By Holly J
This is the true account of how I received my first school paddling at a school in North Carolina.
My head snapped around involuntarily and my hand, which had been engaged in trying to pass a note to my friend Beverly, ducked back to the “safe” cover of the desk.
“Y..yes, Miss Bright?”
“Stand up, right now, and give me that note that you were passing to Beverly. Beverly, you too. Up.”
Caught. Of course, it wasn’t like I could hide it. She’d seen it. When she had looked up she had been looking directly at us.
My hand slowly came up from under my desk holding the note and I rose, timidly, from my seat. I could see Beverly doing the same.
My heart pounded almost painfully in my chest, my cheeks were apple-red and my hand trembled as I handed over the note.
Miss Bright stood there for a moment reading it. Then she looked from my face to Beverly’s and back.
“Out in the hallway. Both of you.”
The hallway. That could mean anything. But it was almost certainly serious, in part because this was the second time that Beverly and I had been caught passing notes and, too, because of what the note had said:
“Bev, I have the first 20 problems done already. Do you have the rest of them? If you do we can swap between classes.”
Yeah. A written admission that Beverly and I were splitting our homework assignment between the two of us and then copying one another’s answers.
The first note which we had been caught passing had not been a particularly incriminating missive, just some chatter back and forth about our boyfriends. This one, though, added to having been apprehended once already, was bound to carry more serious consequences.
And, of course, those consequences were precisely what Beverly and I were contemplating as we shuffled out in to the hallway, where, for a couple of minutes, we were forced to wait while Miss Bright gave instructions to the rest of the class and dredged up her disciplinary records for the two of us.
Just what would happen to us was not clear. I feared being put in to In-School Suspension, but not nearly as badly as I feared the other likely consequences: Actually being suspended or being paddled, or some combination of the three. Who knew? We hadn’t actually cheated, as far as she knew, but it was a fair presumption that we were going to, or that we had in the past.
So, I was very, very fearful. Beverly was, too. Neither of us had faced any of those punishments before, and the near certainty that we would, then, was enough to leave us both near to tears, even before Miss Bright finally came out in to the hallway with her log book.
We stood with our backs to the wall and our hands folded in front of us, not looking up very much.
She did not have a paddle in her hand, which was at least somewhat encouraging.
“Okay, girls,” she started. “I’m sorry that took a few minutes, but I wanted to back-check some of your other work. Just looking at the last three assignments that you have turned in, what do you think I found?”
Again, I experienced the hopeless feeling that accompanies the certainty of having been caught doing something very wrong. She knew. She had compared our previous assignments.
When we said nothing, she continued. “On both of those assignments, you both missed exactly the same problems with exactly the same answers. I wonder how far back I would have to go before I found an assignment where that didn’t happen?”
What was I to say? What, at all, was there to say?
I was dizzy with fear and apprehension. This was Big Trouble. Far worse than simply passing a note talking about the possibility of copying. Now, we were on the hook for actually cheating.
A couple of times, in the eerie silence of the hallway, I heard Beverly sniffle. I didn’t look at her, but I was sure that her eyes were watering a little, too.
“Nothing to say? Okay, then. Let’s go to the office and see what Mr Toms has to say about this.”
She turned to walk, and we followed. It was automatic. We were walking to our sentencing, and we didn’t, couldn’t, even pause to consider it. Maybe another time I would have felt compelled to argue my case, but being caught in such a clear and undeniable way left me feeling condemned. I said nothing, and followed Miss Bright to the office.
There, Beverly and I were made to sit in two of the six chairs outside of Principal Toms’ office. I remember that there were six chairs in two rows. They had vinyl seats and were bold “happy” colors” – yellow, red, blue, green, purple and some other color. I ended up in the purple chair closest to the office door with Beverly next to me.
Miss Bright’s “wait here” instruction seemed somewhat unnecessary. Neither of us wanted to proceed in to the office with her, of course.
She went in, closing the heavy door behind her. Even so, I could pick out some of the words of the conversation which ensued: “…girls….Holly…..note….cheating….copying…” etc. What else, of course, would they be discussing?
I looked at Beverly. She was as white as a sheet of paper and did not return my glance. She stared at the floor in front of us, and I’m quite certain that I could see her trembling. I was, myself, terrified, and there were no reassurances to be found, no comfort, no hope that the whole situation would simply be smoothed over. We were busted, and we knew it.
The tension of waiting to be told what our fate would be was hard to bear. There weren’t many real options, and we both knew that even though I didn’t want to admit it to myself. I kept trying to think of other ways in which we might have been punished, and trying to hope that they’d go easy on us because neither of us had had very many disciplinary problems before.
And the waiting was truly a double-edged sword: On the one hand, while waiting, I wasn’t being punished. And not being punished was better than being punished, so delaying the unpleasantries wasn’t necessarily bad. On the other hand, whatever punishment awaited was virtually inevitable, and the certainty of it scared me badly. I literally needed to go and pee, but certainly I did not dare get up from where I’d been put.
The talking in the office continued for minutes? weeks? There were other people in the office area. The school secretary was there, looking through some files. Two other teachers were there; Mr W (that’s what we always called him) and Mrs Jones, the AP history teacher. And two students, one boy and one girl. I don’t recall why they were there. To all of them, we must have appeared quite guilty.
That was soon to be confirmed for them.
I hadn’t yet heard the word “paddle” come from within the office, but I had heard “suspension”. In what context, I did not know. They could have been talking about in-school or they could have been talking about real, go-home-and-miss-all-of-your-classes out of school suspension, which would have carried pretty severe consequences once I got home. I wasn’t sure what those consequences would be, specifically, as I’d never been in such trouble at school before.
The door opened. My fear intensified. Miss Bright held it open and said: “Come on in, girls.”
We stood to follow her, clumsily bumping in to one another as we did. As I was about to go through the door in to The Office, I blurted-out to Miss Bright: “Um, I need to use the restroom….”
“You can go when we’re done here,” was the response from Mr Toms who I saw was standing in front of his desk waiting for us.
I heard the door close behind us. Mr Toms’ desk faced outward, toward the door. There were no chairs in front of it. The space was kept clear, I still presume, for students who were about to find themselves bending over that dark oak desk. There were two chairs off to the right side of the office, against the wall, and Mr Toms indicated with his head that we were to sit in them. We did.
Miss Bright hadn’t much to say now. It was all Mr Toms. I do not recall every word that he said, but I do very clearly remember the gist of it all. It was something like this:
“Okay, girls. I’m gonna make this pretty simple. You got caught passin’ notes for the second time and you got caught cheatin’. Got any arguments about that?”
He had a drawl that made him sound older than he really was (in truth, he was probably only about forty). It sounded as if he was talking to his daughters.
We shook our heads “no”, almost simultaneously.
“Good. Not much use arguin’ when you get caught red-handed like this. So, here’s the deal. You’re both gonna do every one of those assignments over in ISS this Thursday and Friday.”
ISS, I thought. That didn’t sound so bad, and doing the work over wouldn’t be so difficult. Being in ISS on Friday, though, would mean that I couldn’t go to the football game that evening, and neither could Beverly. As she was a cheerleader, that would be a bigger deal for her.
“Ordinarily, we’d suspend you both and you’d be gettin’ zeros on all of that work. But, since you haven’t been any trouble ’till now, we’re gonna let you off with ISS and a paddlin’. Five licks for both of you.”
I gasped audibly and looked up sharply, not even trying to conceal the terror that I suddenly felt. I moved my mouth, but I couldn’t think of anything to say. We weren’t getting a choice! He was going to paddle us and oh my God it was supposed to hurt like hell, not to mention how utterly humiliating it was going to be!
“If it’d been one assignment we might not be paddlin you, but this has been goin on for a while, hasn’t it?”
When we said nothing, and only stared like frightened does, he repeated, more firmly, “Hasn’t it?”
“Y…yes, sir,” I heard myself say, involuntarily, as if dreaming it.
Beverly muttered something similar, beside me.
“How long? And don’t lie about it, we can go back through all the papers if we need to and if we do that you’re gonna get it worse. How long?”
I had to think. I honestly did not know the answer to that. Almost at the same time, then, Beverly said “A week..” and I said “Not long – just since….”
“Well, which is it, girls?” He demanded.
We looked at one another. I could tell that she didn’t precisely remember, either. “A week?” She questioned. “I think, yeah, maybe a little more. I just don’t exactly remember.”
“Well, Miss Bright will check, and if it’s much more than a week, you’re gonna be right back in here.” The implication, of course, in his voice, was that we’d be right back in there getting our butts whacked again.
“Well, if you don’t have anythin else to say, let’s get this over with so you can get back to class.”
Oh God, I thought. A paddling?? Please, no. Please, not me. Please, let it be something else!
But there was no offer of an alternative forthcoming. Mr Toms went to the wall where his paddle hung, and took it in his right hand. His paddle was walnut and, though it had been used on numerous backsides, looked roughly brand new. It was long and heavy, maybe twenty inches long, three wide, squared-off at the business end, and – I don’t know for sure – maybe a half inch thick.
And it had holes.
I can’t honestly say for sure that paddles with holes hurt more than those that don’t have them. I have been paddled with both, and they both do their work quite nicely. But those with holes are scarier; they’re talked about as if they hurt more; they look as if they hurt more.
And so I began to whimper.
“Please,” I whined shamelessly. “Can’t it be something else?”
“Nope.” He replied simply. He’d walked back over to his desk, by then. “So which of ya wants to go first?”
That, of course, is an unfair question. Certainly, neither of us wanted to “go first” – we didn’t want to be paddled at all! There was little chance that one or the other of us was going to volunteer to take it.
When neither of us did, he decided for us.
“Well, we’ll go alphabetically, then. You’re up, Beverly.”
By now, Beverly was sniffling quite a bit, too. But she stood. I could see that she stood uneasily, slowly, trembling, as if holding on to the fleeting seconds before she got her licks and her bottom got lit on fire.
Not having been paddled before, I did not entirely know what to expect. The agony of the paddle was only something that I could imagine, and I was trying not to do that.
I was an absolute nervous wreck. My stomach was busying itself turning inside out. My hands were shaking. My cheeks were icy white.
I did watch, though.
She walked to the desk, and just stood there. She looked pleadingly at Mr Toms, and then to Miss Bright, who had then moved further away from the desk, so as to be The Witness to our punishment. Neither had anything reassuring to give her. “Bend over the desk and stick your bottom out,” he instructed.
I thought that she might fall over, but she bent over his desk and, as instructed.
“Okay, here we go. Five licks,” he repeated, and addressed her bottom with the paddle. He held it right up against the seat of her pants, right where he intended to land it. I don’t remember how long he held it there, just that he did so as a way of making sure he was going to get the right spot, low on her bottom, right where she would feel it when she next sat down.
I was surprised at how far back he reached, and at how fast and hard he swung the paddle before it crashed in to Beverly’s poor bottom. If he held anything back, it wasn’t much, and that confirmed the stories I’d heard about him: That he paddled harder than anyone at the school.
Beverly yelped. She, too, was obviously surprised by the force of the lick, the first of five that she had to endure.
She did not have to wait long for the next, nor for the remaining three. Mr Toms did not give her much time in between the licks. They landed in a steady rhythm, each as hard as the first. Beverly’s reaction intensified with each. The yelps that accompanied the first three licks were replaced by a stunned open-mouth silent scream on the fourth and fifth, followed by outright sobbing.
The actual spanking was over fairly quickly, but the pain would be with her for much longer. He had really torn her bottom up, and I was about to have to take the same.
“Okay, go sit back down Beverly,” he told her, and she came back over, crying openly, and gingerly took her seat.
Watching her walk back over, I thought of the students outside. They would have heard the licks, and her reactions. They knew, then, that one of us had just been paddled and that the other was about to get it.
And just like that, after ten school years of having avoided it, it was then my turn to face The Paddle.
I did not want to do it. I did not want to stand up, to walk to the desk when he told me to, to bend myself over it, to put my own butt out for him, to correct my stance when he told me to stick it out further. I did NOT want to do any of those things, but I did.
“Get your bottom out a little further,” he told me. I complied, knowing that I was only making it easier for him to get me good.
And then I felt him press the paddle up against the softest part of my bottom, the part where he was going to make me feel the full force of his licks, the part I would have to sit on when I returned to class. My jeans were tight. They made my butt look sexy. But being tight, they also offered me no padding at all. Just a pair of tight jeans and a thin pair of panties were all that protected me from the hard wood of his paddle.
They didn’t do a very good job.
A moment later, as I stood there bent over Mr Toms’ desk with tears already in my eyes, I heard the swoosh of the paddle, the loud smacking sound it made when it collided with my tender bottom, and felt the fire that it produced. I, too, yelped.
I had wanted to keep quiet, but I didn’t even get to try to stifle the involuntary expression of pain that escaped me.
My God, it hurt!
Not only did it hurt, worse than I had imagined (or let myself imagine), I was fully humiliated.
The second lick, also just above the tops of my thighs, hurt worse than the first. And, as Beverly had, I, too, yelped louder, and felt the tears which were already pooling in my eyes begin to run down my cheeks.
He did not relent. The third hurt even more and I almost screamed. The fourth took my breath. I had just inhaled deeply and was about to react to it when the fifth one caught me, and I squealed.
When no more swats came – I’d had my five – I heard Mr Toms tell me to get back to my seat. I wandered over to it and sat down as lightly as I could, which wasn’t lightly enough. Beverly was still crying softly beside me, and we wept together, openly.
Mr Toms didn’t seem much affected. He continued talking as if nothing had happened. “You girls have to take these forms home and get them signed by your parents, and bring ’em back tomorrow. Understand?” He was handing us papers. I took it from him without being fully aware that I was doing so. I just wanted to be alone, and to cry until the pain and humiliation went away. I’d just gotten my bottom torn up for the first time since I was a little girl, and I didn’t want anyone around me, looking at me, talking to me, asking questions, thinking about me that way…
“Okay, get back to class, then,” he intoned, and Miss Owens opened the office door for us.
When we didn’t proceed, he repeated himself. “Go on. Back to class, now.”
We rose and departed. In the outer office, everyone who had been there before was still there, trying not to appear as if they were looking at the two sobbing girls who emerged and walked past them.
I could just feel the boy’s eyes on my butt as we left, and I literally had to stop myself from rubbing the soreness. I did not, of course, want them to see me do that, even though they had certainly just listened to me getting whooped.