The year was 1972. I was just about to start the 4th grade at my new school, a Catholic school. I was new to the neighborhood and didn’t know anybody yet, but I was anxious to make new friends. However, I was a little hesitant about going to this school. It would be my first time attending a Catholic school and it was made clear when I enrolled that corporal punishment was allowed. This concerned me, as I had never been spanked before. I tried not to think too much about it as the first day of school approached.
On that first day, I dressed in my new school uniform which was something else that was new for me. I wore navy blue dress pants, a white button down dress shirt, and a clip on tie. All the boys wore this same uniform while the girls wore a blue plaid jumper over a white blouse. My mom drove me to school that first day and I entered my classroom.
My teacher was Sister H. She was an old school nun, cold and stern. It was clear from day one that she would not tolerate any misbehavior or disobedience. I also found out through some of my new classmates that corporal punishment at school was worse than I was expecting. During lunch and recess that first day some of the guys in my class were educating me and one other new student about it. Basically, every teacher had the right to spank as they saw fit. Some teachers were more strict than others, but all were known to spank in some fashion. For more serious offenses you would be sent to the rectory to be disciplined by Father D with a leather belt. And then they told me the piece of information that scared me the most. Teachers could spank you on your bare butt if they chose, and many did.
I was mortified by this information. The idea of getting spanked was bad enough, but having to pull down my pants and underwear too! I was a very timid boy and the idea of having to disrobe in front of a teacher would be a nightmare come true.
It didn’t take long to find out how strict Sister Helen was. On the third day of school one of the boys, Andy, burped loudly right in the middle of class. Sister H chewed him out and then ordered him to come up to the front of the classroom. Andy turned pale and slowly got out of his seat, but didn’t move forward. In the meantime, Sister H grabbed her chair and brought it out in front of her desk.
When she saw that Andy hadn’t moved, she said, “Andrew G, get up here right now!”
Andy put his head down and walked the green mile towards Sister. She was now sitting in the chair facing the class. When Andy got close enough she grabbed his wrist and pulled him towards her so that he was standing right next to her on her left. Without saying a word, her hands went to Andy’s waist. I watched transfixed in horror as she methodically unbuckled his belt and unzipped and unsnapped his pants. She roughly yanked them down to his ankles. Then her fingers went to the waistband of his white underpants and quickly slid them down to join his trousers. He stood there completely bare form his waist to his ankles in a dress shirt and tie.
Sister H then looked Andy in the eye and said, “Andy, why are you being punished?”
Even from my vantage point I could see Andy’s lip quiver as he said, “Because I burped.”
Sister H then asked, “And now how am I going to punish you?”
Andy responded something but was so faint he couldn’t be heard.
Sister H said, “Speak up so the whole class can hear you!”
This time Andy said, “You’re gonna spank me.”
“How am I going to spank you, Andy?”
Andy seemed a bit confused and said, “With your hand?”
“Yes, I am going to spank you with my hand, but that isn’t what I meant. Where are your pants?”
Andy looked down and then said, “At my ankles.”
“And where are your underpants?”
On the verge of tears, he replied, “My ankles.”
Sister H asked, “Why are they at your ankles?”
Andy responded, “Because you pulled them down, Sister.”
Sister H seemed mildly exasperated. “And why did I pull them down, young man?”
“To spank me, Sister.”
Leading him to the answer, she asked, “To spank you on your? What?”
Suddenly it came to Andy what she was driving at. “To spank me on my bare bottom?”
“That’s right.” She now looked at the class. “I want all of you to pay attention because this is what will happen to bad little boys and girls in this class. You will be spanked on your bare bottom.”
With that, she guided Andy over her lap. She pushed up his shirt tails to his mid-back then proceeded to give Andy a good hard spanking. The smacks on his bare skin were loud inside the classroom and Andy was soon crying loudly as well. After about 20 smacks the spanking was over. She then had Andy shuffle over to the corner to stand there with his back to us and his pants and underwear still at his ankles.
“You will stand here with your naughty bottom on display for 10 minutes.”
Just like that, class resumed, although many of us couldn’t help but look over at Andy and his red behind in the corner. After 10 minutes were up Sister Helen simply said, “Pull up your pants, Andy, and go back to your seat.”
My senses had been overwhelmed and I found it difficult to focus the rest of the day. I hoped and prayed I would not end up like Andy at some point.