I lived in a small town in Alabama. I was 11 in 1971 in the 5th grade and 2nd of five children. I had loving parents who expected myself and my 4 brothers and sisters to behave, be respectful, obey the rules, and stay within our boundaries. As long as we did that, we all had a great childhood. When you didn’t, spanking was the main punishment, sometimes followed by grounding, extra chores etc.

My dad was an industrial engineer. He was away frequently on job sites, sometimes for the whole week. He was away this particular week. My mom was the main disciplinarian in the house. All spankings were given on your bare bottom, frequently in the kitchen or living room. The level of the spanking depended on the infraction. The wooden spoon was the main implement used and she had a variety of them.

I attended a rather strict Baptist private school. They had a lot of rules and, yes, they did spank and paddle, amongst other punishments. For example, if you crossed the red line in the middle of the hallway instead of going down the stairs and back up the other side, that was an after-school detention. Higher level infractions resulted in the smaller kids getting spanked by the teacher and the older kids reported to the principal, and sometimes paddled there.

We all wore uniforms and they were expected to be clean, pressed and neat. No hair was allowed in your face and, other than a cross, no jewelry was allowed and shoes had to be shined. The girls wore a grey plaid V-neck jumper over a white blouse with a rounded collar, white knee socks and black mary jane shoes. The hair band, if you wore one, had to be grey as well.

My parents were very active and well known in the school. My mom even taught there before she starting having kids.

On this particular day, we were scheduled to have a test in Science. I hated Science. I didn’t study for the test much and I feared the wooden spoon so much I went to the bathroom and wrote notes on my left hand just before the test, then I kept my hand fisted when I went back to the classroom. I didn’t get away with it. Apparently the teacher saw me looking at my hand and I was caught. She promptly marked the paper with a zero and sent me to the principal.

I was so scared; I had never been spanked or paddled at school. The principal was furious and disappointed in me.

“You, of all people,” he said. “A good student, a leader of the drama club and active in many others, and a role model to younger students.”

He asked why would I do something so foolish and break one of the most sacred rules the school has. I saw the paddle hanging.

He looked at me and said: “I am not going to paddle you, young lady. I am sure when your mother finds out you will receive the spanking of your life.”

Instead, he suspended me from all clubs and after school activities for one month, and issued me 3 Saturday detentions. That was the worst detention you could get. Four hours of silence, sitting up straight, hands pressed together, with elbows out, resting on the desk. 200 lines to be completed on my own time and due in by the end of the following day. The test, signed by my mom and on my teacher’s desk the next morning before first bell.

He said I was getting off easy because up to now I was a model student, but he also warned if it ever happened again expulsion will be considered.

When I got home I thought it would be best to wait until after I did my homework and went to ballet class. Right after school and after snacks we all sat on the wooden benches on either side of the kitchen table and did our homework. The test was in my science book sticking out a little. While my mom was checking up on our progress, she saw it and asked what it was. I said it was my test.

She said, “Well Amy, let me see it.”

She pulled it out and was outraged by what I had done. I confessed and told her the school punishment. She wasted no time pulling one of the chairs on the end of the table to the middle of the kitchen, then ordered me up NOW!

My older sister smiled at me and laughed. “You’re so gonna get it!” she said.

My mother hushed her. She removed the largest wooden spoon from the drawer. Usually mom starts with a few swats over my underpants before pulling them down. This time I stood before her and she reached under my jumper and took them down to my ankles. She placed me over her knee, raised my jumper and began spanking me hard. I kicked and screamed and cried, and my underpants flew off my shoes. I even squirmed off her knee to the floor. She ordered me up, put me back over her knee, this time locking me in place with a scissor lock with her legs in between mine. She propped my bare bottom high and continued to spank me hard with full swings for another minute or two. Seemed like hours.

Mom told me to get my fanny back to the table to work on my homework, my bottom burning, sitting on the wooden bench in tears. Humiliated in front of my siblings, sore and shamed.

My mom stated: “You’re grounded until further notice, and you can forget about Sara’s birthday party.”

Sara was my very best friend since kindergarden and still is to this day.

Mom told me how disappointed she was and how disappointed my father was going to be. I didn’t want to go to ballet but my mom made me and it was awful. Pink tights don’t cover a crimson red bottom. I was teased and giggled at. Doing barre work and dancing was painful in itself.

Dad came home late Friday night. I had talked to him in tears the night of the incident and he told me we were going to have a long talk before detention on Saturday. He came into my bedroom, which I shared with my two sisters, early. I was in bed wearing a pink nightgown with white underpants. He told my sisters to go downstairs.  He talked and I listened, then he sat on my bed and said: “You deserve to receive two spankings for this.”

He put me over his knee, raised my nightgown, lowered my underpants and began spanking me hard with his hand. I was still sore from the spanking I got two days before. He finished with a metal spatula. I didn’t know he had it in his back pocket. It hurt so much and he made sure he targeted the crease in my bottom and top of my thighs as well as the rest of my bare bottom.

The edge of my seat at school dug in there and I was miserable in detention.

When I got picked up, we stopped at Sara’s house to give her my birthday gift. Sara pleaded with my mom to let me stay for the party.

Mom told her: “Amy is being punished and that is not possible.”

I said: “Please mom, she is my best friend ever.”

My mom turned to me and said: “Do you want to go over my knee again?”

I said: “No Maam!”

“Time to go then.”

On the way home, she said she composed a test similar to the one I cheated on and that I was going to take it after church the following day.

“I will expect nothing less than B otherwise, your grounding will be extended past the month you already have,” she said.

I studied hard that day and got a B+. I took it into school by my mother’s orders and gave it to my teacher. At the end of the day, after consulting with the principal, she said: “For your efforts on getting a good grade on a harder test your mother made up,  I am giving you a D. Be thankful that zero is off your record.”

I was very thankful. I never cheated again. I also never got spanked in school my whole 12 years there.  At home was a different story.