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Entries for February 1952

Corporal punishment of American schoolgirls

I was paddled in junior high and high school in the USA several timesin the 1960s. The worst paddlings were given by Miss H., who was my phys edand study hall teacher. She had a round plywood paddleball racket with holesdrilled in it. It really stung. The first two times she had to paddle me, Igot three licks. She paddled me five times total and the last threepaddlings I had to take five licks, which was just terrible. In the late1960s, girls wore girdles, and sometimes panties or pettipants (bloomers). If you were wearing a girdle, Miss H made you take it off. We got paddledon the seats of our skirts or dresses, and we never had our skirts lifted up,but all we got to wear underneath was a slip and panties. Miss H made usbend over the chair. Another homeroom teacher, Mrs. S also paddled meseveral times. I got in trouble for being late for class, dress codeviolations, cheating, smoking, and public displays of affection. They werereally strict about the dress code because this was in the early days of theminiskirt. I got sent to the principal, Mr. C and he sent me home twice forwearing my skirts too short. The third time, he gave me a choice betweenfive licks or being suspended for 3 days and being kicked off thecheerleading squad. I bent over his desk and reluctantly took the paddling. In 9th grade, my parents divorced and we moved to Oklahoma. I only gotpaddled once there --- by the principal for smoking and skipping assembly. It really hurt and I straightened up my behaviour after that because he hadgiven a boy ten licks which I didn't think I could stand. He had a squarepaddle about two feet long with holes drilled in it. We didn't have to countthe licks aloud but there were no witnesses present. I got more paddlingsthan most of the boys and more than any other girl. It was very embarassingand the other girls talked about me behind my back. I had to go back toclass with a sore bottom and tears in my eyes. I would guess that 4 or 5boys got paddled for every one girl.

DEBRA COOLEY


Annalinde's Answer

Well, I wasn't actually told what that girl was being trained for that made her subject to discipline in the passenger seat of a car; but my guess is that she was being trained to have a more blonde and feminine manner and no doubt to develop better speech and pronunciation. She would engage in conversation with her teacher, and whenever the teacher felt she was slipping, not speaking in a delicate way or pronouncing her words well enough, the girl would have to pull her skirt and petticoat up to expose the fronts of her thighs and receive a stroke of this very thin birch switch across them, probably above the level of her stocking-tops. These very thin switches do almost no damage, but have a "high-pitched" penetrating sting which feels quite unbearable for a few seconds and then passes off.

If frequent correction was needed the girl might be obliged to sit with her skirts raised right up to expose her thighs above the level of the stockings. This would certainly help her not to keep forgetting her manner and voice modulation.

ANNALINDE


Paddled in U.S. school

Dear Ladies,
I am a twenty year old girl who attends a private women's collegein the southwestern U.S. At this school, Paddling with a 15 inch longdrilled paddle is used as a last resort or alternative form of discipline. Ihad recieved minor spankings from my parents growing up but nothing comparedto the paddling I recieved last week. A "friend" of mine talked meinto stashing a bag with three marijuana joints in it in my book bagwhile we were in gym class. While we were practicing on the uneven bars, Theschool asst. dean and the head coach did a routine locker check and found mycontraband. I was immediately taken from class and to the Dean's office. The Dean wouldn't listen to my explanation and looking back, I don't blamehim. I was given two options, take a paddling from the asst. Dean who isfemale, or be expelled for the year.

Needless to say, a few minutes later I was in the Asst. Dean'soffice with her and the school nurse who would be witness. I was wearing mygym class T-shirt and thin cotton shorts and was told to bend over the edgeof the Asst. Dean's desk. She gave me ten hard, incredibly painful swatsacross the seat of my thin shorts that left me bawling like a baby. Afterwards, in the nurs's station, the nurse examined my glowing scarlettbehind before sending me back to class still crying. I was humiliated whenall the girls plainly saw i had been paddled while i was showering. It wasseveral days before I sat down again with any comfort but I feel I deservedthe paddling and will never do anything like that again!

Thank you for your time

CHANTELLE


The Tawse

Having been on the receiving end of one of these ..tawses described i can confirm the salutary effect it had on the recipient.Being a fourth year i had received the tawse several times,two at the most each time.Being sore but nothing to imprint it on the mind,then enter MRS P to our normally very difficult class, Mrs P a supply teacher who had obvously heard about this particular classes reputation for disruption. During our first art lesson with mrs P, I was speaking to a friend while mrs P was speaking, my friend was summonsed to the front of the class, where mrs P produced a tawse,giving my friend T, one on each hand quite hard. T returned to where i sat and nudged me for not owning up for talking,to which i wispered an answer seen by mrs P,ordered to the front of the class iwas about to raise my hands when mrs P sent me to the next class to fetch a strap from mrs M. Not thinking any thing of this i returned and presented mrs P with the strap,assuming the expected position,one hand on top of the other facing the teacher(as shown in the excellent book The Corporal Punishment of School Girls). Two of the strap seconds later i was in a state of shock trying to contain myself long enough to get out of the class to return the strap, outside the class i took a minuit to try and compose myself,i returned the strap to MRS M who gave me a knowing smile.As i was about to re-enter mrs Ps class i could feel the pain increase i only just maintained my composure. Returning to my seat it was a very subdued class for that term with no more tawsings. I was later to find out that ihad been punished with the infamous Lochgelly Tawse. Looking back mrs P could have really brought me to tears had she wished ,but she and i knew that i had got the message.I have since been subject to a few strappings, but these were not carried out by an expert and not with a lochgelly, as Mistress Tawse who seams to know her stuff uses. Maybe one day i will be taken over the threshold to which mrs P forced me to glimpse.

ANON


Question for Annalinde

I have been catching up on the posts here in the Wildfire forum, and I amglad to see people posting once again! A few archives back I readAnnalinde's post regarding a girl who was being trained getting spanked onthe tops of her thighs. I was wondering exactly what the girl was in traiing for, and also what she did to earn aspanking while riding in a car! While I've never heard of someone being punished in this way before, it certainly sounds like aneffective way to impose discipline while in a car!

My other comment regards holes drilled into paddles, and whether or not itmakes the smack hurt more. The only time I was paddled while in school, the teacher wasn't out to cause pain, but just tohumble and humiliate myself and my cohorts in crime.She did use a drilled paddle, but she didn't do more than tap us girlslightly. This teacher was notorious though for paddling any student thatacted up during class, whether their parents allowed it or not even! Andfrom what I remember my classmates saying, was that when she was paddlingsomeone who was repetitively naughty, she really smacked them good, andthose holes hurt!!They said even wearing jeans or a skirt that it stung more than when theywere paddled with an undrilled paddle, and even claimed that you could count exactly how many holes the paddle had by thethird smack.

One girl I remember who constantly picked on the smaller students wasfrequently paddled every year by both her current teacher and theprincipal, and this teacher (the one who spanked me) cured her of thisbehavior after she paddled her. All the other girls saw the marks of this teachers handiwork in gym the next day when thegirl dressed out in her short gym uniform, for you could see faint, little round bruises on her upper thighs, and she claimed shehad them on her bottom also. She claimed the paddling was the worst she'd ever received, and as I've said, this girl was VERYexperienced at being on the receiving end of a paddling. She stateddefinately that the holes made it much worse.

ELIZABETH O.


Hand Caning

Megan's story of her injury from a hand caning reinforces my belief thatthere is no good reason to punish on the hand. It is virtually impossible tocause injury with a spanking or strapping on the lower part of the bottom,even when the punishment is quite severe.

BLOSSOM


Hand caning injury

Dear Wildfire Girls,

My friend Katie wrote to the Forum a few weeks ago. In her note,she used my school as an example and mentioned that I hadreceived a "severe" hand caning while I was there. Katie thinksmy case is interesting as one in which someone was actuallyinjured in the course of punishment.

Much has been said about the potential dangers of hand caning. In my case, the potential became real. This note is an accountof my experience as well as I can remember it. I have changedthe name of the teacher; all other details are accurate.

I was born in Scotland, but my parents moved to the U.S. when Iwas just seven years old. When I was fifteen, my father wastransferred back to Britain, and the family moved again. I wasplaced in a boarding school for a few years and then went touniversity in the U.S.

One weekend, shortly after arriving at my boarding school, I tookan unauthorised excursion, missed a train, and got back aftercurfew. I was scolded roundly for my absence and told to seeMiss "Hansen" on Monday.

After class on Monday, I presented myself in Miss Hansen'soffice. First, she lectured me about the dangers of staying outlate and about the trouble I might have caused everyone. Then,she told me that, for an offense this severe, she had no choicebut to administer corporal punishment -- three strokes of thecane. Without further ado, she said that we should begin andtold me to hold out my left hand.

(Note to Katie and Annalinde and Noele: She was explicit aboutthe choice of hand. I remember being surprised by this at thetime. Later, I discovered that, when girls at my school werepunished, it was always on the left hand and only the left hand.In terms of Noele's "rule" for Aristasia, my school was aheadof its time.)

I extended my hand, and Miss Hansen rested the cane on my palm. It was probably there only a few seconds, but it seemed muchlonger.

The first stroke was extremely painful. I expected it wouldhurt, but I had not imagined how much. I yanked my hand back andsqueezed it in an effort to lessen the sting. I had never beenphysically punished in my life, and the worst pain I had everfelt was from a bad cut on my knee after a fall in the schoolyard a couple of years before.

Miss Hansen gave me a few seconds to recover. She chastisedme for being such a baby and then told me to hold my hand outagain. The second stroke probably hurt as much as the first. However, I was more prepared; and, after the stroke fell, Imanaged to keep my hand out.

The last stroke was the hardest of all. I am not sure why shehit me so hard. Maybe she was frustrated at my composure duringthe preceding stroke. Maybe she just wanted the last stroke tobe memorable. At any rate, she raised the cane over her headand whipped it down as hard as she could. The blow fell acrossthe top of my palm. It did not sting as much as the otherstrokes, but I felt its impact deep inside my hand.

What I remember most about that moment was not the pain but afeeling of relief that it was all over. I grasped my injuredhand with my good right hand and held it tightly while MissHansen lectured me again about my misbehavior. When she haddone, she told me I could leave.

After I left the room, I went for a walk in the woods. I wasashamed, and I did not want the other girls to know how I hadbeen punished. I skipped dinner; during study hall, I kept myhand under the table; and I went to bed early.

That night, I slept fitfully and dreamt of the session with theteacher. Next morning, when I woke, my hand was noticeablyswollen; and I was unable to move my fingers. At first, I assumedthis was normal. (Remember I had never been punished before!) Icontinued to keep my hand hidden and said nothing. However, Icould not concentrate in class due to the pain. Eventually, Iasked to be excused and went to the school nurse. The nurse tookone look at my hand and had me driven to a nearby hospital.

I spent the rest of the day at the hospital. Two of the bonesin my left hand were broken. Although they were only minorfractures, the doctors put my hand and wrist in a cast and sentme back to school with my arm in a sling.

When I arrived, all of the girls wanted to know what hadhappened; and I had to tell them about the punishment. Severalhad stories to tell, but none could remember anyone beinghurt as badly as I had.

Miss Hansen stopped by my room that evening. She apologisedprofusely for hurting me as badly as she had. She was obviouslydistraught. She explained that she did not like to administerpunishment but understood its value. I knew that what I had donewas wrong, and agreed that, at least in principle, the punishmenthad been fair (but for the broken hand). I was not angry withher; in fact, I was moved by her evident grief and her concern formy condition.

I wore the sling for a couple of weeks and the cast for a fewmore weeks after that. Oddly, I remember this part of the wholeexperience with some fondness. My cast and sling noticeablyincreased the amount of attention I got, especially from othergirls. What's more, everyone was much nicer to me. I almostwished I could keep the cast.

However, it was very uncomfortable and inconvenient, and I wasglad when it was finally removed. It took a long time for meto recover from the injury; and, to this day, I cannot close myhand without feeling a little pain.

I hope this is the sort of information that you wanted. Mythanks to Noele for asking about the details and to Katie forpersuading me to write to you.

MEGAN



Thank you, Megan, for this excellent account. To keep things in perspective, we would mention once again that such injuries are extremely rare, and that school sporting injuries from compulsory sports are much more common and often more serious.

We have posted again one day after the last posting, so perhaps we are safe from being punished by Miss Anna for a while!


More on Paddlings and Witnesses

Dear Ladies,
It seems that there's a long delay in posting things nowadays. May we havean explanation, please?

I failed to answer the questions about what witnesses do during punishment.

Often we would use new teachers as witnesses, so that they could see how itwas done, and prepare them for the time when they would be the giving thepunishment. They were surprisingly talkative, to the undoubted discomfort ofthe miserable culprits.

More experienced teachers were used too, of course; it was often a matter ofwho was free at the moment. They often knew the students and had littlesympathy,and added a small lecture to the proceedings. On the occasions when I was awitness, I was never simply a passive observer. I tried to add something tothe occasion, and if the teacher was new, I coached her beforehand and urgedher not to make the mistake of being lenient. A thorough spanking usuallymeant that quite some time passed before another was necessary. In mostcases, one or two were enough during the four years of high school. ANNA


The slowness in posting is partly due to the fact that so much of our time is taken up with the Cocktail Bar, where postings are daily, and also, as we receive postings rather slowly here, we often wait until there are a few in hand before popping them up.
Someone asked what does a witness to school punishment say?Well, it's been a dozen years since I was punished this way, but differentwitnesses acted in different ways. I was only paddled twice in four years,once in my 2d year and once in my 4th. The first time the witness was a man,and he began by introducing himself, since he was not one of my teachers. Atone time during the punishment I heard him whisper to the woman who was doingthe spanking that he thought it was "enough". I was very grateful to him andalways gave him a smile when I saw him. The second time the witness was awoman and she talked constantly, about how I deserved what I was getting andhow so many of the seniors were getting out of hand. She was young andattractive and I wondered why she was so vengeful. I love to imagine thather husband gives her some good spankings. BLOSSOM
I went to a school, and never heard of such a thing as paddling. When I was older, I found out what it was, but always thought it was something of thepast. It seems strange to me that girls are talking about being paddled. Is this still going on?

H. M.


Approximately a quarter of a million schoolgirls are paddled in the United States every year.
Dear Friends,

I must take issue with your response regardingholes in paddles, and how, since paddlings are not given on the bare (in schools), the idea ofholes causing the skin to be drawn up into themand thus causing more discomfort, is moot. I respectfully disagree. Even though boys and girlsin American schools never have their clothingdisarranged while being paddled, I have it frommany spankees that, indeed, holes in a paddlewill STILL cause more pain than if the holeswere not there. A well-wielded, briskly swungwooden paddle with holes WILL register on a girl'sseat, wearing tight pants or a skirt or dress,in a manner more devastating that sans holes.Of course, it wouldot be as severe as it wouldbe had the girl been dressed in, say, only herpanties, or even bare bottomed. But it neverthe-less doesprovoke a distinctly more painful response than paddles without holes. I've heardthis from a number of former students who had tobend over to take school-based paddlings.

And one or two teachers acknowledged this to betrue as well.

PC


To answer some questions. Wildfire had it right about the reason forwitnesses.It's a matter of legal protection to have a witness to what actually occurs.The rules as to the sex of either disciplinarian or witness differ from placeto place. Remember that in the US many things are decided locally that in Britain are a matter of national law. In some places only the principal of theschool can give corporal punishment, and gives it to boys and girls; the principal is in mostcases a man but there are lady principals too. The witness is usually one ofthe women who do secretarial work in his office (or sometimes all of them).

In other places, any teacher can punish.The disciplinarian and witness mayhave to be of the same sex as the student, or just the witness must be of thesame sex. I don't know of any public school system where punishment is givenon the bare bottom, but sometimes a check is made to be sure that no extralayers have been added. This is always done by someone of the same sex asthe student; this is usually a matter of 'patting' the backside.

ANNA


Modified Paddles.

Wildfire Forum:

I agree entirely with PC. The reason why holes are sometimes drilled inspanking paddles is, indeed, to increase their effectiveness by virtue of theadded sting and smart which they impart to the culprit’s bottom. For it isreally the edges of the paddle which cause the essence of the beneficialsting; and the presence of the holes obviously "increases" the edges.

During the War, and because of the housing shortage in London, England, agreat-aunt of mine - now deceased, of course, - shared a large house with alady friend, both husbands being away in the Army. Between them the twomothers had a total of six daughters, ranging in age (in ’41) from 14 to 20years. (Their living togethe was continued until the men were demobbed, in1946.)

In order to maintain "order and discipline", and "keep the girls out oftrouble", the two ladies quickly found that the most effective - if not theonly - way was by the application of spankings; and their favorite instrumentwas a hairbrush from which the bristles had been removed by soaking. Thespankings were always applied with the misbehaving girl in the"over-the-knees" position, the perforated side of the hairbrush always beingapplied directly to the area to be punished, i.e. the bottom.

Incidentally, the two ladies found that the spankings were sounder - andhence more effective, - if each mother was assigned the task of spanking theother's daughters.

I would like to say a word or two about the strap. Although feared, andconsidered with dread, in some circles, it has been my experience that it isone of the least effective instruments of correction. (Here I am notreferring to the 2 inch thick leather, such as was used in some penalinstitutions, and which can produce awful bruises, - but rather the supple,1/8 inch thick leather variety. While it may be somewhat gratifying to usefor some people, since it does permit a powerful swing of the arm, the stingit produces is considered almost trivial by some girls, and it is only theend, as it curls around the girls' bottom, and to some extent the sides, ofthe strap that "do any good"!

Which is why I can only smile when reading of the spanker "doubling thestrap", supposedly to make it more effective, while in actuality the veryopposite results, since it prevents the end of the strap from making contact!

If a leather instrument is to be used, for sound to severe correction, thetawse should always be selected, especially in the case of the more maturegirls in their senior teen years and older., - (since the tawse presents avery much longer, overall edge).

Thank you

MARGE.



We cannot agree that the edges of these implements "do the good" They are both essentially "flat" implements, which, like a palm or hairbrush, and unlike a cane, rely on the flat, slapping surface for their effectiveness. Redness is not noticeably greater at the edges, and in the case off the paddle tends to be less great there. That the end of strap causes the most redness is another matter, which is true also of a cane. Doubling the strap, as you say, does reduce its effectiveness.

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