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corporal punishment in mixed schools

June 12 2002 at 7:24 PM
john 5 

where corporal punishment in secondary schools was allowed for girls but not boys, was there a large element of unfairness. Surely it would have been tempting for girls to select a certain boy for a caning. Even at my boys school there was a 'buzz' of excitement in the class when a first-timer got sent, especially if it was a boy who was seldom in trouble. No-one wanted to see a goody-goody get off. Usually their reaction to a caning provided a few days talking point. Where girls had no come-back did they enjoy seeing boys sent for the cane and was this ever done in front of the class. For many boys being seen to cry is the ultimate humiliation. In a mixed class this must have been far worse

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Girls being made to cry

June 12 2002, 8:30 PM 

On the subject of humiliation, it's fair to say that girls didn't much like being made to cry either.

I was at a mixed school where the cane was used from time to time, both on boys and girls. The Deputy Headmaster would cane the boys, always on the seats of their trousers, whilst the Senior Mistress took care of the girls' canings. I always found it amusing that the girls would protest how unfair it was that they had their skirts raised for the cane, the suggestion from them being that they were punished more severely as a result. My own hunch is that the Deputy Head caned us boys a lot harder than the Senior Mistress ever caned the girls, so I'm sure things evened themselves out.

Canings were always administered in private but other punishments did get handed out in front of the class. We had a certain male French teacher who would call boys to the front and have them bend over the desk for the slipper. Any boy in that position would do his utmost to keep from crying in front of his mates and the girls.

Better still for us boys, there was a female English teacher who had a penchant for slapping the backs of girls' legs. In those days girls up to age 16 in our school wore white knee socks rather than tights and so their legs were conveniently bare above the knees. The teacher in question would call a girl to the front and have her stand facing the class. The teacher would remain seated, would lift the girl's skirt with one hand and then slap the backs of her legs again and again with the other. It was fascinating to see the changing expressions of pain on a girl's face as those hand slaps rang out loud. They'd bite their lips, screw their eyes tight shut and would do anything to try and keep from crying. That was always an impossible task however and sooner or later there would be tears a plenty rolling down a pretty face.

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