Another account kindly passed on to us by Megan L.
Don’t be late for class at Jefferson High School.
My name is Laura and I wanted to share my experience with corporal punishment, which was very common when I attended school. I will try my best to share my memory as it has been many years since my last high school paddling, although certainly not my last at home.
I must have been around 15 years old, because the incident happened with my BF, who had to be 16 since it involved a drive in his car for an unauthorized lunch break from school at the local Mickey D’s. A little back ground on me, being as honest as I can, I rarely got into trouble at school, making good grades, got along with my teachers, had a lot of friends and actually enjoyed my life at school.
While I did receive a couple of detentions at school, for tardies (talking too much in the hall between classes, passing notes and talking in class) I was never in serious trouble. By high school, corporal punishment was really reserved for serious misbehavior that rose to the level of suspension. High School in those days included grades 10 through 12, and in those days, parents could submit a form excusing their child from corporal punishment. However, no form was sent home seeking permission, and if the parents didn’t make the request, I assume it was understood the parent had no objection if their child received corporal punishment instead of suspension. I have no idea how many students were excused from CP, but my parents, and the parents of my friends all were pro-spanking parents which was a common punishment used at the time.
As a background, I came from a wonderful loving home, but my parents, just like my grandparents, had rigid values not to be compromised, honesty and respect at the top of the list for both my brother and me, along with doing the chores assigned and working to the best of our ability at school. These values were not open to discussion, and consequences would be immediate, consistent and clear. While it didn’t happen frequently, when my brother or me violated any of our rules, such as lying or talking back to any adult, there was no discussion. The consequence would almost always be a painful spanking that increased in severity with our ages.
While I wouldn’t describe our spankings as abusive, both my brother and I knew what Mom’s wooden paddle or brush, or Dad’s belt, felt like on our bare bottoms. But I must also admit, I can’t remember ever being punished without reason. And back then, age was no factor, at least in my house, as when you were never too old for a spanking. My parents lived by the rule, as long as you are living in our house; you will live by our rules. I actually got my last spanking at 16 from Dad for getting caught drinking with my cousin (he got it as well). And my brother his last at 17 for talking back to Dad.
But this incident involves my high school paddling. Up until that time, I had only had one school spanking, and that was in elementary school, not only approved by, but requested by my Mom. My mom thought I was being disrespectful to my teacher and wasn’t interested in my version of what happened.
It was very clear from elementary school up through high school that spanking or paddling was an option schools had at their discretion. In elementary school, spankings were much more common and every teacher that I remember had a paddle, and some even kept it on the wall. Back then, there was no reason to keep the paddle a secret. Teachers were expected to keep discipline and be fair, but firm.
Teachers would usually administer the spanking in the cloak room that separated classrooms, or in the hall. It was uncommon, but some spankings would occur in the classroom. I can only assume teachers didn’t want to send their students to the office out of concern they would be considered not able to manage their class. But a trip to the office, of course, was received with great fear and a warning was usually enough.
In middle school, the rules changed for CP. If a teacher felt a paddling was necessary to correct a student, it was done in the office and could be administered by the principal or teacher with a witness, and a parent would be notified with a signed form returned the next day. In the case of my brother, that was as bad as getting it in school because before the note was signed Mom told my father who gave my brother a severe strapping without the protection of clothes.
In high school, as I stated above, parents didn’t have to give approval or be notified which was a significant reason I chose the paddle over suspension.
Another rule I thought was fair, the administrator could give the student the option of suspension, usually three days, or “licks” usually 3 to 5 depending on misbehaviour. I believe this made the student consider their behavior and the punishment for it. But if students chose or were given suspension, that would have been put on their school record and parents notified, neither of which I wanted to risk.
I really had no fear of getting a paddling at school, unlike my brother who received two in middle school and once in HS. And I remember the reaction of my parents when they signed the form in middle school; a session from Dad’s belt that I could hear from Dad’s bedroom with my brother pleading and crying. Something I definitely wanted to avoid.
My trouble that memorable day started innocently enough. Our school had a rule that you couldn’t leave the school campus during lunch. Of course most of the kids, at least seniors, ignored the rule and really the school looked the other way if you returned to class on time and weren’t caught smoking or racing around the parking lot. On this day, like many others, my bf, gf and her bf ran to my bf’s car to get a burger at Mickey D’s. As we started to leave the restaurant, my bf realized he had a flat tire, and of course, no spare. He had a friend who worked at a garage, but by the time he showed up and changed the tire, an hour had gone by; an entire class period.
We held our breath as we entered the parking lot, silently praying no one would see us enter. Of course we got caught by a teacher on monitoring duty who reminded us we had missed one and a half classes and did we have an excuse to leave campus? Of course we had no acceptable excuse and were escorted to face the dean of boys.
I really had no experience with the dean of boys, whose primary responsibility was to decide and administer discipline as he saw fit to students sent to his office. As far as I know, he answered to no one and his sentence wasn’t subject to appeal. Although my parents never found out, my brother told me he received a paddling from him and it was worse than Dad’s belt. I couldn’t believe anything to be more painful than a belt spanking from Dad, but I wasn’t worried because I never considered that would be a position I would have to face.
We got the usual lecture as I fidgeted, hands behind my back, trying to show I was paying attention when I was really trying to guess what my punishment would be. I really hoped and thought, since it was my first major infraction, I might get a few after school detentions or in school suspension. The option of a spanking wasn’t even something I considered. Even though my parents wouldn’t accept I was too old for a spanking, I thought I was.
The lecture finally ended when it became clear, the Dean thought our transgression was a serious violation of school rules and he was going to make an example of enforcing all of the rules. With no further discussion, he told us he was going to place all four of us on a three day suspension after notifying our parents. I felt like a bolt of lightening hit me. I didn’t even consider my parents being involved. I imagined as soon as I got home, I would get the whipping of my life and grounded for the three days to my bedroom.
Before I could think of anything to say to plead my case, my bf spoke up very respectfully. He asked if we could have another option since suspension would affect our school record and possibly grades. The Dean nodded very seriously and offered we could all have the choice of five licks with the paddle or the three days of suspension. We all looked at each other, and one by one, we all agreed to take the licks.
He asked if any of us had been paddled before. My bf nodded quietly yes, but this would be a first for the three of us. The Dean warned us that a paddling was a serious punishment meant to be hard enough to remind us to behave ourselves, and gave us the opportunity to change our minds. None of his accepted his offer, and he made us sign a form agreeing that we had accepted an option of corporal punishment in lieu of suspension for leaving school grounds without permission.
The discipline referral also required us to report back to his office on Friday immediately after class, where we would receive 5 swats with the school paddle as our punishment. Failure to appear Friday or not accept our punishment would result in immediate suspension with parental notification. We all signed the forms, and each of us were given our copy to bring to the school secretary Friday after school.
We silently left the office and went our separate ways returning home. My bf drove me home as always and he asked if I was okay, and was so sorry he got me in trouble. I tried to be brave and reminded him he didn’t make me come to lunch with him and it was no big deal since my parents wouldn’t find out. Besides, I told him, I got paddlings from Mom and they were a lot more than 5 licks and got them on the bare butt. We both tried to laugh it off, but it was a very nervous laugh. He agreed he didn’t want to face his parents with news of suspension either. It was no secret from either one of us that our parents both included spankings as part of parenting, and I have no doubt he would have been in the same position my brother was when he got detention.
We only had two days before the end of school Friday, but it seemed like a month. I tried to concentrate in class, but all I could think about was my Paddling coming Friday. I kept reminding myself, 5 licks can’t last very long and then its all over.
Friday finally came and the four of us ended up in the office handing the school secretary our discipline referrals. She accepted and read them with a sympathetic look but no comment other than to tell us to silently sit down on the bench next to the wall until we were called. I tried not to face any of my friends because I was actually shaking and was sure I would lose it altogether facing them.
Finally after watching the secretary answer her phone, she hung up and stood up calling my bf to join her in the office. She followed him in and there was complete silence for maybe five minutes. My entire sense of time was lost that day as seconds seemed like minutes. The next thing I heard was a loud popping sound, almost like a firecracker coming from the Dean’s office. That could only mean my bf’s paddling had started. After a brief pause, I heard a second and third pop. But this time, after thethird pop, a distinct: “OW!” followed the pop. The fourth and fifth pop came quickly and just as loud, but I didn’t hear any response.
After a very short time, my BF left the office, not crying but eyes definitely moist as he walked very stiff and held his hands to his side in fists. He walked past us out to the hallway without a word.
Next his friend was called. The ritual was the same except that after the fourth and fifth swat there was a very audible ‘ouch’. After a few minutes, he came out of the office and rubbed his bottom but very quickly moved his hand as he saw us staring at him.
The other thought I had was this man, who I didn’t even know, going to spank me as hard as the boys? I couldn’t recall any man every spanking me except my father. And even though those spankings were bare bottomed, he was still my father. Even though I was wearing shorts, panties, bra, collared tee shirt with socks and sneakers, I felt naked at the thought of another man ordering me to bend over to expose my covered bottom for a spanking.
For a brief moment I considered asking if I could change my mind and take the suspension, and then I thought of my almost certain whipping at home. At least I wouldn’t have to spend three days in bed and face the embarrassment of not accepting the same punishment my friends received.
My gf and I were left waiting, the secretary returned to her desk. Was it possible the dean changed his mind about our punishment? Within a few more minutes, my PE teacher showed up at the office. She said ‘Hi’ to both of us, but not smiling as she usually greeted us.
A little back ground; to those of you not living in those times, it was a different culture. We didn’t have to worry about political correctness. There was never a concern about teachers becoming not friends, but more like big brothers or sisters to their students, if they chose to. Just as spankings were considered normal, so were hugs, support and encouragement. While each teacher’s personality dictated how close they wanted to be with their students, most students felt close enough with their teachers to share their lives.
Our PE teacher, Miss Rebecca, was one such teacher. She was very cool, had a great sense of humor and as she wasn’t that much older than we were, in her early twenties, she could relate to our boyfriend problems and the drama and hormones that challenge teenagers. I can honestly say, I considered Miss Rebecca to be more like a big sister. We not only loved her as a teacher, we totally respected her as a person, and she treated us with respect.
Now I was really embarrassed. I could only imagine she was called in to administer our punishment. Even though I was relieved at the thought of her paddling me than the dean, thinking it couldn’t be so bad after all, I was totally humiliated at the thought of my favorite teacher, that I almost considered an equal, could be spanking me like a small child.
I didn’t have to wait long as the principal left his office and told me to report to the teacher inside for my punishment. I don’t know how I was able to walk into the office, my legs were shaking so badly. How could I face her? She told me to close the door behind me and the first thing I noticed was the paddle left behind on the desk. I know it wasn’t, but it looked at least twice the size as the paddle my Mom used on us at home and definitely twice as thick.
Miss Rebecca told me how disappointed she was in me and my gf. She asked if I knew it was against the rules to leave campus without permission. And as my punishment, as stated on the form sitting in front of her on the desk, it was my request to take a spanking (she used that word which to this day makes me nervous) instead of suspension. I responded a quiet ‘yes’ to each of her questions as my hands instinctively held each other covering my bottom.
She said she was called in to administer the paddling for both my friend and I. She added while she really disliked this part of her job, particularly when it involves a student she cares so much about. As if she could read my mind, she added not to be embarrassed. I wasn’t the first or most likely the last student she paddled.
To my surprise, she added that is wasn’t that long ago she was on the receiving side of the paddle, so she knew what I must be feeling right now. She said this is just part of growing up, we all make mistakes and this is how we learn from making bad choices accepting the consequences. She added try not to be embarrassed.
After asking if I had any questions, and I responded no ma’am, again feeling like a little girl preparing for a spanking from my mother, she called in the secretary to be a witness. That added even more embarrassment to me and I tried as hard as I could to avoid looking at her.
After confirming I had nothing in my back pocket, Miss Rebecca told me she was treating me no different than any other student she was ask to paddle. She promised the paddling was going to hurt and that It was okay if I began crying, but that I had to accept all five swats before it was over and I was to remain in position. She picked up the paddle as I was told to bend over the desk with my elbows and hand on the desk, butt out and feet spread. I was also ordered to look forward and face the secretary standing in front of me. Then I felt her rub the paddle, which seem to cover my whole butt, take it away and then quickly spank my bottom with it at, I assume, full force. It was a shock to my whole body but before I could absorb it, I got swat number two, which forced a loud OWWWWWWWWW and my bending up and down to try to force the pain away. I can’t imagine sitting on a branding iron being any less painful. Tears were forming in my eyes and then the third swat that felt like an explosion forcing me to jump up and grab my butt. I could actually feel the heat through my shorts. I continued on bending up and down, rubbing and pleading I couldn’t take anymore… it hurt so much… I begged her, promising to never leave campus. I learned my lesson.
Without apology or sympathy, she ordered me to bend over or she would suspend me and call my parents. I said to myself, only two more, I can do this, and to myself, I thought how much I hated her at that moment; she could have no idea how much that damn paddle hurts.
I bent over and remained in position for the next two swats. They weren’t any lighter, but at least they came quick so it was over. She immediately told me I could get up. I was crying so hard and actually screamed after the final swat. She put her arm around me and gave me some Kleenex. I rubbed my eyes with one hand and tried to extinguish the fire with my other hand not caring who saw me. After I calmed down, she excused me from the office. I left without looking at my friend, still in tears and not caring.
That night, I should have gotten an Oscar for being able to sit at the dinner table without a hint to my parents how hard it was to sit. My brother found out, but while he didn’t tell our parents, he tortured me at the dinner table with “how was school today sis” and “didn’t I see you come out of the office this afternoon”. I eventually did get even with him, but, that’s another story. I ate as fast as I could without drawing attention and told mom I needed to go do my homework, which was true.
When I changed clothes, my butt was dark red in blotches and I had two bruises. Thank goodness I didn’t have to sit in class until Monday and by that time, it was uncomfortable but most of the actual pain and bruising had gone away. You better believe I went out of my way at home that weekend avoiding any possibility that Mom might decide I needed a spanking.
The next week, when I went to my PE class, I was still angry at my teacher. She responded like nothing happened. I guess she picked up on my coolness toward her and called me into her office after. She told me she was sorry I earned a paddling, but she wasn’t sorry that she had to carry it out. She told me I had nothing to be embarrassed about once again, reminding me most children grow up with one or more spankings and I should just accept it as a part of growing up. I smiled back told her I wish I could grow up without that part. We both smiled and reminded me someday I will have to make those decisions about teaching my children. We gave each other a hug and never mentioned the incident again. And, I never again left campus for lunch or any other reason except Senior skip day.
Now that I am a parent of two, I understand the need, benefits and effectiveness of a spanking. From their reactions, my son or daughter don’t like receiving spankings any more than my brother and I did. I am hoping, when they become adults, they will have a better understanding of why they were spanked and how it helped them grow into responsible adults.