


Raven Red said...

It was used in the South African schools when I was growing up - on boys generally. There were rumours that the Headmaster may or may not at extreme times use it on a girl - but personally I have no knowledge of it at all.
Loved the post - eh, NOT the implement (GRIN).
For some useless information, the cane in Afrikaans is called a "rottang" - which is derived from the word "rattan"



ronnie said...

I think generally the cane was used on boys and not on the bare bottom.

I love useless information, thanks.