I attended a grammar school in Wales in the 1960s. I had no direct experience of formal corporal punishment before that. My parents didn’t believe in spanking, and while the cane was used at my primary school, the headmaster would only use it on very rare occasions, and always in private. The only times I saw a teacher hit a pupil would be a ‘clip round the ear’ type, meant to show disapproval rather than to cause real pain.
In my first year in the grammar school, I was at my desk during break. As several previous occupiers of the desk had carved their initials on it, I decided to do the same, and I was in the middle of doing this when the headmaster entered the room, catching me red-handed.
“What are you doing, boy?” he roared.
I could hardly deny responsibility, and the headmaster told me to bend over the very desk which I’d vandalised. I received three sharp strokes of the cane on the seat of my trousers. The first stroke wasn’t too bad, but the second and third hurt a lot, and I only just managed to hold back tears. The headmaster then lectured me on the folly of damaging school property, and sent me out. My bottom was quite sore, and when I examined myself that evening on arriving home, I had three stripes on my bottom, which lasted for a couple of days.
Fortunately for me, there were no games lessons for a few days. I was caned on a Friday, so by the time I had to change with the other boys the marks had gone. I was afraid that the story of my caning would get out, but the headmaster did not mention it again, and I kept it to myself, being too embarrassed to tell my friends about my punishment. I was 11 years old at the time.
Not long after this, I was playing with a girl who lived in my street. She was a year younger than me, and it soon developed into a playful fight. In the course of the struggle, I managed to land a good few smacks on her bottom, which I really enjoyed. This girl, Angela, then tried to spank me, but I overpowered her and gave her another spanking. This time she was across my lap and, while the first three smacks were on her skirt, I lifted it and then gave her three smacks on her knickers, which were green and tight around her little bottom.
As she was over my lap getting spanked, I asked her, “Do you like having your bottom smacked?”
She replied, “No!”
I let her up after giving her six smacks.
She rubbed her bottom and said, “That hurt almost as much as when my dad spanks me.”
I wish I’d asked her about her parental spankings, but sadly I didn’t. Smacking Angela’s bottom gave me a thrill which I didn’t fully recognise at the time, but I thought a lot about it as time went on, and wondered if Angela’s dad still spanked her, and whether he smacked her over her clothes or on her bare bottom. Angela’s family moved away not long after that and we lost touch.
My second experience of school corporal punishment occurred a few weeks before my 14th birthday. It was the school Sports Day, and the school used the local university’s facilities for the events. Towards the middle of the afternoon, a girl in my class, named Heather, suggested to me that we should bunk off, and I agreed. We left the university fields, but had to go back to school to pick up our coats. Unfortunately for us, a teacher was patrolling the school grounds to prevent any such early departures.
She was a fairly new teacher, young and quite attractive, and she stopped Heather and me and asked us, “Are you two trying to leave early?”
I was about to say that we were simply going to collect something when Heather blurted out, “Yes, Miss.”
The teacher, Miss T, said, “Come with me,” and led us to the staff room.
I wasn’t too worried, as kids who tried to leave early were generally just told off. However, Miss Thompson told me to wait outside, and ordered Heather to accompany her into the staff room. She closed the door, and I was wondering what was going on.
Soon, I could hear the sounds of an argument. Miss T was saying something, and Heather was pleading.
Eventually, I heard Miss T shout out, “Bend over the desk!”
I was shocked. I never thought that we’d get the cane for what we’d tried to do. There followed the sounds of a cane landing, and cries and yells from Heather. Soon, the door opened and Heather came out crying and holding her bottom. She was wearing gym shorts.
Then Miss T ordered me in. She told me to bend over the desk, and I obeyed quickly, not wanting to make her angrier than she already was.
She said something like, “This’ll teach you not to try and play truant,” then she gave me six strokes of the cane on my bottom. I yelled out at each stroke, partly from the pain and because I was hoping she’d show mercy.
I got six strokes, as opposed to the four Heather received, which struck me as being really unfair. While the caning was painful, I was angry because I didn’t feel it was justified, and I hated the idea of being beaten by a woman whom I didn’t respect in the way I respected the headmaster.
After the caning, Miss T told me to get out. There was no sign of Heather. Presumably, she was in the girls’ toilets or had rushed home.
Heather wasn’t in school the next day, and when I tried to discuss the matter with her subsequently, she said, “I don’t want to think about that!”
I was furious with Miss T, and I would have given anything to get revenge on her. As I got older, I fantasised about spanking and caning her, but the only measure of revenge I got was to place a drawing pin on her chair a couple of years later. I felt a small measure of satisfaction that I had caused her some pain on her bottom! As I got older, and more into spanking and caning, I wondered if Miss T enjoyed caning our bottoms. Or maybe it was a way of showing that she, as a young and inexperienced teacher, was not one to be trifled with. I often wished that I’d seen Heather being caned. I would have loved to see that cane land on Heather’s gym shorts.
I have re-enacted the scene a few times with girlfriends, with the difference that after receiving the spanking or caning, I gave back more than I got to the woman, often wishing that it was Miss T’s bottom that I was striking. I notice now that young people find it difficult to believe teachers were once permitted to smack pupils.