In my fifth year of attending a private girls’ school in the 1960s, we had several new teachers including one, Miss G, who was newly qualified, probably aged around 22 to 23. She had all the makings of a good teacher, but she did not have much experience in discipline. After about two weeks, one particular lesson descended into some chaos as two of the girls started being stupid and giving her a hard time for no reason other than to exploit her inexperience. Several of us tried to get them to shut up, without success, and most of the girls were either expressing their exasperation or just discussing their plans for the evening. There was a substantial hubbub coming from 5A.
Also that year, a new deputy head was appointed, Mrs M. School discipline was delegated to her to take the pressure off the Headmistress, and because there was a feeling that things had become a bit slacker than they had been previously. It was the 1960s and, like schoolchildren everywhere, we were beginning to question the rules and regulations.
Mrs M had a reputation for enforcing those rules and regulations and achieving it in the traditional manner, so that over the first few weeks of term an increasing number of girls were sent to her for firmer punishment than they might receive in class. She also spent some considerable time patrolling the corridors and ensuring that all classes were being conducted in an orderly manner, with particular emphasis on supporting the new teachers.
Thus, she came across our class which had become somewhat rowdy and, apparently, completely out of control. Asking what was going on, a hush fell on the room and of course no one answered. Mrs M gave us one more chance and then instructed us to stay behind after class finished at 4.00 pm. We all assumed that we would be kept behind in an informal detention, but at the end of the class, Mrs M returned with a slipper, really a plimsoll with a smooth sole, which had been well used by the looks of it.
We were given one more chance to have someone own up for the commotion. I saw no reason to do so because I was trying to get them to stop, even though my voice had contributed to the general noise level. No one said a word, so Mrs M turned to Miss G and said that every so often badly behaving girls, even 15-16 year olds, needed to be punished in the expected way. The rules of the school made it quite clear.
She then turned to the class and told us to form a line heading towards the front desk, and when we got there to bend over it and pull our skirts back. The activity for the next ten minutes was now quite clear; we were all going to be spanked, even the Headmistress’s daughter. It was just a question of how many. The first girl bent over, pulled her skirt back and three sharp strokes were applied to her bottom, she was allowed to get up and return to her desk, her eyes watering and her hands inside her knickers trying to ease the pain. Then the next girl who reacted in similar fashion, and so it continued.
About half-way through the 18 girls, Mrs M said to Miss G that her arm was getting a bit tired and she needed some help. This was clearly a ploy to bring the young teacher into the action and prevent her from having the humiliation of letting someone else discipline her entire class. She showed Miss G how to hold the slipper and got her to position it on the next waiting target. She tapped it two or three times against the girl’s presented rear end, weighing up the opportunities, then without further prompting, Miss G pulled her arm back and delivered a mighty blow to the poor girl’s bottom, causing her to jerk forward, yelp, and furiously clench her cheeks in a vain attempt to dissipate the sting. Two more yelps followed and the girl, who was quite an experienced offender, had a slightly astonished look on her face in between her watering eyes as she made her way back through the room, clenching her troubled rear with her hands.
With my turn coming up very soon, for the only time ever in my school career, I considered that I might be more comfortable with Mrs M spanking me. The next girl also yelped and returned stiffly to her desk. Then Joanna H, the Headmistress’s daughter, who was stoic until the last wallop.
My turn came and, having watched the previous three girls struggling to get through it, I realised that it was not beginner’s luck and that Miss G really did know what she was doing. Having got into her stride, she brought the slipper down really hard three times on my poor bottom and it was hard to hold back the tears. I lifted myself off the spanking desk and returned to mine, hands on knickers, rubbing and caressing my assaulted bottom. The rest of the girls were then spanked, with Mrs M finishing up at the end. She handed the slipper to Miss G and told her to make sure she used it, and if there were any real troublemakers to send them to her.
We were then allowed to go home, but the recriminations began almost immediately. It seemed completely wrong that at least a dozen almost innocent girls had just received a spanking; and in two cases, their first since coming to the school. Rough justice but for the good of the whole or so they say, and the future smooth running of the class?
Whilst it was a little unclear what lesson we students had learnt from all that, Miss G had learnt that establishing discipline from the start was the only way to success as a teacher. From then on, the slipper was used just occasionally. The two girls who caused the commotion finally owned up, and after taking advice from Mrs M, Miss G dealt with them herself, a stinging six each.
Somehow, I still don’t know how it happened, I got myself into trouble again, and Miss Green made spanking me a fine art, awarding a nicely spaced out six of the best, with her right arm flexing to provide a powerful delivery and tears to follow.
Apart from that, it was just routine stuff; two girls for not doing or forgetting homework, three swats for my friend Cathy, and a three and a four for Joanna H, the Headmistress’s daughter, who was probably one of the worst behaved girls in the school, even worse than Cathy, or possibly the unluckiest.
So, peace was restored. And I vowed once again to stay clear of trouble, but somehow that never really happened.