In the state where I grew up, there was a law against corporal punishment by teachers, but school principals were allowed to spank misbehaving students. Some principals never spanked, others did. There had to be another adult present as a witness. My mother was a school secretary. I remember her telling me once that she had to observe a boy getting a spanking with a ruler on the seat of his trousers.

At that time, grades eight through twelve were included in high school. I started the eighth grade in1950. Physical Education was a required class three times a week. About half of the classes were outdoors or in the gym, and the other half in the swimming pool. It was in the pool that the teachers ignored the rule against corporal punishment, and it wasn’t a ruler on the seat of the trousers. At this time, just about everywhere in the US, boys in swimming classes were bare-ass naked. I remember one time when a student had mouthed off to the teacher. We all stood and watched, as the teacher applied his slipper to the boy’s unprotected buttocks. I’m sure no one ever reported this to authorities.

This was the only time I saw a teacher hit a student. But spankings were part of almost every class. The teacher made us do it, and the offense was not getting out of the pool fast enough when he blew the whistle to end the class. When that happened, we would all start to count out loud from one to ten. Anyone who couldn’t get out of the pool in those ten seconds had to walk between two lines of students, hands on his head. The teacher said if anyone didn’t spank, he too would have to walk between the two lines and be spanked. My hand would sting as I hit my fellow student’s bare buttocks.

This gauntlet led to a doorway beyond which there were a few steps down to the shower room. One of the more athletic students would stand in the doorway and catch the spanked boy, using one arm to pull him tight against his body so that their naked genitals touched. The athlete brought his other hand down hard on the other student’s buttocks, which by now were bright red.