I was seven years old, in Grade II when I first got the strap for printing an inappropriate comment on a card left over from a 5 cent kleenex package. That was 1957.
It was the first strap of maybe a dozen I’ve received in elementary school for talking and laughing in class as well as school yard fighting.
The strap , if I remember correctly was made of hard leather, perhaps the kind used in barber shops in days past to sharpen razors.
It was painful as hell. Painful for days. It left your hand and wrists black and blue. The number of lashes depended upom the severity of the infraction. You held your hands out, palms up, and if you moved just prior to the strike , you’d get extra lashes.
After I moved away from southern Ontario, I came to learn that most people I’ve mentioned this to never heard of the strap.
If you did, could you tell us which country, province or state ?
No. They’d have had to physically overpower me to apply it, and I’d have done my best to hurt them back. Almost certainly with parental approval afterward.
I got the strap once. I went to a private religious school in British Columbia. This would have been in 1978.
Although I don’t believe in hitting children, it’s the only time that I got hit where I do kind of think I deserved it. I had been lying almost daily to my teacher about “forgetting” my homework at home.
She took me into the broom closet and gave me the “this is going to hurt me more than you” speech. The “strap” was a giant eraser and she hit me on the hand with it, I think only one time.
I remember I was very sad and cried, but I can’t honestly say I remember it hurting that much.
No. I know some kids were, but it was falling out of fashion when I was in school (1970-1980).
I went to a Catholic school in Baltimore in the 60s and I’m unaware of any corporal punishment there. I do remember one nun used to make troublemakers do pushups as punishment, but I was a goody-goody, so it didn’t matter to me.
No, not the strap. But I did get hit across the palm with a ruler on a daily basis in primary school (circa 1963) for talking in class.
~ Sydney, Australia.
The closest I ever came to physical punishment in school was a crazy music teacher (but crazy awesome, all things considered. I really liked her) who informed us at the beginning of the year that she knew she wasn’t allowed to hit us, and we should know she didn’t give a shit about that particular rule. She would dramatically remove her rings and let them drop and clink on her desk when students were getting a little too unruly. If the unruliness continued she’d crack her knuckles and flex her fingers meaningfully, albeit still in silence; and defcon 2 was a purposeful stride to the offender’s desk.
She never needed to go to defcon one - in fact I don’t think she ever really slapped a kid. At least I never heard of it. The most violent physical act she ever actually did while I was in the room was suddenly slamming the lid of her piano. Not on someone’s fingers - just to make us jump and make a point.
ETA: ooh, no, there was another one now that I’m reminiscing. The history teacher who would chuck chalk. Guy had a good pitching arm and deadly aim, too.
Sister Reptile, first grade, Pennsylvania, mid-60s. The date, that is; I think her age was mid-100s.
Nasty-tempered person who slapped kids not just for misbehaving (I think that happened to me once or twice when I sort of “deserved” it) but also for making mistakes. She once said “Everyone who does not have xxx come to the front of the room”. I misheard her - I had whatever it was (don’t recall what it was -a form, or homework, or something) - and went to the front. She snarled “do you want me to WHACK YOU!!!”.
Second grade, one girl in our class had a horrible report card. The teacher (an otherwise fairly nice young woman, not a nun) made her go back to the first grade and show it to Sister Reptile… who smacked her so hard she fell down.
Sister T, in 4th grade, had a ruler she’d smack the kids around with. I don’t think she ever hit me with it however.
Mrs. M, in 6th grade, was strict as hell (but the kind of strict where you LOVED her for it, not the nasty-tempered sort we saw with so many other teachers) and had a yardstick called her “Happening Stick”. She’d swat students with it when she caught them goofing off. Never hard, just enough to get their attention. Every year, it wound up wearing out and breaking by the end of the year, but every year, the kids would take up a collection and buy a new one for the next class :D.
Nah, I was a good kid. Only really, really, really bad kids got the paddle, and as I recall, only my jr. high used the paddle anyway. We didn’t have it in elementary and then we didn’t have it in high school either. And I heard they quit using it in the jr. high too, a few years later.
All the schools I went to in Texas from about 1982 to 1992 included the paddle, but by the principal, and I never got it. I don’t remember any girls ever getting paddled, though I was once sitting outside a vice-principal’s office in middle school when a guy I knew got three whacks. It sounded…unpleasant. Though he came out acting like it was nothing much, being an adolescent male and all.
Then again, this was Texas. I knew people whose parents would do a lot worse to them than three whacks with a board. ZNot that I approve of paddling, ever!
We got the cane at my school, in Australia, in the early to mid-1980s.
The cane (across the upturned hand) was frequently given to boys in the boarding section of the school for various infractions, from talking after lights-out to rough-housing in the dormitories to failing to complete homework.
I received the cane on two occasions in Grade 7 (1 stroke, and 4 strokes), and once in Grade 9 (4 strokes). But i was a pretty good kid. I think the record among my Grade 7 friends was a total of something like 80 or 90 strokes over the course of the year, and the winner took considerable pride in his accomplishment.
The cane was usually administered at a side entrance to the Teachers’ Residence, and if a teacher told you to “Go to the side door,” you knew that you were going to be caned. Students standing along the wall by the side door were often taunted by other students as they awaited their punishment.
The school had about 300 boarding students and about 600 day students, but the cane was very rarely given in the day school. It was almost exclusively used in the boarding school.
By the time i left at the end of 1986, corporal punishment was declining in frequency, although some teachers still used it.
1981, 1st grade, paddle. It’s part of what lead my parents to pull me out and homeschool me. He paddled me enough to leave bruises. They were damn lucky my family isn’t the lawsuit type.
Late sixties/early seventies. Bumfuck farm country in northern California. Elementary School had the paddle, with quarter sized holes drilled in it. Administered by the VP. Stung like hell. Often in conjunction with having to do a perp walk out of class and down to the Principle’s office. Often you had to agree in front of the whole class to go get your licks.
One elderly female teacher used to “give you a shakin’”. Kinda and shake you about - didn’t hurt we all found it odd rather than punishment.
Shop teacher in high school was missing is middle fingers. A great big bull of a man. He’d pick you up by the throat with one hand using the two good fingers, pin you to the wall with your feet off the ground, and then get in your face. I know for a fact that at a minimum he beat his wife and kids - they went to our church and one of the kids was a year behind me. CPS would be involved today but back then…I dunno, maybe they prayed to control the demons.
Yes, Catholic Boys’ school 1975-1987, Melbourne Australia. The strap - a length of leather (maybe a shaving strop?) folded over - wasn’t that big of a deal. It stung for a few minutes but that’s about it. There were worse beatings. I remember one kid getting punched in the face by an old Jesuit priest.
Nope. I think the worst I ever got was a quick smack on the arm from a nun when I royally fucked up a computer. Other than that, some friends and I got spanked when we were in first grade for harassing the band practice during our lunch period. (It was just a quick smack, didn’t even hurt). After we got back to our classroom, our teacher told us we weren’t allowed to sit together at lunch anymore.
Once. In first form (1976), from my Latin teacher Fr Connolly, after my fellow desk-mate and I continued to play sword fights with our rulers under the desk, even though we had been explicitly told to stop.
The embarrassment was far worse than the actual physical pain. I made sure that I never received it again.
My mother was horrified when I got home from school and told her. My father was pleased. All he said was “about time”.
Not me, but when I was in…wanna say 5th or sixth grade (so I would’ve been 11…12? I’m thinking early 80’s at any rate. Wait - I remember John Lennon was killed that year, so 1980.) Our class was a sort of…open concept classroom? Anyway, it was adjacent to another 5th grade class taught by ironically enough, Mr. Haller, who made very frequent and liberal use of the paddle. The classes only had a 2/3rds-high wall between them or something weird so we could distinctly hear every swat and the kids crying. This happened like once a week or something.
Funny story (in retrospect, not at the time): Depending on the teacher the discipline was left up to the parents and one time in second grade a friend and I were joking around and writing notes to each other. I don’t remember the context (I think we were both trying to be obnoxious and shocking or something) and I tore a piece of my paper off (remember that kind of paper where you drew a picture on top and then wrote the story on the wide lines underneath?) and wrote “Jenny is full of fucker” (LOL!) on it and passed it to her. She gasped and brought it up to the teacher, who came and pulled the rest of the paper out of my desk, taped the pieces together, called my parents and I got the biggest spanking ever from my dad. I can’t believe out of all the “bad” things I did as a kid that was treated as the worst offense.
Gymshoe on the butt at least once for generally being a pain, short length of two-by-one in woodwork for the same reason, and a swat with the flat side of a cricket bat for swearing on the field of play. There was never any intention on my part of fighting like a tiger to preserve my precious, precious skin as, wherever I may personally be on the autistic spectrum, I’ve always been able to distinguish between “appropriate, proportionate and fair corporal punishment” on the one hand and “OMG child abuse!!111!one!” on the other. Also, I was pretty much aware that if you didn’t cooperate with summary justice, there was always the option of something more formal and more serious.
Yes. Several times.
I grew up in an eastern suburb of Cleveland, Ohio and got my first taste of “the paddle” when I was in the 6th grade in 1975. The paddle resembled a cricket bat, with about 10-15 dime-sized holes drilled through it. I don’t remember what my first infraction was, but I was to ride that wood a total of 7 times (5 swats each time) throughout that school year. Each time it was administered by my teacher, a 6ft+, burly Black man named Mr. Elkins. (Once I was swatted for mockingly calling him by his first name: “Joey”) Since we held classes in open “pods” he’d take you into a side room with another teacher as witness. He’d have you bend over and touch your toes, and basically swing for all he was worth, sticking you on the buttocks! After each swat I’d crumple to the ground with a shriek, crying and swearing that I’d never do (whatever I’d done) again. (Until the next time.) :smack:
Two years later, in junior high, most of the teachers had turned in their paddles for “hand swats” which allowed the female teachers to dish out corporal punishment just as much as the men. (Until then I’d never seen a female teacher paddle anyone. They’d just take the offending student to the nearest male teacher.) The hand swatter was a piece of pink-orange rubber about 12" long x 2" wide x 1/2" thick reinforced with some kind of fiber threads just under the surface. At the slightest offense you’d be ordered into the hallway, and like the OP’s strap, you were ordered to stand facing the teacher, palms up, stomach high, and given about 3-4 swats on each palm. They stung like a bitch, your palms/fingers would swell and be cherry-red, and your hands all but useless for the rest of the day.
By the time I got to high school in 1979 corporal punishment was falling out of favor, and I haven’t seen hand swatters since leaving jr. high. But for the life of me I’ve never been able to figure out exactly where someone would buy something like these hand swatters that all the teachers seemed to have. The paddles were easily made in woodshop. But where would you go to get a pinkish-orange slab of reinforced rubber whose only purpose appears to be inflicting pain on a child’s hand?
Yep. In fact, to the best of my knowledge I was the last person ever paddled at my grade school before they banned corporal punishment. Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Never got one after that, which was 3rd grade if I recall correctly.
I earned each and every paddling I got. Not a one of them was undeserved. It was much better than what I got at home, which was also completely earned every time I got it.