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School Belt

May 19 2002 at 1:57 PM
Alison 

 
Shall we start of with a discussion about the belt. I got the belt at school and it hurt like hell. The worst time was for smoking, i was in tears for hours.

Anyone else get the belt at school?

Alison

 
 Respond to this message   
AuthorReply

Yes me too

May 19 2002, 3:18 PM 

I can't remember all the reasons I got the belt, mainly because it was nearly every week at times LOL. There was this Techical teacher who sent me for a belt to another class. He then examined it, said it was longer than his and proceeded to put chalk on the tail ends. It was then "hands out, doubled!" and he gave me a stroke. He then examined my hand and said something about not quite right, rechalked it and moved away a little then thundered down another one. Examined my hand again, said nearly there, rechalked and gave me a third stroke. Again examined hand said "spot on" then told me to take belt back! Always did want to meet that man in later years......mind you might have still been in jail now LOL !!!!!!!!
Mike. (AKA Jockie)

 
 
Dorothy

RE: School Belt

May 19 2002, 9:34 PM 

I know that Mike is a haggis basher from North of the Border, but Alison are you also from the north?
The reason I ask is that in the Midlands and Southwards I don't think the belt was used in schools, was it?
Mike: Please don't take offence!

 
 
Alison

Re: RE: School Belt

May 19 2002, 9:40 PM 

yes, I am from scotland and found out to my cause that belt really hurt whilst at school. ouch

 
 
mrjones

belt?

May 19 2002, 11:22 PM 

Alison, being from england and not scotland, i assume you are talking about the tawse?? Was this administered to the hands??

 
 

the belt in the midlands

May 21 2002, 8:59 AM 

True (that the belt was mainly a Scottish phenomenon), but there were one or two exceptions to the rule: parts of Tyneside, and Walsall.

Walsall in the West Midlands was a centre of the leather industry and, presumably to support the local economy, schools there used the belt instead of the cane. However, unlike the normal practice in Scotland (and Newcastle), in Walsall boys got it on their bottoms, not on their hands.

This was also true in Gateshead, with explicit sexual discrimination: boys strapped on the backside, girls on the hand. For a 1978 news report on this, see the second item on the following page of my website:

www.corpun.com/uksc7803.htm

Colin Farrell

 
 
Dorothy

Walsall

May 22 2002, 7:43 AM 

Silly me! However could I have forgotten the Peoples Republic of Walsall.
Many thanks for the information Colin. I did not know that the belt was used on boys bottoms.
I once wrote in a History essay that Hitler's troops entered Walsall in September 1939. The teacher was not amused.
Dorothy

 
 
sean Mc

School belt

May 22 2002, 7:21 PM 

Hi everyone
We had the belt here in Ireland as well , it was usually called the leather, was not split at the ends like a tawse and was given on the hands.
I would love to hear and share experiences of the belt, which I first got when I was 8 and last when I was 16.
Regards
Sean Mc

 
 

School Belt.

May 23 2002, 12:57 AM 

I too got the belt many times. I was fascinated by all the different types of belts used at school.

 
 

School Belt

May 23 2002, 1:39 AM 

The belt (or strap) was used here in Australia too. It was the sort described by Sean - a couple of pieces of leather stiched together and applied almost exclusively to the hands.

The strap was usually given across the hand, although some teachers strapped along the hand instead. Most classroom punishments were one or two whacks, although more serious misbehaviour meant more.

I was a well-behaved boy (OK - a bit of a whimp! ) and I only copped it a few times, with two strokes being the most I got.

But I certainly remember the effect!

Rob

 
 
Jamie

Alison

May 27 2002, 5:13 PM 

Alison

Way down south we only had the slipper and cane, how did you get the belt?

Jamie

 
 
George

BELT

May 27 2002, 6:56 PM 

I think we have to be carefull here about the vtems that we are using. Belt, strap and tawse are not the same thing.

The belt, was as its name suggests. As a rule it would be doubled over and applied to hands or bottom. I am not sure if it was used in school very much, but do recall during the war mums sending their sons to school with the belt, or inviting me to call round home as their fathers were off in the war. It was, in my view a hard thing to use without a lot of practice. I got it from my father, and certainly used it on boys, but in a "parental" context rather than headmaster.

The strap was a short piece of leather, sometimes two sown together. The ends were not cut and was widely used in the Midlands. Most teachers kept a strap, which as a rule was about 12 inches long. The strap was nearly always applied to the hand.

A tawse was about the same length, but was split at the ends. It was used mainly in Scotland, but in certain parts of England. I always thought it was used only on the hands. My grandson has done research and can prove, that in Scotland, it was used on the bottom, and boys were required to take it bare.

Hope that helps sort out the meanings.


George

 
 
Andrew

Re: BELT

May 27 2002, 9:12 PM 

Hi george, do you mean the belt was a doubled over trouser belt ? ie..like at home.

also did girls ever get the belt on the bottom when at school ?

 
 
Sam

Re: Re: BELT

May 28 2002, 1:29 PM 

Hi george, as you were a headmaster I was wondering whether you ever slippered girls ? and also to ask whether a female teacher always had to be present when a male teacher spanked, slippered or caned a female pupil ?

 
 

belt

May 28 2002, 9:13 PM 

The belt in school was a doubled over trouser belt. If it was cut down to make it short it was called a strap. The trouble with the belt, both at home and school, unless the user was skilled in its use, bvery painful slaps would land on the outside of the buttock rather than across the centre, and more fleshy part of the buttocks.

The belt in my view was not really a suitable impliment to use on a childs bottom, even with the buckle cut off.
I am not saying offenders were hit with the buckle but it was not unknown for the buckle to strike a child when being belted at home. Its rather a horrid thought.

George

 
 

belt on girls

May 28 2002, 9:16 PM 

I was only a head at all boys schools. This position did not arise. I do know in the junior school it was common for the male head to require a girl to lift her dress for the belt or strap. When this was the case a female HAD to be present. It was often school ruling or if church funded, church policy. Am not so sure in the Secondary School, but I hardly ever heard of a male hittng a girl. The girls were struck by a female, often the dreaded Senior Mistress.


George

 
 
Matt

Brothers

May 29 2002, 7:58 AM 

My Uncle Gary went to school in Dublin in the 60s I think. He got the strap on the hands in the classroom, but after school it was across the bare bum. I think he approved because he was liable to use this method himself!
Matt

 
 

All meant the same in Scotland

June 4 2002, 2:25 PM 

The terms belt, strap and tawse all meant the same in Scotland.
Actually Tawse was the posh or seldom used word and it really depended where you went to school what it was called.
In the Borders and parts of the Highlands it was called the Strap whilst most folk in Central Belt called it a Belt (LOL...strange but true!)
I was recently told about a belt made by Hunters in Falkirk which was not split into tails. Most though had 2 and sometimes 3 tails. The belts generally were between 21 and 24" long.
There were exceptions of course ranging from about 12" to around 28". I have seen up to 6 tails on belts.
Although the very stiff (board-like) 3 tailed Lochgellys were fearsome beasts, the thin 2 tailed ones (often wielded by older male and female teachers) were the ones to be avoided if at all possible.
Mike. (AKA Jockie)
PS. Erm, Dorothy Hen......Haggis is fer eatin no bashin!!......OK Dearie?

 
 

Scotland

December 26 2002, 7:35 PM 

Hi Alison,

Am new here and from Scotland too. Would love to chat via e-mail about old times.

James.

 
 
Lochgelly

Tawse discussion forums

December 27 2002, 9:33 PM 

You may be interested in two groups (about 1,000 members each) which feature quite a few recollections and photos:-

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/thelochgellytawse/
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/tawse/

 
 

CP in Scottish Schools

December 28 2002, 8:29 PM 

I attended Scottish schools from mid 60's to late 70's and never ever encountered corporal punishment against girls. I am therefore surprised to hear that this appears to have taken place

At primary school, I remember one teacher - she must have been about 30 - take a small boy across her knee whilst she was sitting on a school desk - but it is so long ago now I can't remember if there were many spanks. Sadly, that is the only spanking memory I have from school

Occasionally, there were slaps across the back of the legs if you had been naughty - as we had short trousers these stung a bit! Funny, but since then I've had a thing about spanking and shorts!

Other than that it was the belt was used but sparingly.

At secondary school, things were a bit different, with the belt being used almost daily. I remember hearing the thwack of it from adjacent classrooms and wondering who was on the receiving end. I am afraid I was a bit of a wimp I never got the strap - although I was once threatened with it for yawning!

There was always a regular procession to the headmaster's office - indeed I'm sure some school secretaries would have some wonderful CP tales to recount.








 
 
Warm Fingers

The Belt

December 30 2002, 7:43 PM 

These are a few personal true memories of the belt as they relate to girls / female teachers which you may be interested in and which I recently posted on another forum.. . . .

The belt was used sparingly in Primary School (Lanarkshire in the 60’s)

We had one lady teacher who sent you to borrow a colleague’s lochgelly and then gave you a standard 2 strokes - boy or girl.

I also remember helping another lady teacher move classroom, and one girl pupil being given the job of carrying her lochgelly to her new room whilst others, mainly boys, carried chairs, books etc.

A new lady teacher to the school had a black belt rolled-up in her desk drawer and referred to it as her snake !

I also remember one lady teacher taking her belt out of her desk and down to the hall where she held it behind her back whilst we were getting our class photograph taken - why, goodness knows !

However at Secondary School in the late 60’s the belt was used daily, but very seldom on girls and generally only by the deputy rector who was a lady. I recall some girls asking to be belted instead of doing lines, but being refused.

Nearly all teachers owned a belt and lady teachers belted boys all the time - most were barely effective, but one or two were devastating. Their ability seemed to rest with the type of belt they had - a stiff 2 tail lochgelly being the best (or worst).

Three very attractive lady teachers . . . .

First taught Maths, was newly qualified and had just acquired her 2 tail lochgelly but was obviously very reluctant to use it. I remember her showing it off to a group of girls and telling them that it had never been used. I also remember her walking up and down the class with belt in hand. I think she would have liked to use it but wasn’t brave enough.

Second taught Biology and was a stunner. She was also newly qualified and our small class of boys were kidding her on one day about whether she had a belt or not. She assured us she had, but alas didn’t have it with her that day. Next time in her class, surprise surprise, she produced her belt from her briefcase. I remember it as a black 2 tail, very pliant lochgelly which she used to give us a demonstration of smashing a piece of chalk. She was obviously absolutely useless with it - but what a sight.

Third taught Geography and had a very pliant 3 tail Glasgow schools strap. She had very large breasts and used the belt every period we had her. For obvious reasons the boys used to be fascinated watching her belting. She really put some force into it - I got a maximum of 4 strokes from her but it wasn’t particularly painful. She realised this and ultimately sent culprits to borrow a colleagues stiff lochgelly. She then acquired a lochgelly of her own and all of a sudden it wasn’t such a desirable experience to be belted by her.

The only time I saw girls belted at Secondary was when a group of 4 girls were called out to be belted for something by a male teacher. One girl had a bandage on one hand and could not offer crossed hands which was the norm - she got double strokes, 4 in total, on her one good hand whilst her friends only got 2 each on crossed hands.

When a belt was to be borrowed from another teacher, I seem to remember that it was generally a girl that was sent to get it.

I also remember one occasion at end of term when the seniors had an “auction” of belts for charity. Two girls, one the daughter of a lady teacher in the school, were dispatched to borrow belts from teachers, including her mother, for the auction, after which the belts were returned to their owners.

 
 
Proud Member

Re: The Belt

December 30 2002, 10:07 PM 

‘The Belt’ by Warmfingers is the most informative post we have received since Our Queen went on holiday.

I am much indebted to you, sir, for re-establishing the high standards for which this forum was once renowned.

 
 
Tawse3

6 of The Belt

December 31 2002, 10:41 PM 

I have posted this to the Yahoogroups before but thought it may be of interest here.

As for me, my own share
of strappings was unspectacular and less than a
handful; I'd just bore you, but for my 'party piece' I
will relate to you the last strapping I witnessed at
school.

I went to school in the Lothians, a very large school,
with a modern extension to a tatty old school which it
had definitely outgrown. Although a fairly
conservative part of the country the period in
question was around 1976, the '60's had almost reached
Scotland and people were 'letting their hair down',
quite literally. The dowdy uniform code (for the boys
a black blazer with crest, grey long trousers, white
shirt and school tie, was enforced with gusto, but the
one tiny freedom allowed was that we all prety much
got to grow our hair as oddly as our parents would
tolerate. Then they began a 'radical' experiment.
Casual clothes for 'Sixth Year Studies'. My God, you
would have thought they had passed a motion to hand
out free condoms with the dinner tickets. Just
imagine. Laddies and Lassies, even if they were 17/18,
going to school without their uniform ! The scandal!!

Anyway, back to the subject matter. I suppose when I
think about it that I probably witnessed no more than
3 or 4 dozen beltings (if you count a couple of 'class
strappings' as one !), mainly of the one or two stroke
variety; quite a mild history I believe from other
schools, or even some of the non-academic stream
classes in my own school. Clearly the period of
maximum density was the last year of primary and the
first two years of secondary when everyone watched you
like a hawk for 'hooliganism' or other seditious
behaviour.

Once you got to third year (15 years old or so) the
beltings had thinned out to being almost remarkable
and from fourth year they were most infrequent. All
agreed, that boys who 'stayed on at school' i.e.
didn't bolt for freedom at 16 and volunteered to stay
on for another couple of years, were not the sort of
boys who needed strapping in the first place. Well,
that was the theory anyway.

I recall one boy, let's just call him William, was in
Sixth Year Studies with me, i.e. we were a few weeks
or months short of our 18th birthdays and almost ready
for university, we were allowed fairly lightly
surervised Study Periods and quite a bit of freedom in
our comings and goings, no uniform, we were treated as
'young adults' to quote the namby pamby Form Master;
but an 'utter nonsense' in the opinion of a Mr McNulty
who took the English component and who was a crusty 55
year old made of granite chippings and gravel. He
stood about 5 foot 7 but was solid as The Bass Rock.

William had mentioned to me several times during the
term that he had never been belted. never. Not a
single wallop. He sounded increasingly fascinated at
it as the term went by and often asked me, and the
other lads, what it was like. In any event it was clear
he was destined never to find out. Until Black
Thursday.

William looked older than his 17 and three quarters
and had discovered beer and the pub. This day he was
about 20 minutes late for our group (really a small
class of about a dozen of us) and wandered in in a
polo shirt and slacks without any evidence of having
done a lick of work since the last class. This was NOT
William, he was studious, reliable and a courteous
lad. When McNulty 'thanked him for gracing us with
his presence' in his sarcastic manner (they teach
that at Teachers Training College) we expected an
apology and a half hearted excuse; it would have
worked at that stage in our scholastic careers; we
were all working very hard and under an awful lot of
pressure and we were 'lightly' supervised.

But there are limits; to get off in a lie, you have to
make the effort to tell a lie. William didn't. He told
McNulty, in an insolent tone of voice, that he had
slept in because he had been at the pub last night, he
added, insult to injury, that he hadn't had much time
to do any work on the assignment as he 'had been busy
all this week'. Any old excuse would have done, but
No, William wasn't playing.

McNulty looked as if he had been slapped on the end of
his nose with a rancid kipper. "What..?" he stuttered.
I thought he was going to have a fit. We all cracked
up laughing, and in a small class situation that is
disasterous. McNulty could see his control on the
class collapsing (and probably visualised gangs of
youths roaming the streets if this rebellion wasn't
crushed). The final straw, when McNulty's natural
sarcasm at what pressing social obligations William
could have had to keep him too busy for three
consecutive nights to do McNulty's assignment, was when
meek, mild, polite William told him that he 'couldn't
be arsed to do it'.

He didn't even say 'Sir' at the end of the
sentence....

I don't know who was more stunned, McNulty, 11 Sixth
Year Scholars in their 'grown up' casual clothes, or
William himself. However startling it may have been
for 'Sir' there was one thing programmed into his
genes and that was how to deal with insolent
schoolboys. He reached into his desk drawer and
withdrew a light-tan coloured 2 tail Lochgelly,
probably an 'H', certainly one of the thickest and
stiffest straps I had seen in 12 years of schooling.
It looked brand new, and may very well have been; it
was so stiff you could have pointed it at someone
without any noticable bend.

I hadn't even seen a belt in two years and hadn't
witnessed a strapping in three. The entire class was
stunned into silence. Would he really belt a Sixth
Year Student ? Could he ? Would it 'work' (for some
reason, comical now, we all had a suspicion that the
reason they stopped belting you after about 15 was
because 'it didn't really hurt' after that age;
wrong!) ?

William looked dry mouthed and looked as if he was
having more than second thoughts about that last
couple of remarks. In a surprisingly quite voice
McNulty simply said "Come oot here young man, we'll
see if a wee taste o' mah strahp will change yer tune
for ye".

Unlike Primary where all beltings were at the front of
the class, at Secondary school most strappings were
given in the corridor just beyond the classroom door,
not this one by the look of it. William stood up and
walked slowly over to the teachers desk. You could
have cut the air with a knife; the attention of all in
the room as this little drama played out was utter.

William stood a couple of inches taller than McNulty
and offered no defence or complaint when McNulty stood
up and said "Hands out, two hands, cross them boy".
It was the first time I had seen anyone belted out of
uniform. William crossed his hands tentatively but
uncertainly, McNulty straightened the elbows a bit,
made him cross the hands more firmly then laid the
thick tails of his tawse on the hands from the tips of
the finger to an inch or so below the start of the
wrist, both to guage distance and also to intimidate I
suspect as this was a very thick and heavy strap,
something which would not go unnoticed as it rested on
the palms of a boy's hands.. He also had to push them
down an inch or so as the boy was bigger than he was.
He pulled the belt over his shoulder, elbow pointing
almost up to the ceiling to get maximum 'drive' then
with a twist that probably threw his back out, he
lifted one foot almost off the ground and brought the
tails of the belt down on William's crossed hands. The
tails were a blur, and the CRACK!! of the strap was
crisp and violent, like a pistol shot.

William's hands flew down and he half bent over, for a
split second he looked as if he couldn't believe what
had happened, "Up again boy, come on" Another THWAP!!
and he looked in shock. I could see the dampness in
his eyes, "Up again boy, you are getting six of the
very best". My God. Six ? Number three CRACK!! and
there were tears coming out of Williams eyes and he
let out an Aaaah. Number four was a dull WHAPP (I
think it hit the side of his hand and so the belt
didn't hit 'flat'. William yelped and kept up an awful
racket then and throught the remainder of the belting.

By this time there were four clear tracks of tears
coming down Williams cheeks and he had his hands under
alternate armpits and was lettinng out a bubbling
sound. "UP!", William hestiated, "UP!!!" and up he
went, a scarlet, swollen and no doubt throbbing pair
of hands were presented for CRACK!! and another
shaking of hands and blowing on them before, ever so
slowly, they were presented for the final CRACK!!!.

McNulty was not exactly subtle. it was the boys first
and last belting, he simply said "Now sit doon, ye'r
no so clever when you have had a good leathering , ur
ye?". There was no denying the wisdom of that. McNulty
muttered something about there being 'a good dose of
that' waiting for anyone else who wanted it, and of
there being 'pleanty more where that came from'
(something which never materialised; I never so much
as saw a belt in school from that day until the day I
left).

William sat with his burning hands alternately pressed
between his legs or under his armpits, when he wasn't
blowing on them or waving them around. The bubbling
stopped after 10 minutes or so, the tears dried, but
the tear tracks, red eyes, and bright scarlet swollen
hands were evidence for the rest of the day and in the
bus going home, that a self important 'young adult'
could be brought down a peg or two and transformed
into a naughty schoolboy in less than 3 minutes with a
good hard dose of the strap.

As for William, did he get the belt deliberately,
either to find out what it was like or to make sure he
didn't go through his school career without ever
having had the experience ? I don't know, he seemed to
lose interest in talking about the belt after that
(!). I think he did, but if so he got the De Luxe
treatment that day.



 
 

The Belt

January 2 2003, 6:41 PM 


I went to an girls secondary school in Ireland during the early to mid 1970s. The strap was used frequently, always on the hands The strap was split into two tails. It really stung.

Noeleen Funchion

 
 
ian

Re: The Belt

January 3 2003, 6:29 PM 

Noleen,

How did you have to hold your hands and how many strokes were given ?

 
 

Alison and school belt

January 6 2003, 7:40 PM 


I read with interest Alison's message about getting the belt at school.

I was not strapped at school in Ireland. In my school we got the cane but very rarely. I received it once (two strokes on each hand) from the headmistress for missing classes.

When I left school I completed a six months secretarial course after which I got a job as secretary in a secondary school for girls run by nuns. Corporal punishment in this school, unlike the school I attended, was frequent and was administered with a strap. About half the teachers (both nuns and lay teachers) used the strap. On my first day as secretary I witnessed the headmistress (a nun) strapping two girls in her office.

I was given the job of supervising classes when teachers were absent. I also had to supervise girls in detention after school. As some girls were disruptive when I supervised them, the head issued me with a strap. I used this on a few occasions. I am not proud to say it but I sometimes enjoyed using it. It gave me some pleasure to see a girl who was particularly cheeky feeling the sting of my strap.

After a few months in this job, the head told me that she suspected that girls used to smoke in the toilets across the corridor from my office. She asked me to make regular raids on these toilets and to use the strap on any girl I found smoking. The punishment I gave to any girls I found smoking was two belts on each hand.

I left this job after three years but since then I have had an interest in corporal punishment.

I really like this site.

Noeleen Funchion

 
 
Simon

Re: Alison and school belt

January 6 2003, 9:00 PM 

Dear Noleen,

Do you have any experience, as recipient, witness or giver of punishment on the bottom? We are very keen on bottom punishment here.

Any stories that you have about girls in detention would be most welcomed. As you may have noticed, there are a few detention fetishists who contribute.

Thank you for a very interesting post.

Simon

 
 
C. Nickel

Re: Alison and school belt

January 7 2003, 9:06 AM 

Noleen,

On Jan 2nd, you say "I went to a girls secondary school in Ireland... the strap was used frequently".

On Jan 6th, you say "I was not strapped at school in Ireland. In my school we got the cane".

Come on, make your mind up!


 
 
Nathan

The Belt

December 11 2003, 2:59 AM 

For those of you who had the Scottish Strap what was the purpose of the tails on the tawse and would 3 tails hurt more than 2 tails.
Hope you can help.

 
 
Belter

Re: The Belt

December 14 2003, 6:23 AM 

The tails were to make it aerodynamic and also to mold the striking surface to the shape of the hand ensuring more 'contact'.

It is fiercely debated whether a strap of the same weight and size cut into two versus three tails hurt more, the general concensus however was that it was the longer narrower and more flexible two tailers which got up more of a head of steam and really scalded the palm rather than the stiffer or wider belts.

Incidentally, Lochgellies were imported into Australia and New Zealand and used there also during the sixties and seventies (and before).

 
 

Iron Hand for Boys

December 24 2003, 7:37 PM 

I was as a boy raised by the belt , when I misbehaved and disobeyed
home rules,i was punished more severey than my sisters for the same
offences. Of course now i love my parents.I was a wild boy in the past and
didn't respond by verbal or soft discipline, frankly spanking my dad's belt
was the ultimate threat for me during my boyhood and it prevented me from
penetrating in my mischiefs and disobeidance. imagine in the past if i
was caught smoking and i faced just a talking from my parents or a
scolding,i would still carry on smoking with more insisting and enthiuastic
to continue this damaging habit as parents were lenient and meted no
punishments on me. When once i was caught with a cigarette box i hid in my
socks,you can't imagine what discipline i got,after which i never got back
to smoke. My dad belted me to death and gave me a severe haircut. After this
punishment i never smoked,the discipline was in my mind. Due to my fear of
discipline i lost my longness or appetite to smoke,the habit vanished.

Just my theme is that if a boy fears the discipline or knows very well the
consequences of bad behaviour,by time he will lose "bad behaviour
attitude",hence i think parents should inflict a harsher discipline on boys
to reach to their mentality and formation.

As for girls ,i think their mentality allows them to respond to more softer
punishments, I remember one of my sisters was rude and talked back to mom,
and my mother just banned her from her daily allowance for 2 days and the
third day my sister apologized and never got rude or talked back after that.
Just laughing,imagine it was me who got such a punishment(though am sure
i'll get a harsher physical discipline),i'll never mind it or fear it.

But also we can't generalize, some boys are responding, but to my belief
most of boys need to be delt with by more harsh methods of discipline to get
them on the right track.

Regards,
Eyad


 
 

RE Belt

January 27 2004, 3:21 PM 

I got the belt in Bromsgrove on the bare off a male teacher 12 of his best

 
 
Lotta Nonsense

Re: RE Belt

January 27 2004, 4:00 PM 

Yes, and I swam up Niagra Falls with an anvil tied to each ankle.

 
 
A Dick

A Factual Site (No Sex)

June 19 2004, 7:47 PM 

The link will take you to the website of Margaret Dick, daughter of John Dick, tawse maker.

http://website.lineone.net/~magydick/index.htm


 
 


Irish School Strap? ...

August 6 2004, 3:00 PM 

I always thought that the general term "belt" referred to the tawse as used in schools in Scotland and the North of England ...

I was taught at Prep School by Irish (very un-)Christian Brothers and they used a strap which was generally referred to as "the leather" or, in an irish accent, "de ledder" ...

It was about 15 inches long by about 1.25 inches wide by about 3/8 inch thick ... a handle was shaped at one end .... it was made of two pieces of leather sewn together ... sometimes with one row of stitching, sometimes two at the "business" end ... there are apocryphal stories of weights being sewn in at the business end, but the unnecessary complication of doing that in what is anyway a very effective implement makes me doubt them.  I never got a chance to take one apart anyway, although I would have loved to have destroyed one at the time!

Here's a pic of the one I just had to acquire for old times sake ... maybe to lay some ghosts!

iss110.jpg Anyone

Anyone else suffer at the hands of the ICB's? ... I would love to chat ... maybe try some more active participation ( I am based in Southampton ) ... it would be great to hear from you ... just drop me an e-mail ...

Thanks

Paul

 



Paul's web page: http://www.cpcp.me.uk ... e-mail: mail@cpcp.me.uk

 
 

Re: Irish School Strap? ...

August 7 2004, 4:16 AM 

The Christian Brothers rules actually set down precise specifications for the strap.

"No instrument of punishment is to be used in the schools except a strap of leather, that is not to exceed 13 inches in length, 1.25 inches in width, and 0.25 inch in thickness."

No reference to any official additions of weights :)

In my collection of reference material I have nine pages of notes I made while reading a thesis on corporal punishment as administered in Christian Brother's schools - "'A Most Unenviable Reputation': The Christian Brothers and School Discipline Over Two Centuries".

I'll paste those notes in below, just to give people who haven't encountered it before a taste of the type of material I have in my collection, and also to try and help keep this group on topic.

 
 

Re: Irish School Strap? ...

August 7 2004, 4:19 AM 

The following information is taken from "'A Most Unenviable Reputation': The Christian Brothers and School Discipline Over Two Centuries" by Barry Coldrey, published by Tamanariak Publishing in Melbourne in 1991. This was, by all appearances, a very limited release document and so I suspect there aren't many copies about.

Dr. Coldrey, by the way, was one of the main people to expose the historical abuse of British child migrants who came to Australia just after World War II - the type of thing the mini-series, 'The Leaving of Liverpool' was based on. He has also done a lot of other work looking at the abuse of children in residential care situations, and abuse within the Catholic Church. Speaking as an historian myself who has met Dr. Coldrey, I think his work has been excellent and honest, without developing into a witch hunt.

*****

THE BROTHERS REPUTATION

* A delegate to the 1947 General Chapter of the Christian Brothers made reference to the 'most unenviable reputation' that the Christian Brothers had acquired with regards to corporal punishment. This reputation is real - nearly all popular references to the Christian Brothers refers to their fearsome classroom discipline. 'Irish Christian Brothers' = 'International Child Beaters' in one humourist's estimation.
* Most Christian Brothers over two centuries used corporal punishment in classrooms - however this was hardly unique, such punishments being normal at that time. The image of the Christian Brothers is that they were unusually severe.
* The paper intends to examine the truth of the reputation of unusual severity in comparison to others, and if it finds it to be a myth, will attempt to find the origin of the myth.

EDMUND RICE AND SCHOOL DISCIPLINE

* Edumund Rice founded the Brothers in 1802.
* At the time the Monitorial System of schooling was in vogue for the teaching of the poor.
* Teaching at this time was neither compulsory, free, nor secular.
* The Monitorial System involved one trained teacher organizing the instruction of large numbers of pupils in one large room with the assistance of senior pupils - Monitors.
* In effect the Master taught the Monitors and the Monitors taught the classes.
* Rice sought to create a new education system with a milder, more compassionate approach to children within this model.
* Quote: 'Unless for some faults which rarely occur, whipping is never inflicted.' Rice was in advance of contemporary standards of school discipline.
* MANUAL OF SCHOOL GOVERNMENT (1832) considered school discipline. Considerable use made of prizes to reward good behaviour, and by the standards of the time, discipline was remarkably free of harshness.
* Classroom was a place of silence as much as possible. Discipline was 'mechanical and military' - Masters used 'clickers' to signal to students rather than words. Students were drilled and regimented.
* Monitorial System required discipline for efficiency but Brothers seemed to have dispensed with severe corporal punishment.

THE FIRST GENERATION OF BROTHERS

* By the 1820s, these Brothers were in touch with the headquarters of the French Brothers of the Christian Schools in Paris. From here, they received two important disciplinary instruments - the wooden signal and the leather strap.
* The strap - '13 inches long, 1.25 inches wide, and 0.25 inches thick' used only on the hand was a mild instrument in comparison to most used in British schools.
* So mild, in fact, that the strap was not even considered to be corporal punishment.
* At the time, the strap could only be given to a boy's non-writing hand, and under normal circumstances only one strap was to be given.
* Quote: 'Blows are a servile form of chastisement and degrade the soul. They ordinarily harden rather than correct, and blunt those fine feelings which render a rational creature sensible to shame. If a master be silent, vigilant, even and reserved in his manner and conduct, he need seldom have recourse to this sort of correction.'
* The early Christian Brothers took a firm stand against severe corporal punishment. British Royal Commission into Irish Education (1825): 'the children are kept in good order and the masters seldom have recourse to corporal punishment.'
* 1857 before the Endowed Schools Commission in Cork - Br. B. Duggan claimed that corporal punishment, while not abolished, was used sparingly: 'my own opinion about it that five or six boys receiving one slap on the hand in the day is quite sufficient to keep the school in order.' Boys were never flogged.
* 1881 Endowed Schools Commission: 'The relation between teacher and pupil seemed all that could be desired, as there was perfect and prompt obedience without any sign of fear. The discipline was admirable, the Brothers being able to arrange the boys in any way desired almost without a word.'
* IN FACT, Discipline reality in a Brother's school at this time, could deviate from that described above, but not to the point that the Brothers were renowned as severe disciplinarians. That notoriety came later.

NINETEENTH CENTURY SCHOOL DISCIPLINE

* The 19th Century reality regarding corporal punishment in schools must be considered to place the Brother's approach in context.
* In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, children were seen as defective adults, the fruits of original sin, whose evil propensities needed to be beaten out of them.
* Flogging was common in the armed forces - not until 1866 was any real attempt made to limit corporal punishment in the military.
* Hanging, transportation, and whipping were standard penal punishments.
* In schools savage and uncontrolled beating was not uncommon.
* May 1810, Dr. John Keate, Headmaster of Eton, flogged a hundred boys for not attending a roll call.
* Even by mid-century, sixty strokes of the birch laid on a boy's buttocks or back was permitted.
* 1874 - John Moss, Headmaster of Shrewsbury gave a boy 88 strokes of a cane. Questions were asked in Parliament.
* HOWEVER - these boys were from a different social class from those normally taught by the Christian Brothers at that time.
* On the other hand, working class boys were expected to take the hardships of life from a very early age. Obedience was the prime virtue expected of the young.
* Children were hit with sticks, cat o'nine tails, belts and fists.
* In the work place, child labour was common, work targets maintained with severe corporal punishment.
* Severity towards children was non-sectarian, and classless.
* By contrast, in the Brother's schools a kindly discipline seems to have prevailed. 1915: 'The Brothers seem in a wonderful way to have won the affections of the boys under them and in very large measure to have dispensed with anything in the nature of corporal punishment, but on their leaving, the rod appears to have come into strong evidence again.'

BROTHERS INCREASING SEVERITY

* In fact, there was a shift in the Brother's attitudes to corporal punishment following Rice's death (1844). The normal discipline standards in British education drew the Brother's away from their founders ideals. The order grew rapidly in post-famine Ireland.
* Rice's early followers tended to be middle-class mature men. After 1850, large numbers entered the order as teenagers fleeing poverty.
* The Bishops and the people wanted more schools - and so numbers had to increase to man them.
* Training suffered.
* 1832: 'The Brothers shall be ever watchful that they but rarely correct the Scholars by corporal punishments; and that in whatever punishment they inflict, they be never prompted by an emotion of passion or impatience.'
* 1851: 'The Brothers shall be ever watchful that in whatever punishment they inflict, they be never prompted by an emotion of passion or impatience.' - reference to using corporal punishment rarely had been removed.
* 1851 Manual of School Government also listed offences that should be severely punished (lying, using obscene words, irreverent conduct in church or during prayers at schools). Very severe punishment for fighting.
* Lesser punishments - strapping on the hand, which had been the most severe punishment permitted at one stage - was for not being attentive in lesson, or prayer, or catechism, for not obeying signals immediately, for being late and 'for many and other similar causes.
* During the first 80 years of the Order, there was ONE cases where a Brother was charged with assault (1842). A Brother beat a boy with a pointer which left marks on his flesh. His mother took him to hospital where the doctor advised the mother to have the Brother charged and punished. She took him before the Magistrates. It was stated at trial that, if not for the high character of the schools, and the high regard one of the Magistrates had personally for Edmund Rice, the Brother would almost certainly have received six months hard labour. As it was, he escaped with a severe reprimand. This Brother was dismissed from the Order a year later.
* Evidence from Royal Commissions (1857-58, 1870, and 1881) suggests that discipline practices did not change much overall in that time. HOWEVER
* In Manchester, Br. D. Phelan occasionally flogged boys in the accepted British tradition.
* In Sunderland, a mother made complaints about the punishment of her son.
* Visitation Report, Leeds 1849: 'Slapping is used freely'.
* Memoirs of Edward O'Flynn who attended North Monastery School late 1840s/early 1850s gives a sympathetic portrait of his teachers - however he makes it clear that Br. J. Wiseman (author of many of the Order's first textbooks) used disciplinary practices similar to those used in most British schools - Wiseman 'made great use of the cane' flogging boys especially for lying or smoking.
* We are still a long way from the extraordinary notoriety of the Christian Brothers.

BROTHERS DISCIPLINE: LITERATURE

* Sympathetic portraits of a Brother's school in which disciple hardly warrants a mention is rare.
* M. Farrell (Thy Tears Might Cease): pictures his hero, Martin Reilly, in terror of the Brother's harshness.
* Flann O'Briand (The Hard Life) paints a picture of CBS, Synge Street, Dublin with the school as a jail, the Brothers warder, the discipline fearsome.
* James Plunkett's (Farewell Companions): 'Coax it into them or beat it into them, but they do the bloody job - that's the motto of the Brothers.'
* Noel Browne (Against the Tide): 'the cruelly unbridled beatings which constituted discipline.'
* Strong sense in these books that the Brothers were exceptionally severe especially from the 1920s-1950s, although possibility must be considered that Brothers merely seemed more severe in comparison to modification of practices in other schools
* It should be noted that other orders are also criticized similarily by authors - James Joyce, with regards to the Jesuits, Sean O'Faolain with regards to the Presentation Brothers: 'punishment was the sole spur within the school.'
* Also in Irish National Schools. Herbert Moran (Viewless Winds): 'the master flogged in Latin verbs with a blackthorn stick.' Frank O'Connor (An Only Child): 'Tom Downey, the headmaster, combined the sanctimoniousness of a reformed pirate with the brutality of a half-witted drill sergeant. With him the cane was never a mere weapon; it was a real extension of his personality.' Patrick Shea (Voices and the Sound of Drums): the principal 'taught by terror', the Junior teacher's yellow cane 'stung half my body into throbbing agony,' another 'used his caned with chilled accuracy'
* The Brothers had no monopoly on the use of corporal punishment in education.
* Similar recollections seen around the world.
* Australia: Barry Oakley - Brother Conroy delivered regular 'leather fusillades' with his strap 'carried gunmanhandy in the hip pocket of his shabby black habit.' Along with handball, six of the best was his favourite sport.
* Laurie Clancy - St. Kevin's Melbourne: "It was a vicious looking thing, about 12 inches long and consisting of six or eight black and brown thin strips of dried leather stitched amateurishly together. It was the stitching that was alleged to make it so painful.
* Christopher Koch (The Doubleman): 'the strapping that follows is agreed to be the worst anyone has seen: a sixer, the maximum. The Navvy (Brother Kinsella) says it is for insolence. His black form seems to rise from the floor as he brings the strap down: the reports are like gunshots. Gathering his strength for each cut, wet lower lip agape, his expression is that of a man on the verge of weeping. Grady's arm begins to shudder; and as he comes back down the aisle, bent over, his crossed hands in his armpits, his face is blanched.'
* However, in Australia from the 1930s-1950s from which the above memoirs come, physical punishment was common. Helen Townsend (social historian), T.A.G, Hungerford (novelist) stress the near universality of strict, often physically-enforced discipline in the home and school. Townsend (1988): 'Modern psychology had made little impression on the average Australian parents of the postwar era... To many parents, it was clear that it children did the wrong thing, they should be punished, often physically, (Moreover) Twenty years ago, the cane... was commonly used... in public schools.'
* Virtually all commentators referred to are sensitive, middle-class intellectuals (though many had humble working class origins). Their sensibility may not mirror the ordinary users of the Christian Brother's schools. Moreover, many authors seem to be somewhat ignorant of contemporary working class life.
* On the other hand, during the 1980s, the 'unenviable reputation' has been reinforced from an unusual and unexpected source. Stories have circulated from ex-inmates of the Brother's residential institutions - borstals, orphanages, boys homes - stories of mind-chilling severity.

DISCIPLINE, INDUSTRIAL SCHOOLS AND ORPHANAGES

* British government subsidized the establishment of industrial schools after the 1860s. Religious Orders quickly responded.
* Motivations were good - but the Orders experiences where with regular instruction in day schools of working class and lower class Catholic youth - poor but from stable family backgrounds. The boys placed in their care in the institutions were often from the lowest level of the working class - a sub culture the brothers had little experience with.
* Many had suffered acute deprivation - Brothers were, at most, trained as teachers not as child care professionals.
* The work was tiring, stressful. Stress lead to violence.
* Mannix Flynn, 1960s - Letterfrack Borstal, Co. Galway: 'the weather was as hard and cold-blooded as the Brothers.'
* Roberts Connors, mid 1970s, Mt. Cashel Orphanage, Newfoundland - his brother was kicked and slapped at the age of four for not making his bed properly. Shane Earle - same institution, similar period - 'brutally beaten'.
* 'Christian Brothers spanked bare buttocks and punched boys in the head to keep discipline at the Mount Cashel orphanage. William Earle has testified that he was beaten regularly on his bare buttocks for breaking minor rules.' (The [Montreal] Gazette, 23rd September, 1989)
* In Australia, Brothers institutions in Western Australia have received similar accusations from ex-British child migrants in the late 1940s. Apart from regular (and legal) punishment with the strap, Brothers are alleged to have flogged boys beyond the bounds of legal punishment, hit them with any instrument that came to hand. Some stories possibly exaggerated - others undoubtedly true.
* Pupils were cheeky and uncontrolled. Times were hard. Staff untrained. Resources inadequate. HOWEVER, discipline procedures diverged by a wide margin from the standards set by the leaders of the Order, and an equal distance again from the principles established by Edmund Rice.
* When and why did these changes occur?

IRISH INTERMEIDATE EXAMINATION SYSTEM

* The 1880s were the critical period.
* Introduction of organized secondary level education into Ireland was the critical factor - as it involved 'payment by results'.
* 1878 - Intermediate Education (Ireland) Bill which allotted funds for a Board to conduct examinations at secondary level and award prizes and scholarships to successful candidates and would pay fees to schools which achieved successful results.
* Brothers schools were officially primary schools and were not supposed to present candidates for examination. However loopholes were found and Brothers schools began to present such candidates with increasing success. From 1879-1900, Brothers schools dominated the Intermediate System, routinely taking at least a third of all prizes and fees.
* This success was bitterly resented by the headmasters and clientele of many established secondary colleges - because the Brothers were providing secondary education either free or for nominal fees to a class of pupils not deemed to require it. Moreover, the Brothers - successful though they were - were rarely university trained. Brothers came under attack - their pupils were not suited to secondary work, not did they require it, the Brothers were untrained. They were merely exploiting the pupils to make money (in results fees) for the Order.
* An explanation needed to be found to explain why such unqualified teachers, teaching such unqualified pupils were achieving such great success.
* The explanation seized upon was: THAT THE BROTHERS WERE BEATING THEIR PUPILS UNMERCIFULLY TO QUALIFY BEYOND THEIR REAL NEEDS AND ABILITIES!
* There was a grain of truth in this - Brother's discipline did become more urgent and more severe in this period. However, discipline in all secondary schools was and remained severe.
* Virtually every teacher was beating his pupils to facilitate success in the wonderworld of examination where success promised so much.
* The Brothers' reputation for severity dates from the 1880s, in their involvement in the Irish Intermediate examinations and in equivalent secondary work in other countries where they had schools and colleges.
* The Brothers never lost this image for severity.

EXECUTIVE ATTITUDES TO DISCIPLINE

* How did the Brothers Executive react to this changed role and image?
* Matters of school discipline do not appear to have been discussed at General Chapters between 1850 and 1896, suggesting that for more of this period, the issues were not a major concern.
* 1896 sub-committed appointed to discuss the issue of corporal punishment. It created regulations:

'With a view to avoiding, as far as possible, the use of corporal punishment in the schools, the Chapter recommends the Brothers to encourage the spirit of emulation amongst the pupils by a judicious use of premiums and privileges...

(a) No instrument of punishment is to be used in the schools except a strap of leather, that is not to exceed 13 inches in length, 1.25 inches in width, and 0.25 inch in thickness. In junior schools the strap is to be of smaller dimensions; and in each case the strap is to be supplied by the agent for the sale of our books, Dublin.
(b) No child shall be punished on any part of the body save on the palm of the hand.
(c) Corporal punishment is to be administered by the Brothers only. Assistant teachers and monitors are not allowed to strike the pupils, and Brothers in charge of schools must not permit their assistants and monitors to have straps, sticks or pointers in class unless when they are necessary for pointing on maps or blackboards.
(d) Corporal punishment is not to be administered for separate home lessons. Punishment is to be reserved until all the home lessons under examination shall have been examined."

* Additional regulation banned punishment for failure to answer questions, degrading punishments, detention during recess without the leave of the Principal. Strapping was limited to no more than five slaps on any one pupil in any one day.
* 1900 General Chapter: 'It is generally complained that the use of the slapper in the schools is excessive. As the slapping is given chiefly for failure in Home Lessons and for incorrect work in sums, it is recommended that the Home Lessons should be suited to the Junior Classes and consist of what has been taught in school.'
* Chapter directed that anything savouring of cruelty or injustice towards the children should be eschewed. The Chapter noted a recent legal decision which reaffirmed the right of a teacher in loco parentis to inflict 'moderate and reasonable' punishment, but stressed there were limits beyond which the law would not countenance severe punishment of minors.
* Files of Superior-General, M.T. Moylan (1900-1905) show only two letters written criticizing a Brother for unjust and/or excessive punishment.
* November 1901 to a Brother Alban: 'Though I wrote to you so short a time ago on the necessity of treating the boys with much kindness and observing great prudence when obliged to resort to punishment I very much regret that an instance of very severe punishment alleged to have been inflicted by you within the last two or three days has just been brought under my notice.'
* May, 1905 to a Brother Joachim: 'We have looked into the matter of your severity towards some boys in your school - have heard both sides - and we have no hesitation is saying that you have been altogether too severe in your punishments. I need scarcely say that such conduct will not be tolerated, and if there is any repetition of it, the matter will be of severe consequence to you.'
* General Chapter, 1905: 'Abuse of corporal punishment existed in some schools.' In others 'the Act is being carried out in the proper spirit and with the best result.'
* Difficult to know how accurate these statements are.
* After Chapters of 1896, 1900, and 1906, corporal punishment and school discipline appeared strongly in circular letters from newly elected Superiors. After this, mentions disappear for many years.
* 1927 - Directory and Rules of the Congregation of the Brothers of the Christian Schools in Ireland - restated the 1896 regulations.

THEORY AND REALITY

* 1933, Superior-General, J.J. Hennessy required all Principals to see that the children in Christian Brothers schools were 'treated with kindness' and that punishment 'should be the exception, not the rule, in the classes'.
* Problem did not disappear. Official policy was ignored.
* This is fascinating since the Brothers were dedicated to ministry of the schools, and to vows including obedience.
* Why were Brothers ignoring the repeated admonitions of their superiors in the face of that vow?
* Until some years after World War II, general discipline practice remained severe in schools in the English speaking world.
* The Brothers were simply part of this world, with the educational, social, and political ideas of their times.
* Admonitions of the Brothers' executives fell on deaf ears since the Brothers actually teaching in school were part of a long tradition in which corporal punishment was accepted as a normal mode of disciplining students.
* Moreover, the Brothers since their foundation had as one of their primary thrusts, encouraging the social mobility of their deprived, working class pupils - with the explicit or tacit support of generations of ambitious parents. The education of deprived students for social mobility by means of examination success almost required severity in the classroom.
* This dilemma between admonitions to kindness and restraint in dealing with boys in school, and the requirements for examination success, many Brothers never solved. By means of severe discipline, Brothers, often working class in background themselves, imposed middle class values on their pupils, to facilitate their entry to middle class society by way of achievement in schools.
* In additions, most Brothers until the 1960s faced enormous classes of turbulent pupils, with few resources in their day-to-day work in the schools. These problems were even greater in residential institutions. Punishment was necessary to keep schools and institutions functioning at all, since the nature of the staff/student ration did not admit of a great deal of freedom for student self-expression.
* Edmund Rice's zeal for compassion for the poor was sidetracked by the pressures among the deprived for upward social mobility, which required - at school level - an intense driving concentration on examination success with pupils under severe control by Brothers in the thrust for academic achievement.
* In the quest for social mobility, the Brothers had the support of their working class clientele.

 
 
Bob T

Re: Irish School Strap? ...

August 7 2004, 11:32 AM 

Dean; Your post seems to consist mainly of quotes. Are these all taken from the thesis that you spoke of in your previous post? Are most of these expanded upon in the full text? I find this type of information more interesting than statistics. I don't suppose you have anything similar for British schools? Let me know if you ever turn your attention toward American schools.
We may have opposing agendas', but facts are facts.

 
 

Re: Irish School Strap? ...

August 7 2004, 11:58 AM 

It's my notes taken while reading the thesis I mentioned - they are fairly detailed, but obviously they're not the whole document.

Give me a week or so and I'll see if I can get a complete electronic copy for you - it's format means it should be easy enough to scan and OCR it into a text file. My e-mail address is kostkalad@fastmail.fm - if you send me an e-mail address, I'll mail that to you when I've produced the file.

If you find this interesting, I also have a much larger document about corporal punishment in a New Zealand school in the 1960s, already in text form and I could mail you that as well... actually I may paste that in here, a chapter at a time as well. It's a book written by an American sociologist who spent a year at this New Zealand school studying its corporal punishment practices - it contains a few statistics, but most of it quotes, etc, looking at the views of staff, parents, and boys at that school. I will paste the first chapter or so in here tonight, in it's own thread.


 
 

Re: Irish School Strap? ...

August 7 2004, 12:09 PM 

Dean; If you click on my name, my email address will pop up. Or, if you prefer a formal request, I can send you an email. I quess you haven't done any research on American schools.

 
 

Re: Irish School Strap? ...

August 7 2004, 12:28 PM 

That's fine - enough for me to e-mail you.

Sorry, I forgot to answer the question about American schools. I have done some historical research on US schools, and corporal punishment - but that was a couple of years ago, and it's not immediately accessible. I'm going to have to search through my files to find that material. My main sources are Australian and British - but I have still amassed a fair amount of American material, I think.

My interest is pretty broad - I am just as interested in US material as any other - it's just that the easiest accessible sources to me don't look at the US in an much detail as they do the Commonwealth.

 
 
Louise

The Tawse in Scottish Schools

August 25 2004, 12:33 AM 

I have just come across this very interesting series of posts about corporal punishment involving the tawse. I am a former teacher and come from Scotland, and I would like to comment on several of the points raised.

With regard to the discussion of the different forms of this implement, one posting stated that the words "tawse", "belt" and "strap" referred to different things. This was not my experience--the terms were interchangeable. Mostly it was known as the "belt" or the "strap". "Tawse" was an old-fashioned, rather formal term. Many teachers referred to it as a "Lochgelly" because of where it was made. I am told it was also used in the north-east of England.

When I myself was at school (the 40s and 50s...not exactly yesterday!), the belt was used extremely frequently, often for what would today seem very trivial offences, and even for making mistakes in our school work. The standard method was to require the pupil to hold his or her arms out towards the teacher, palms upwards, one on top of the other. However, it was sometimes used across the buttocks, for some reason usually on girls (it happened to me at least once). Corporal punishment in the home was also common, and parents not infrequently kept a school-style belt for the purpose. Mine certainly did, and I received home beltings perhaps three or four times a year from the age of about six until sixteen or so. I had to take off my dress and kneel on my bed with my face down on the pillow and my bottom in the air, then my mother would pull my underpants right down. Six or eight severe lashes across the bare behind would follow. My sister had the same treatment. Nothing about this seemed unusual, though that might seem odd to say today.

Once I became a teacher myself in the early 1960s, some regulations seemed to have entered the picture. We were to use the belt only on the hands, for instance, and we were not supposed to to give more than six strokes. There was also a rather silly rule about how far back one could stretch one's arm before delivering the stroke, although most teachers ignored because it was unworkable.

In my days as a secondary school teacher, the belt was still very much in use. We were simply expected to use it, and that was that. I have to say I approved of it and never had any compunction about employing it as often as needed. It was immediate, quick and effective, and once the punishment was over the matter was closed. The pupils, I am certain, felt the same. Some male teachers, as I recall, would not use it on girls. I remember in my early days being told by an "old hand" to use the strap as severely as I could, to compensate for being a woman--pupils often tried to get away with more, and sometimes thought women teachers were a soft touch. Not me!

I read the interesting posting from the Irish woman who was a secretary and was expected to use the strap too. You mentioned that it gave you a certain pleasure to use it. I would be interested to hear more about this from you, but I think I understand what you mean. For me, it was always very natural to feel good about it (I always presumed that the physical exertion played a part, too). Administering discipline is a duty, and certainly no one should ever feel bad about doing what is right. I knew I was not only giving discipline but actually teaching it too. After all, self-discipline is at the heart of being a good member of society. To me, a good punishment properly administered was no different from doing any other part of my job well, so why not feel satisfaction in it?

Of course, use of the tawse declined steadily in the 1980s. Although I realise that society has changed a great deal since I entered teaching, but I have always thought it a great pity that corporal discipline was eventually stopped altogether. Young people need a clear structure in life, and a physical punishment does make matters very clear. Thirty years in the profession has left me as convinced as I ever was of the truth of that, and I am just as firm a believer in the value of corporal punishment now as I ever was. I could continue, but I have to accept that those days are past and my views--which are based very much on direct experience and observation--are simply no longer fashionable. Life goes on, and the world has doubtless got much better in plenty of other ways...

 
 
Lotta Nonsense

Re: The Tawse in Scottish Schools

August 25 2004, 7:08 AM 

Every little breeze seems to whisper . . . "Pork pie!"

 
 
Darwinian Man

Re: The Tawse in Scottish Schools

August 25 2004, 12:35 PM 

‘Louise’ is one of my favourite songs from the Golden Age. Here is the middle eight:

Just to see and hear you
Brings joy I never knew.
But to be so near you
When you are one of the few
People on this forum
Who claim to be teachers
That actually write as well
As teachers should (cf. retired George)
Thrills me through and through!

 
 

School Belt

January 16 2007, 2:56 PM 

Yes Alison;
When I was in Grade 5 about 9 years old I too recieved the School Belt.
And YES it hurt like HECK!!!

Please write to me in person at fornacation101@hotmail.com
Thanks.
Regards Mrs. Laurey Allman.

 
 

School Belt

January 23 2007, 3:02 PM 

Alison;
When I was going to school I too recieved the Belt known as The School Strap.
Boy did it ever hurt.
Please write to me in person.
Thanks.
Laurey.
fornacation101@hotmail.com

 
 
Louise

The belt

June 11 2008, 3:27 AM 

The belt was certainly used at my school a lot - and I managed to escape it mostly.. except for a two occasions when I got 2 of the belt on the hands with other girls for some collective misdemeanor.

At home, however, my Mum had a Lochgelly 2-tail heavy belt (never called it the 'tawse') and she frequently used it on my bare bum.. never less than 6 and often followed by 2 on each hand. She sure could match any teacher in how hard she belted too.

I know a couple of my pals got the belt too at home - I think it was quite common.

Louise

 
 
Yetanotheranotherlurker

Re: School Belt

June 12 2008, 8:15 PM 

I think we should be so grateful that we now have Andrea, Leanne, Cynthia and Louise all now suddenly joining (and contributing to) our merry throng.

We look forward to their future contributions as we did those of Fran and the presumably departed (maybe to East Grinstead) Lotta.

 
 

Re: School Belt

June 12 2008, 10:29 PM 

LADIES

I'm sure it wasn't all that long ago, in any of your cases.

So could we have some school names, please? FR isn't what it was anymore & it would be very nice to know about where these practises went on-some of us may have wives who went there & copped it as well!

Thanks


Steve M

 
 
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