A Second Caning at Grammar School

My second caning at grammar school occurred just before Christmas holiday in 1963. I was 12 by now, having had a birthday since my first caning.

It happened in a History lesson taken by Miss M again. Miss M was dressed formally with a white blouse and black tight skirt. She wore high heeled shoes like most ladies of that era and looked stunning to a teenage lad. However her lessons were very formal and I hated History. Miss M was droning on as usual and I was watching a rugby match on the school field. Miss M spotted me and told me that I had a detention for not paying attention. The lesson continued and I tried to pay attention but I struggled. Miss M decided to have a quick verbal test on the lesson. All the kids before me got their answers right and then came my turn. I can not remember the question but I do remember giving her a cheeky answer which made the class laugh. Miss M was furious and told me to stand outside the door and report to her at the end of the lesson. I knew I was in big trouble and felt very nervous. Miss M had already warned me earlier in the term that my next caning would be six strokes. It was a long frightening wait until the end of the lesson and I had butterflies in my stomach and felt sick.

The bell finally sounded and the class left. I was summoned in and Miss M read me the riot act before my worst fears were realised. I was told to go to the office and collect the cane. I walked slowly to the office and spoke to the secretary who took some details and handed me the crook handled cane and punishment book as previously. I walked back to the classroom and entered. Miss M was sat at her desk marking books. She stood up and took the book and cane. I stood and watched while she entered my name in the book.

She stood up and picked up the cane. She stood there and pointed to a desk at the front of the room and said the words all pupils dreaded: “Remove your blazer and bend over the desk.”

I removed my blazer and bent over. Miss M adjusted my posture before I felt her stand at my side. She reminded me that I was to remain in position or extra strokes would follow. She also said that I was to get six strokes. I felt the cane tap on my tight grey shorts and soon heard it swish. It hit my bottom hard and shortly after I felt a line of heat where it had struck. Miss M continued, stroke after stroke followed and the tears started. Finally it was the sixth stroke. Miss M tapped the cane hard which made me wince when it touched a previous stroke before she gave me the final stroke. It was extra hard and low down. I recall yelping out with pain.

Miss M told me to stand before reminding me that I still had the detention to serve. She signed the book and handed the cane and book to me. I was told to return them to the office and dismissed.

I walked back to the office wiping my tears as I walked. I passed some pupils who grinned at my obvious discomfort. I handed the cane and book to the secretary who smiled and said she hoped my pain would subside soon. I liked her because she was so kind.

I should have known better than be cheeky with my answer, having already got a detention, but I was like most boys of my age and felt invincible. I learnt a painful lesson which was fully deserved. I was never cheeky to a teacher again and paid attention during History lessons after that.

PLa


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