More true accounts of school corporal punishment
I thought I would further blog about some accounts of school corporal punishment, that I know to be true.
My wife also grew up in the Texas school system and received corporal punishment at just about all grade levels. This was a public school in a very rich suburb of the Dallas/Ft. Worth metroplex. This was a K-12 school that was its own school district. While she believes that there were probably corporal punishment guidelines for her school, they were rarely followed. While a paddling could only be officially administered by a member of the administration, it seems that most of the coaches used the paddle liberally. She was paddled enough that a lot of the details blend together for her, but she does remember some very specific instances of being paddled…
Her most memorable paddlings took place as a member of the drill team. She describes her coach as somewhat of a “Nazi” and she was on everyone’s case on a very regular basis. On more than one occasion, for whatever reason, she was paddled at the drill team coaches’ request. Surprisingly, she was never actually paddled by her coach, who at times did paddle other members of the team. As it turns out, when it came to my wife being paddled, the coach seemed to prefer it to be administered by a male coach who was able to put a little more swing behind it. As she describes it, there were a group of coaches’ offices that separated the boys and girls locker rooms. On the occasions that she found herself about to be paddled, she was escorted to the offices and a male coach was found. Her offense was described to the coach and a recommendation as to how many swats was given to the male coach.
Regardless of who was present in the group offices, she was then instructed to bend over and either put her hands on a chair, or on a bench. She stated that on most occasions she was wearing her drill team uniform. This is pretty close to what we all picture with a cheerleader uniform. It was a pleated skirt and underneath she wore what are often referred to as “spankies”. This is basically an oversized pair of panties that allow modesty when doing dance routines that leaves the skirt flying in every direction. She clearly remembers that she was never required to grab her ankles, nor was the skirt ever lifted. She felt that it did not really matter what she was wearing, the swats were hard enough to penetrate any level of clothing. She has no doubt that the swats were applied as hard as he could swing. After all, she felt the whole point of being taken to a male coach was to receive a much harder paddling than the female coach could provide. Her paddlings in this environment consisted of between three and five swats. She states that every paddling she received brought tears to her eyes, but she never once openly cried, she would not allow “that bitch” the satisfaction. On more than one occasion, there were other coaches and male students in close proximity while this took place. Her overall thoughts on the paddling she received from the male coaches can be summarized with the words “painful as hell”. She states that while she rarely looked, most of these paddlings left her bottom bruised for a couple of days. She did not describe it as being difficult to sit after one of these paddlings, but she did say that she was more than aware that she had been paddled, the following day.
Another interesting account from her is one of the very few first hand accounts I have heard about paddlings taking place in front of the class. Her health teacher, also a football coach, was in the habit of paddling anyone who had caused trouble, at the end of each class. While not a daily occurrence, she witnessed several of these a week, for an entire year. She said that in many cases it seemed to just be a jock thing. His football players were often called up at the end of class and given a few swats for various reasons. She felt this fell more into the realm of “male bonding” and most of the guys returned to their seats smiling. But, several times a month students other than members of the football team were called up for a paddling that they did not go back to their seats smiling about. It seems that whenever there was a real discipline problem, he would not hesitate to teach a very serious lesson in front of the whole class. In most cases, the students in trouble had no idea until the end of class. A few minutes before the bell rang, he would simple call out a name and tell them to come up front. The student would approach a large table at the front of the room, and be instructed to bend over it, with their bottom pointed towards the class. She describes the swats as being applied as fast as he could swing, with the resulting sound being “deafening”. While it was rare to see a football player shed a tear, she saw many occasions in which males and females walked back to their desks openly crying. Of course, the football players found this to be highly entertaining and openly laughed. She feels that the male to female paddling ratio was around 10 to 1. While it was not all that common for him to paddle the bottom of female students, they were certainly not exempt. She was never personally paddled in his class.
Ok, one more from my wife that I have always found to be a good indicator as to how quick some coaches resorted to corporal punishment. My wife was 15 and she and her best friend were taking driver’s education. In the Texas school system, many teachers taught driver’s Ed after school as an additional source of income. Keep in mind, that this is a class that is separate from required school classes and that you have to pay to attend. These classes generally took place in the summer, or after school. Of course, their driver’s Ed teacher was the same coach that had taught her 9th grade health class. A few days into the classes, her friend showed up late to the class. As she went to take her seat, he told her to come up to the front of the class. With her protesting the entire time, he bent her over the desk and gave her a single hard swat with his paddle. Apparently, she freaked out, screamed bloody murder, and cried her eyes out. While she kept her sore bottom in the desk for the remainder of that class, she never returned. Her parents filed a complaint with the school, but the school backed the coach’s decision to paddle her and nothing else came from it.
I have previously described an account of a friend who transferred schools to one a little farther outside my school district. I have another female friend that moved to a very small town in Texas during her senior year. The summer after her last year of high school, I ran into her and I managed to gather some details of her school paddlings. From what I gathered, this was a school that paddled as the primary form of discipline. This was a very small country town and her graduating class consisted of 13 people. The teachers did not have the authority to paddle, but just about any disciplinary referral to the office would result in a paddling as well as additional forms of punishments. She was not much of a trouble maker, but with the strict nature of this school, she found herself in the office on a regular basis. Each and every one of these referrals resulted in her being paddled. In most cases, her parents were called, and she also received detention. When I asked her what kind of things she got in trouble for, they all seemed very minor. She was “sent up” as a result of things like chewing gum, being tardy, “distracting other students”, forgetting an assignment or book, or having a bad attitude. She told me that there was no such thing as a warning at this school and that even her first office visit for a very minor offense resulted in a paddling.
There are a few things that make her account somewhat unique. First, as far as she knew, there was no limit to the amount of swats that could be applied. She received a paddling that consisted of as little as four swats and as many as ten. She knew of cases of paddlings that were close to 20 swats. Something else that was quite unique is that he had footprints painted on the floor of his office that she was required to stand on for her paddling. She was made to stand on the footprints, which she stated were quite far apart leaving her with her legs spread, and then bend over and place her hands on her knees or grabbing her ankles. She described the paddle as “huge” and wrapped with black tape. I asked her if she ever cried from the paddling and she replied, “oh, everyone cried”. Something else that was unique is that she never knew how many swats she was going to get. It was as simple as, “well, you will have to paddled, stand on the prints and grab your ankles”. She felt that he just kept swatting her until he achieved the desired results. After her ten swat paddling she learned to no longer try and hold back the tears. She felt that tears were the goal, so better to get them out and get it all over with. If anything, she felt like she played up her reactions a little in the hopes of it ending quicker. As you would expect from a paddling of this nature, a bruised bottom seemed to be the norm and she reported the pain to have lasted more than most accounts I have heard of. She felt that it was pretty much the norm when a student returned to class after being sent up, for all of the students to watch them sit down. Everyone knew that a trip to the office most often meant a paddling and the students wanted to see how the other students reacted to the hard wooden desk after their paddling. She told me that the classroom environment was strict enough, that while everyone watched the reaction to sitting, no one ever laughed.
On my next school corporal punishment blog entry I will look at the facts and statistics of school paddling in the US.
Comments:It is horrifying to me that this type of punishment still goes on in some schools. (Forgive me, I'm about to rant here.) If a parent spanked their child in a way that left marks they could, and most likely would, be charged with child abuse. It IS child abuse...what makes it worse is that the POWER to administer this is abused. It seems to me that there is no accountability for ensuring certain guidelines are followed. There should be specific behaviors that warrent a paddling, it should be a last resort, and it should only be done by an administrator who is trained to do it safely. There should be a description of what the guidelines are, rights of the spankee, and procedures for appealing written out and signed by every student upon enrollment. I think often times, the schools DO "break the rules" on what is allowed in regards to CP but rely on the student's ignorance of their rights and belief that the school can do anything they want. There is way too much room for abuse of power.
I am a teacher (7 years now), and I have seen teachers abuse the use of time out...putting a child in a chair for every minor thing to the point that the child is always in time out. 90% of the time the child doesn't even know why they are there and learns nothing from it. Can you imagine what these kids behinds would look like if CP were allowed??? I personally have very little behavior problems with my students and I NEVER use time out. CP is illegal here, so that's out as well. So why do I have so few problems? I use re-direction, clear expectations and consistency, I follow a schedule. I talk to them with respect and explain WHY I am doing things certain ways. Most importantly, I listen to them. Children who respect you will want to please you. It's as simple as "say what you mean, mean what you say, and always strive to be a good role model."
Sorry I got a bit soap boxy on ya there! LOL! I know YOU are not advocating CP in schools. It just makes me sick knowing this still goes on.
Paddling, and fantasizing, and acting out these situations is erotic as hell between consenting adults, but the reality of this being done to children is sickening.
AND FINALLY...the questions I intended to ask... Does it make your wife angry when she thinks back on this now? Does she feel she or others were "abused"? Does she wish she could go back there now and kick some ass? That last question, now THAT would make for a hot video!