Kindly sent by Megan on behalf of Sarah J, one of two girls paddled.

It was a cool morning in the Texas Hill Country in February of 2004.  I was 17 and a senior in high school, looking forward to graduation in a few short months. I had just sat down in my third period class when the morning announcements began. As usual, most of the announcements were meaningless and boring. My attention was caught, however, when I heard my name being called out along with one of my other classmates, Katelyn. We had to go to the principal’s office. Trying to act confused as to why I had to go to the office, I knew in the back of my mind why. There could only be one reason as to why.

I remember this particular morning was a Wednesday. A few days prior on Monday the school had been buzzing with the excitement of the toilet paper wrapping job that had been done to most of the trees and bushes on campus. Katelyn and myself had lucked upon a 12-pack of beer on Sunday night and after drinking enough to come up with several stupid ideas, we decided on “wrapping” the school. I must admit for two drunken high school girls we did pretty well.

I was the first to arrive in the office. Katelyn soon joined me. The silent looks we exchanged with each other confirmed the fact that we knew we were busted. After about twenty minutes of waiting and quietly pondering our fates we were invited into Mr Jenkins’ office. Neither I nor Katelyn were strangers to the office. We were not bad kids by any means, but we were unruly enough to always end up getting referred to the office for something at least on a monthly basis. For me anyway it was usually tardies and dress code issues. I could never seem to figure out how to go to my locker, chat with friends and go potty in less than 5 minutes!

The look on Jenkins’ face informed us rather quickly that he was pissed about seeing us again. Soon enough he confirmed our fears as to why we were there.

“Ladies, may I ask where you were and what you were doing on Sunday evening?”

Katelyn and I exchanged baffled looks, but the deep feelings of nervousness were evident in our manner. Jenkins’ only pushed the button on a remote control. We turned around to look at a TV set that was suddenly playing a black and white picture. Turns out it was a surveillance tape that showed me and Katelyn acting like the drunken fools we were, throwing toilet paper over trees and sipping beer in the process. One word works here: BUSTED!

After a few seconds of letting this sink in, Jenkins turned off the TV and began the lecture. I really do not know what all he said, but I remember a lot of yelling and words like lack of respect and constantly being sent to the office being used. My attention was caught, however, when he used the word ‘arrest’. He told us that he had strongly considered turning the tape over to the police since it showed us obviously trespassing on school property and engaged in under-aged drinking. He went on to say that he did not feel kids benefited from being arrested as opposed to receiving “old-fashioned” punishments. This was not a big surprise since he had practically paddled everyone in the school at one time or the other, or so it seemed. He told us that he had called our parents about the matter and they had agreed to his proposed punishment, satisfied that it would impress upon us the seriousness of this matter. I couldn’t wait to hear this one. Katelyn had already started crying before she heard about our fate.

He began by saying: “First of all, each of you will be assigned to Mr Watson (the janitor) for one month of after-school cleaning duty for one hour each day.”

This was apparently punishment for him having to clean up our wrapping mess.

“Secondly,” he began, “You will each have 2 weeks of in-school-suspension and you must attend an alcohol education class.”

The pain of this reality was beginning to sink in.

“And lastly, your parents and I agree that a proper experience with the board of education is in order for this matter.”

I will never forget how he said that. I knew from the moment I heard my name on the PA that it was coming. I had been paddled in school before but, like I said, it was for nothing more serious than tardies, dress-code violations and skipping a class once, and never more than 1 or 2, maybe 3 swats. I had never incurred the wrath of the principal for something this serious. My worst fears were realized when he told us we would each be receiving the maximum of six swats.

He told us to return out to the hallway, that he would call us in when he was ready. We were to also not talk to each other or anyone else. Not wanting to make matters worse, I did as I was told. Katelyn was still sobbing, obviously very nervous about what was going to happen. I held her hand to try to make things somewhat better, but felt like breaking down myself. The reality that I would likely get it again, later at home, also set in.

After about 5 minutes (it seemed like hours) I was called back into the office first. The paddle was lying on Jenkins’ desk and I saw it instantly as I re-entered the office. It was a light colored wood, about 2 feet long and half an inch thick. A teacher, Mrs Campbell, was in the office as well; apparently she was to be the witness.

He told me to have a seat, which I did, and he began by explaining to Mrs Campbell that I was being paddled for trespassing, damaging school property and for violating the school’s zero tolerance policy for alcohol, that I would be receiving a school maximum of 6 swats for these offenses. I remember feeling so cold, clammy and detached from reality after hearing this.

Soon he and Mrs Campbell stood up. Jenkins next instructed me to stand and to bend over his desk, to grab the other side. I recall that I was wearing a sweater and tight fitting jeans as was typical for most girls. Poor Katelyn was wearing a short denim skirt that I knew would not offer much protection, but with 6 licks protection was a novelty anyway.

I remember the awkward feeling of having to stretch over the desk. I picked out a photo on the wall to focus on, hoping that if I concentrated on it things would be tolerable. After finally getting focused I was startled by Jenkins telling me to let go of the desk and take a step back, that I was having to stretch too far over.

Great, I thought, he sure is striving for perfection here. I next remember folding my arms together on his desk and dropping my head down all the way, resting it on top of my wrists, just trying to hide from this reality.  He told me to put my feet together and stick my rear out. I complied. He tapped the paddle on my butt several times, which kinda stung. He asked if I was ready, I uttered: “yes sir.” A few more taps was followed by a pause. Then it happened.

CCCRRRAAACCCKKK!!!! Oh my God did it hurt!!!! I remember gritting my teeth tightly together and trying to suppress  the tears. Several seconds later he tapped my butt again, then another pause. I could hear and sense the second lick, then finally it found its mark. CCCCCCCRRRAAACCCCCKKKKK!!! I could not help but to squeal and lift my head up and turn around, my eyes full of tears. Oh my God did it hurt. There was little pause until number 3 landed on my lower butt; I screamed at the pain and began sobbing. To add to the cruelty, he waited for what seemed like a minute before again tapping the paddle and delivering the fourth blow.  CCCRRRAAACCCK. My hands left the desk and landed on my butt, I was begging for no more. He told me something about that I should have thought about that beforehand and told me to bend back over. I eventually did and was promptly greeted by number 5. CCCCCRRRRAAACKKKKKK. My poor butt was on fire. Number six was the worst of all. I was made again to wait for it. And after about 15 seconds, it was finally over. CCCCCRACCCKKKKK! My butt was numb and stinging like fire at the same time.

I was ordered to sit down, which I did very slowly. Another short lecture transpired and he had me to sign a paper and told me that I could compose myself before going to class, warning me first not to be sent to the office again or it would be worse. I stormed out of the office without even looking at Katelyn who I’m sure had passed out from fear by now.

When we met up later, Katelyn told me how she did not fare much better than I did, that she screamed after each swat, begging Jenkins to cut her slack to no avail. I’m glad I didn’t have to hear it as she did for me. She and I both could hardly sit for the rest of the day.

It soon became common knowledge that we had been paddled for the “wrapping crime.” The day finally ended, after having to help with after school clean-up. When I got home I was not in the mood for more punishment. That was not to be the case, however, as I was lectured for an hour and grounded for 2 months, but luckily my dad felt my paddling at school was enough in the corporal punishment category.

That was the last time I was paddled or even sent to the office in school. I guess somewhere in that mess I learned a valuable lesson.

Sarah J