A girl with a good school record has to change schools, and her disciplinary record suffers.
By Gillian Howard
My name is Rachel Connolly and, as I am an only child, I suppose I was spoiled by my parents. I attended a mixed Catholic Grammar School in the south of Scotland, had done very well in my exams and was moving into the 6th form after summer.
At school I was very well behaved as I enjoyed studying and reading, and while I had witnessed both boys and girls getting the strap had never received it myself. My best friend, Helen, had received it and she told me how painful and embarrassing it was having to stand in front of the class and hold your hands out while the teacher hit you hard with the length of leather. The fingers on both her hands had swollen afterwards.
Now in the sixth form, the chances of receiving the strap were almost nil as 6th formers were only strapped in extreme cases.
Let me tell you about myself. I am 5’0” tall, very slim and am an extremely late developer. I am naturally blonde and have shoulder length straight hair which I usually wear in a pony tail. My breasts are small and, together with my lack of feminine curves, I was teased a lot at school.
At the start of the summer holidays mum and dad had called me into the kitchen to tell me that dad had been offered a management position near to Lancaster and we would be moving. Although the distance wasn’t so very far, it still meant moving to live in England. They had found three Catholic grammar schools within distance of where we would be living.
These three schools did not break up for summer for another week and so my parents made appointments to visit them the next week. Two of the schools were mixed and the third was all girls. We attended them all and when we got home discussed which would offer me the best opportunities. They all insisted on the wearing of full uniform, which was not something I had been used to, and all were very good at sport as well as academics. The all girls school did not operate corporal punishment for 6th form girls.
After discussing all the pros and cons we decided I would attend one of the mixed schools and I was invited to attend a day on the Thursday to get to know people. I really enjoyed it but, not being in uniform, I stuck out and my lack of a figure was more obvious, although I enjoyed the day and had met some really nice girls and boys. In one lesson after lunch, one girl and a boy were pointing at me and whispering to each other when the teacher called them out and asked them to tell everyone what they had been saying, but they just blushed.
The teacher went to his cupboard, took out a cane and told them both to hold out their hands. They held out one and he bought the cane down hard causing the girl especially to scream. They both received two on each hand.
At break I was asking why they only held one hand out at a time, as in my old school when somebody got the belt they had to place one hand on top of the other and I was told that was the way it was done. I was also told that if anybody was sent to the Headmaster for the cane they received it over their bottom over just their underwear and that really hurt and left you with weals across the bottom for several days and was painful every time you sat down.
I went home and told mum about what I had seen and she told me not to worry as I had always been well behaved at school, but to expect to be punished if I did something wrong. That, in her opinion, was correct. She told me for the first time that she herself had received the belt on three occasions at school and that dad had been caned whiled at school in England.
During the summer we moved into our new house and I really liked it. We went into town to the local school outfitters and they told us what uniform I had to have. I also had to wear navy blue school knickers. I did not like these at all.
On my first day at school I reported to the office and waited while a girl called Julie Edwards came and took me to my class room. She was very nice and friendly and we did become close friends. I had to stand at the front of the class and introduce myself to my new classmates and was made to feel very welcome.
Julie looked after me, showed me around, gave me a map of the school and marked each classroom that we would be using, the gym and changing rooms.
Our first gym lesson was on Tuesday morning and I was embarrassed as we undressed because of my lack of body shape but the others did not tease me like I had been in Scotland. After gym, we had a maths lesson and I was telling Julie how different things were compared to my last school.
Mr Willis called the register and then said: “Julie and Rachel, could you both come to the front please.”
We stood up and moved out to the front.
He said: ”Rachel, you may be a new girl at this school but we do not tolerate talking while entering class. Julie, you should know this and can now show Rachel what happens.
Julie moved forward and put her left hand out, while Mr Willis took a cane out of his cupboard. Then, without warning, he gave her two very hard strokes across the hand.
“Ok Julie, other hand please.” He then gave her two more strokes across the right hand.
Mr Willis turned to me and said: “Not nice that, is it?”
I said: “No Sir, it isn’t”
“Well Rachel, hold out your left hand.”
I did so and he placed the cane below it and raised it up until he was happy with the height, then moved the cane and rested it across my palm. He quickly raised it and brought it down and my eyes were fixed on it. Then the pain came and I thought my hand was sliced open.
Another stroke followed immediately and I was told to hold out my right hand. Again, I received two strokes which left me trying really hard to hold back tears as I was in so much pain. I thrust both hands under my armpits and returned to my seat. Julie squeeze my leg and smiled at me.
The lesson continued but I found it hard to concentrate.
Then I heard: “Rachel Connolly, stand up.”
As I stood, Mr Willis continued. “I know you have been caned, but at some point so has everybody else. You must learn to concentrate on the lesson or you will be bending over in Mr Gaskell’s office and getting six strokes across your knickers. You must have been punished at your previous school so pull yourself together. This is your last warning.”
I sat down and somehow managed to concentrate. As the bell went for break, Mr Willis handed Julie and me a slip of paper.
Outside the classroom Julie said: “We have to take these to the headmaster’s secretary immediately so she can enter them on our record and check our status.”
“What do you mean, check our status?”
“Have you not read the discipline code? Three canings in class during a calendar month means a visit to the headmaster and six of the best. Also, we have to collect a letter to take home to be signed by our parents to say we have been caned and what for.”
We joined a queue of 6 boys and 1 girl, all with slips, at the secretaries’ office.
As I handed my slip in and waited for her to give me my letter, she said: “Not very good this, is it Rachel? Getting the cane on your second day at the school?”
I just blushed and acknowledged her comment.
As we had lunch, I could see two raised marks across both my hands and it was painful using my knife and fork. The rest of the day passed without incident and, as I walked home, I met Julie who was walking with her boyfriend. She introduced me and told him that we had both been caned by Mr Willis.
I showed mum the letter as soon as I got home.
“Well Rachel, you have not lasted long before being caned, have you? At least now you know to behave yourself or you will get more of the same.”
On Friday afternoon as we showered after games, a girl called Rosie was next to me in the showers. As she turned around, I saw six raised weals across her bottom and they looked really painful. Several of the other girls were teasing her as it was the first time she had been caned by the headmaster. She had been caught smoking.
Miss McBride, the Games mistress, walked into the changing room and ordered everybody out of the showers. We were told to stand in front of our changing bench with our hands on our heads. She then left the room and returned a few minutes later with a cane in her hand.
“All turn right, then follow the girl in front till you come to me. Put your left hand out and you will all receive one stroke of the cane for making a noise in the showers.”
I could not believe I was to receive my second dose of the cane in my first week. We all walked round and each received one stroke, which was not as bad as when Mr Willis caned me. We were then told to dress quietly as she was going to inform the secretary that a full class of girls would be attending to collect letters.
As I lined up outside the secretaries’ office, the Headmaster returning to his office stopped and asked why we had all been caned. He was just about to enter his office when he looked again.
“It’s Rachel Connolly isn’t it? You have only been here a week and this is the second time you have been caned. I can see your bottom will soon be meeting up with my cane unless you improve your behaviour. The same applies to you too, Julie and Rosie.”
When I got home and showed mum the letter, she was really angry at me for getting another dose of the cane so soon. Over the weekend mum telephoned Helen’s mother and then gave me the phone so I could talk to Helen, who asked how school was. I explained about having to wear the uniform and that they still caned 6th formers and that I had already received it twice and once more this month would mean a visit to the headmaster for six of the best across my knickers.
The following Thursday morning after assembly, the Headmaster asked for seven boys and three girls, including Rosie, to come to the front of the hall. He explained that all ten had already been caned three times that month, so would now go and wait outside his office, and that he would be along shortly to give them all six of the best across their underwear.
I also noted that Graham, Julie’s boyfriend, was among them.
I was really settling into school life and enjoying it, but a couple of girls had teased me over my breast size and my large nipples.
At the start of the third week, we had art on Monday afternoon and as I sat down I found somebody had put a drawing of a nipple with a coat hanging from it on my easel.
“Very funny,” I said and ripped it up.
As I went to throw it in the bin, I heard: “Rachel Connolly, out here now and bring that paper with you.”
Mr Gregson was standing with his hand out. I walked forward and handed it to him. He looked at it before asking who was responsible. Nobody answered.
As he was going to his cupboard, there was a knock at the door and Julie entered. She apologised for being late and said she had been to the Headmaster. She handed a letter to Mr Gregson who told her to sit down. He then opened his cupboard and extracted his cane.
“I will ask again who is responsible for the drawing?”
Again, there was no response.
“Rachel, hand out!”
I raised my hand and received one really hard stroke.
“Rachel, sit down. Everybody else apart from Julie, stand up. If no one tells me who it was, you will all receive four of the hardest I can deliver and will also all serve two detentions.”
Suddenly there was a lot of murmuring and Sheila put her hand up and admitted to it.
Mr Gregson put his cane away and returned to his desk telling everybody apart from Sheila to continue with their work. He took Sheila outside and they were gone about 5 to 10 minutes before returning. Sheila was in floods of tears. She stood at the front of class and apologised to me and said she had just been given the maximum eight strokes of the cane across her bottom for bullying.
At the end of the day, Sheila and I were queuing to get our notes to take home. She couldn’t stop apologising as she wasn’t a bully and never thought she was. It had all been meant as a joke that had backfired. She said she had paid the price and been caned by the Headmaster.
I said: “Yes, and tomorrow I will also be called out in assembly and sent to his office to get six of the best for being caned three times in a month.”
I got home and as soon as mum saw the letter she just said: “I will get a cushion ready for you to sit on tomorrow,” and smiled.
As I dressed the following morning, I put on an extra pair of knickers and bent over in front of the mirror, but I could see the outline so took the extra pair off. How I wished I had let mum buy me the cotton knickers instead of choosing the bri-nylon ones which were thinner. As I came downstairs, mum wished me well and told me to be brave but I had broken rules and would therefore have to suffer the consequences.
At assembly, I sat at the end of the row knowing that I would be called out.
The Headmaster rose and said: “We have only been back at school two weeks and already I have had to cane ten pupils for being caned three times in a month. Today, another girl will be caned for the same thing, yet this girl has only been at the school for two weeks and one day, and came here with an unblemished disciplinary record. How things change. Would Rachel Connolly come to the front of assembly please?”
I stood up, blushing as I walked to the front and stood facing the school for what seemed ages, but was only about a minute or so.
“Rachel, go and stand outside my office, hands on head, till I come and deal with you. Go!”
I walked out holding my head in shame and waited outside his office. I heard assembly break up and everybody start to move. The Headmaster was first out.
He opened his door and pointed in, saying: “In. now.”
As I entered I immediately noticed the cane lying on his desk, about 4 ft long and as thick as my thumb.
As he walked towards it, he just said: “Skirt off, and bend over touching your toes. Do not move until told to do so.”
I just froze before doing as I was told. I heard him pick up the cane and swish it through the air.
I dropped my skirt to floor and as I bent to pick it up he said: “Leave it there, just bend over.”
As I did I felt my knickers tighten on my thighs and around my bottom. I was glad they were long enough that the tops of my thighs were also covered. I sensed him at my side, then felt the cane resting on my bottom. It disappeared before I heard a swoosh and thwack. A second later, it felt as though I had been burned by a red hot poker across my bottom.
Swoosh, thwack. Swoosh, thwack. Swoosh, thwack. Three more strokes arrived in rapid succession. I then felt the cane across the joint of my bottom and thighs. Then it moved.
Swoosh, thwack. A stroke landed right in the crease and I let out a yell before being told to be quiet. The final one landed, swoosh thwack. It felt like the hardest and was across the top of the thighs, but still on my knickers.
I heard him say: “Stand up now, and sign here.”
Through tear filled eyes, I signed the punishment book.
“Now get your skirt on and return to class immediately. No stopping on the way. I pulled my skirt up but when it touched my bottom it was really sore. As I left his office my hands were up my skirt and I could feel the raised weals on my bottom and could not stop crying with the pain.
I knocked on the door of my English class, entered and apologised for interrupting. I had to tell the class I had just received six strokes of the cane across my knickers and then I was told to sit down. The class went silent and everybody was watching me, so I eased down as softly as I could but the pain was still excruciating. I managed to remain in position and not move for the lesson. I eventually became accustomed to the pain, but every time I walked the elastic in my knickers rubbed the weals.
When I got home, mum told me to bend over the table and pulled my knickers down. She examined the marks and said I had been well caned, but she still gave me six hard smacks which had me in tears again. I avoided another trip to the Headmaster that term.
As we broke up for Christmas, our reports arrived the following morning and I had an excellent report from all the teachers with just the odd comment about answering the teacher back. It also showed that I had received two detentions and been caned three times plus one headmaster’s caning.
Dad read the report and said: “You know, I’m not at all happy with this. You must have been very lucky not to have had the belt at your last school. I know mum spanked you after the headmaster’s caning, but I’m not going to let this go. Bend over the back of the couch now.”
I was shocked. I had never been punished by dad before, but I did as I was told. I was only wearing a nightie. Dad got up and I heard him go upstairs. When he returned, he had his razor strop in his hand.
“Don’t you dare get up,” he cautioned.
As he stood behind me, he lifted my nightie onto my back and then, without warning, brought the strop down causing me to scream. Another five strokes followed and I was really screaming.
“Get up and go and get dressed before our visitors arrive!”
As I was drying my eyes after having a wash, I walked across the landing from the bathroom and heard the door bell. I rushed into my room to get dressed. I had put my bra and knickers, thankfully not school ones, on and was brushing my hair when my door opened and in walked Helen.
“What are you doing here?” I asked.
“We are here for Christmas and New Year. How are you?”
“At the moment, I’m very sore as dad has just given me the strop across my bare bottom for my school report.”
“Was it that bad? It used to be great.”
“No, the report was fantastic. It’s the fact that I have had two detentions, one headmaster’s caning and three classroom canings. Dad was really annoyed but it is so easy to get the cane that nobody avoids it.”
Helen said: “I am sorry, but I have a sore bottom too for the same reason. As I have had the belt three times this term and all the class got six with the belt across bare bottoms after a hockey match turned into a free for all. So we are both in bad books then.”
“So if I had stayed in Scotland, I would have received the strap by now then?” I suggested.
Helen said: “Almost certainly, as the new Head is clamping down. Even Sophie has received it.”
© Gillian Howard 2015