I was in the third grade when I first met ping pong paddle discipline. I next received a spanking with that kind of implement four years later. After another two years the ping pong bat style of paddle was replaced by thick wide oak paddles long enough to strike both cheeks.

One day, early one morning, I entered art class to discover a ring of students spanking a girl in PE kit. It was probably an initiation into some club or other. When the girl saw me observing, she ran out in to the hall. Nothing was said by anyone as the rest of the class filed in and the club went out. It was open season on student bodies and all clubs had their own rules for entry.

I think back often to that day, watching her turn with each new smack on her thinly covered bottom to face away from another club member. Often I wonder if she got some satisfaction from it as no doubt did some of the members, especially the middle-aged male teacher.

We had a dress code that required short hair and shaved for boys, dresses and skirts for girls. We mostly complied except for a few sideburns until my sophomore year when a few girls decided to wear tasteful dress pants and shorts that looked like skirts. This led on to the girls wearing jeans like most boys wore.

That’s when the trouble started. The girls were sent home but did not leave. Instead most of the student body went out to protest on the lawn. A TV crew arrived to interview the student body representative, a boy with a short crew cut, but they failed to understand the problem.

The rules were change at the next school board meeting and peace returned.

If you were unlucky enough to be sent to the office you had little choice but to bend over for the paddle.

Most girls in my then country high school were spared the paddle when sent to the office; not ‘lady-like’ it is my guess on the reason. This did not extend to their parents girl and sometimes their boyfriends. More than a few times I imagined what happened in private.