A small class all have to face the same fate
by Julie Baker
My name is Sophie Williamson and I am 53 years old. I’ve had a few partners over the years, but don’t have any children and I am currently single. I am the Managing Director of a small manufacturing company in Birmingham and live very comfortably in a large house in Solihull. I am serious and driven when in my work environment, but I am adventurous in my private life both in terms of activities and social relationships. We are all products of our past and I want to tell you about a particular day at school that had a lasting impact on me. It occurred a few weeks before I left school to go to university and, even now, I reflect back on that day more often than you might be able to believe.
However, I need to go back in time a bit further to be able to put this whole episode in context and allow you to understand the sequence of events that led up to this significant day in my life.
I was born in 1966 in Birmingham. I was an only child and my parents both had good management jobs working for Birmingham City Council. I went to the local state schools and, slightly unexpectedly, managed to achieve an excellent set of 0 Level exam results. We weren’t rich but my parents thought that I would get on better going to a particular private day school for girls in the city. It had a brilliant record for achieving top A Level grades and, somehow, I managed to get a minor scholarship to help with the fees. I started there when I was 16.
I absolutely loved it from day one. I had, and still have, an outward going personality, so I made friends very quickly. I also played a lot of sport in those days. I’ve always been tall with long limbs and good coordination which led me to play hockey through the winter and tennis for the school in the summer. My friends always said to me that I was a pretty girl and I certainly didn’t have any difficulties attracting the boys. In those days my hair was blond, and my skin tone was warm without being too dark. My breasts were small and firm but my most admired feature was my bottom! I had never really paid it much attention, but I was told that it was small but with a lovely shape and just enough flesh to make it soft but not enough to spoil its compactness.
At this point I should point out that discipline in this institution was ‘old school’. Some of my friends, who had been at the school for years, would tell me tales of when they received corporal punishment in the lower school. This generally consisted of a visit to see Miss Jones, the Headmistress, and a dose of the slipper, and very occasionally the application of the cane for particularly bad offences or for any persistent offenders. It was technically possible for girls in the sixth form to be punished in this way but was so unusual that it was considered not to be a concern.
One other bit of background information that I should give you is regarding the school dress code for the Upper School. It was termed ‘smart business attire’ and therefore anything like jeans, tee shirts, trainers and sweat shirts were definitely out. I generally wore a light-coloured blouse with a dark jacket, paired with either pencil skirt or neatly fitting slacks. I found this style combined both comfort and an attractive look.
Now we can move onto the day of significant events that I mentioned earlier on. By late morning on this day it was progressing in a very unremarkable fashion. It was the week before my A Level History exams started and I, plus six other fellow history students, were attending Miss Chapman’s final revision class. None of us liked Miss Chapman. Her lessons were unbelievably boring and it was a mystery to us that she had become a teacher, given her evident dislike of her students. We endured her teaching and bad-tempered manner. The only saving grace was that she did actually prepare us well for those exams and we all achieved good passes.
She was also a great fan of the flip chart. Modern technology has consigned many of these bits of kit to the skip but it was a staple of school rooms and boardrooms back in the 1980s. It is effectively a three-legged easel with the front two legs supporting a thick pad of paper sheets which measured something like a meter high by half a meter wide. There were approximately 500 sheets of paper in a pad and whoever was presenting would write their message on a sheet with a felt tipped pen and then either tear it off or fold it over the top to reveal a clean sheet. Miss Chapman was a massive fan of the flip chart.
This lesson she was on fire with her flip chart. Jotting down notes and firing out questions, she was running through the pad of paper in very rapid time. Almost at the end of the lesson she discarded yet another sheet of used paper and simultaneously we all realised that the newly revealed sheet had a message written on it. Given how far into the pad of paper she had gone, I can only think that whoever had written the message hadn’t intended it to see the light of day until sometime during the following term.
In bold black pen it read:
FUCK OFF CHAPPERS
You’ve no idea how pleased we are that we now don’t have to sit through your boring lessons
Your 1983/4 History A Level class
There was a momentary stunned silence. Predictably, Miss Chapman was the first to speak. Not surprisingly, she looked a bit rattled and upset. I wasn’t surprised. Much as I didn’t like her, this seemed to be a particularly nasty and unkind message.
“Who is responsible for this?” she asked us.
“I repeat, who is responsible for this?”
Still no answer.
“Alright, I will ask you individually, and whoever has done this had better find the courage from somewhere to own up.”
She asked each of us in turn.
I knew that I hadn’t done it, so I answered truthfully in the negative, but unfortunately everyone else did the same.
“OK, then I will now get Miss Jones to come into the classroom to discuss this with you all. Whoever did this, this is your last chance to own up and we can deal with the situation without involving Miss Jones. Anyone prepared to come forward?” she asked us.
Still nobody spoke up.
“That’s it then. Stay seated where you are. I will ask Miss Jones to speak to you and I suggest in the time that it takes me to return that you discuss this amongst yourselves and establish who is responsible for this horrible message on my flip chart.” With this, Miss Chapman left the room.
We did discuss it but still everyone denied any responsibility. It did cross my mind that it might have been someone else’s work, someone who was playing an elaborate prank on us, but I didn’t want to be the person seen to be suggesting this to Miss Chapman and Miss Jones. At this stage, I felt that the best policy was to keep my head down and hope that the rumpus would blow over.
It didn’t blow over. I had never seen Miss Jones so angry. She was beside herself, and, to be fair, I could see her point. It was an awful message to have left, but still nobody was stepping forward to take the blame.
“OK, have it your way,” Miss Jones finally said. “If the culprit is not brave enough to take responsibility, then you will all be punished. All seven of you will now go upstairs and line up outside my study in alphabetical order. You will then all be slippered. If anyone objects, they can go home now and you will not be allowed back in school to take your exams.”
With this she and Miss Chapman swept out of the classroom.
There was another stunned silence as this turn of events sunk in. It seemed a monstrously unfair situation and effectively we were being given no realistic alternative. As it happens, we were all over 18, but who would forego their exams to avoid a few minutes of discomfort? There were some of us who had never experienced corporal punishment before, and there were also a few girls who you just knew would never do a thing like this. But we were all being treated the same.
I could also see Miss Jones’ problem. She had to take some action, but she didn’t have any other practical sanctions open to her. Letters home, detentions, suspensions and the like weren’t practical for a group of pupils who only had a very short time left in the school. I can see now that corporal punishment has a lot going for it under these circumstances. It’s short and sharp but a real tangible punishment, nevertheless.
Within a few minutes, we were lined up outside Miss Jones’ study. As you might have already guessed, with a surname like ‘Williamson’, I was at the back of the queue. Waiting while my colleagues were punished was not pleasant, but I did think that I might just benefit if someone ahead of me did finally own up. This proved to be a forlorn hope.
At the front of the line was my great friend, Amy Bancroft. She had a lovely, bubbly personality and had played hockey with me in the school team. She had a strong and athletic build and, although not recently, was no stranger to the head’s study for a bit of physical correction. I surmised that Miss Chapman and Miss Jones would already be in the head’s study and, after a few minutes, the door opened and Miss Chapman called for Amy to go in.
The six of us left outside waited to see what happened next. It wasn’t a long wait.
BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG!
I hadn’t heard this noise before but there was no doubt that this was the sound of the slipper on Amy’s bottom. Within a few seconds, Amy was back out and walking back past us. I could see a tiny bit of colour in her cheeks, but other than that she looked completely normal. I reckoned the whole process had taken less than 2 minutes; maybe less than a minute.
“Not too bad,” Amy whispered to the six of us awaiting our turn as she passed by.
The door opened again and Joan Deacon was called in.
I felt desperately sorry for Joan. She was a very slight girl and incredibly shy. There is no way that she would have written that message on the flip chart and these two teachers would have known this. I was pretty certain that Amy before her hadn’t done it, as she would have taken responsibility, but Joan was about to be punished for something she categorically hadn’t done.
Anyway, Joan disappeared inside, but this time there was a considerable delay in the proceedings. I could imagine the two teachers trying to calm her down but explaining that they couldn’t make an exception for her. Eventually, we heard four very faint whacks which we took to be the sound of Joan’s bottom being gently chastised. She reappeared with very red eyes, but certainly calmer than when she went in.
“Tinah Olarewaju,” I then heard Miss Chapman call.
I would have to say that Tinah was one of my favourite people at school. She had come from Nigeria when she was 5 and her parents had built a very successful food retailing business in the West Midlands. She was both ferociously intelligent and a fantastic sprint athlete who competed at international level. I was almost embarrassed that I was at a school that was about to subject this proud and elegant girl to a dose of the slipper. She would not have it any other way, though, and she entered that room with her head held high and no trace of nerves. With little delay, we heard four solid thuds but I couldn’t help thinking that a pliable slipper would struggle to make much impression of her tight, firm bottom. I’d seen it in the shower and it was as if it was made from some sort of dense rubber.
Predictably, she emerged as she had gone in; head up and showing no signs of distress.
“Janice Price, please.” Again, Miss Chapman going steadily down the list.
I didn’t really know Janice very well. I only came across her in my History class and she tended to socialise with a different set to me. Unfortunately, she was a bit overweight and therefore struggled to do much exercise. I thought that it was unlikely it was her that had left the message on the flip chart, but I couldn’t be certain. She looked quite calm before she went in, but I could see she might find the whole process quite difficult to cope with. So far, the sound of the slipper had been the only sound audible on our side of the door. With Janice, we could hear the noise of the slippering but she was also hollering at the top of her voice after each whack. What a din! I guess this was just her way of coping with the discomfort, but it did nothing for the nerves of the three of us left in the corridor.
When she did emerge, she was vigorously rubbing her bottom and looked distinctly chastened by the experience.
Next in line was my great friend, Nancy Roberts. Nancy always dressed beautifully in expensive clothes that were both exquisitely cut and with colouring that perfectly suited her skin tone. That day, she looked very sophisticated in a lovely floral summer frock and short white socks coupled with lime green sandals. Really, this was another ridiculous situation. Nancy could have passed for a woman in her mid-twenties, yet here she was being treated like a 4th former and about to be given a rather sore bottom.
I expected this to be a rerun of Amy’s punishment; swift and without much drama. However, I was wrong. There was a considerable delay and I could then hear, given that I was getting closer to the door into Miss Jones’ study, a long discussion going on between the three occupants in the room. I couldn’t pick up what was being said but I sensed that some sort of situation was developing. I wondered whether Nancy was arguing against her being punished or whether she had said something that Miss Jones had been unhappy with. Eventually, we did hear the start of Nancy’s punishment, but there were no loud bangs from the slipper landing on Nancy’s bottom. This was an entirely different noise.
Nancy was being caned.
‘Crikey,’ I thought, ‘What could possibly have gone wrong for her?’
The idea did cross my mind that she had confessed, but the reason for the change in Miss Jones’ strategy was not clear. One, two, three, four, five, six strokes of the cane I counted, and I could hear Nancy whimpering with the pain from each stroke. By the time she had taken the sixth cane stroke, I could hear her sobbing quite loudly.
Wow! What an ordeal for poor old Nancy!
She came out in a bit of a state, clutching her knickers in her left hand. I then realised that she must have taken that caning on her bare bottom and I couldn’t help wondering what her normally smooth and soft skin looked like concealed under that lovely summer dress. At the time, it seemed to be such a monstrous act, like graffiti being daubed onto a freshly painted wall on a pretty country cottage. She appeared to be disorientated as she emerged, and shaped to go the wrong way before doubling back past me. I knew she had been hurt as she avoided eye contact with me, and that was not normal for her.
“Danielle Smithson,” I then heard Miss Chapman call out.
As Danny disappeared into Miss Jones’ study to be dealt with, I was left on my own in the passageway. I didn’t know Danny particularly well, but I thought she would have had previous experience of being slippered and would cope quite well. However, I could hear her sobbing away on the other side of the door while begging to be let off. This seemed to be an utterly futile effort on her behalf and all she was succeeding in doing was making me feel even more nervous.
‘For Christ’s sake, get on with it,’ I was thinking.
Eventually they must have calmed her down and I then heard the now familiar four strikes of the slipper on her bottom. She let out a loud ‘OUCH’ after each one, but she seemed to be in pretty good order when she came out.
‘Only me left,’ I’m thinking.
“Sophie Williamson.” Miss Chapman’s final call.
As I went in, I had one thought in my mind. Be like Amy. In – bend over – bang, bang, bang, bang – out – ‘not too bad’.
It didn’t work out like that though.
I entered the room and it was much as I expected. In front of me was Miss Jones’ desk, with her and Miss Chapman standing on each side facing me. To my left was a large cupboard, and to my right was a low coffee table with four substantial upright chairs grouped around it. The only item on view that wasn’t normal was a black plimsoll resting near the front of Miss Jones’ desk. There was little doubt in my mind that this was about to be applied to my bottom. It looked to be about a size 7 or 8 with a rubbery-looking sole and canvas upper with the classic elasticated insert. Having been used on five bottoms so far, I was imagining that it would be well warmed up.
“Right, Sophie,” Miss Jones opened up with. “I’ll ask you the same question that I have asked the others; did you write that message on Miss Chapman’s flip chart?”
“No Miss. I didn’t,” I replied truthfully.
“OK, I accept what you are telling me, Sophie, but as you know I have decided that I have no option other than to punish the whole class,” she replied. “I realise that you are relatively new to this school and haven’t been slippered by me before today. I also see that, unlike your classmates, you are wearing trousers rather than a dress or skirt. Please now turn to face the door. I slipper a girl’s bottom over one layer of clothing and the others were able to lift back of their skirt or dress to allow me to do this. I’ll have to ask you to lower your trousers before bending over. Is that clear?”
I could feel my heart rate soar as I did as I had been asked. I was particularly nervous about this request with good reason.
With my head lowered and my hands on my ankles, I heard Miss Jones speak again.
“Well, Miss Chapman, looks like we have another girl who thinks the sixth form dress code doesn’t apply to them. Please fetch me the school cane.”
Hearing this, I lost all control.
“Oh, please Miss, not the cane,” I wailed as I stood up and turned round. “Please don’t cane me. I couldn’t bear it! I’ve never been in serious trouble before and it wasn’t me who wrote the message. I’ve never had corporal punishment before and to go straight to getting the cane seems to me to be too harsh.”
“For goodness sake, Sophie, pull yourself together,” snapped Miss Jones. “You’re acting like someone out of the Junior School. You know the dress code; school is no place for thongs or any other sexually provocative underwear. I know that, and you know that. Your friend, Nancy, was in here a few minutes before you in the same situation and we had none of these histrionics from her. She accepted that she was in the wrong and just got on with it. Now, please calm down while Miss Chapman gets the cane out.”
With this, Miss Chapman went to the cupboard in the corner and produced a fearsome looking school cane. It appeared to be reasonably thin, about a meter in length, with the classic crooked handle. As this was happening, Miss Jones retrieved the plimsoll and returned it to one of her desk drawers. Miss Chapman then handed the cane to Miss Jones. By this time, I had regained some level of composure, but I could still feel gentle sobs catching in my breath.
“I only wear a thong with these trousers so that I don’t end up with visible pantie lines, which I think look awful,” I tried to explain. “There is no sexual element in this at all, Miss. Nobody would know, normally. it’s just because of what has happened with the flip chart.”
“I realise that, Sophie.” Miss Jones also seemed to have calmed down a bit. “However, Nancy took the cane as she was also wearing a thong and I’ll have to do the same to you. I’m sorry, but there it is. I wouldn’t normally cane you for a dress code violation, but this isn’t a normal situation. Now, please take off your trousers and underwear. Your trousers can go over the back of a chair and you will pass your underwear to me. I’ll then return your underwear to you after you’ve had the cane, but you will wear your gym shorts under your trousers for the rest of the day. I may do a spot check over the coming days and if I find that you are not wearing regulation panties you will be coming back up here for another dose of the cane on your bottom. Is that clear, Sophie?”
“Yes Miss,” I replied.
“Thank you. Please remove your lower-half clothing and then pull one of the meeting chairs into the middle of the floor with the back towards my desk. I then want you to bend over the back of it and grip both arms of the chair. You will remain in position until I’ve dealt with you and I will then tell you that you can stand up. Is that clear, Sophie?”
“Yes Miss,” I replied once again. All of the fight had left me.
I did as instructed, and soon I was naked from the waist down and bent over the back of one of the chairs. My bottom seemed to be a long way away, almost in a separate compartment where Miss Jones was about to deal with it. I could see out of the corner of my eye Miss Jones taking up position to my left with the cane in her right hand. I then felt her left hand gently gliding over my bottom as if to test its firmness and to make sure there were no specs of dust on the target area. I felt a shudder run through my body. Next, I sensed a few gentle taps on the middle and fleshiest part of my bottom.
“Are you ready, Sophie?” I heard Miss Jones ask. This time I didn’t feel any need to reply.
The first stroke landed just where Miss Jones had been tapping. Wow! A line of fire that left me wishing that I had been in the room for a relatively straightforward four whacks of the plimsoll. Miss Jones hadn’t confirmed but, using Nancy’s punishment as a measure, I still had five more of these to endure.
I had made no sound after the first cane stroke, but I did let out a little squeal after the second one. This was lower down, close to the top of my legs. It really stung, as my flesh was not quite so soft in this area. The next one was much higher up on my bottom and this generated deep-seated pain rather than the stinging sensation of the first two strokes. Again, I let out a muted cry of pain.
It was the fourth one that broke me. It landed closer to the middle again and the overall pain was really starting to build. I once again let out a cry of anguish, but I was also crying by this stage. Number five was delivered fairly centrally but it was the last stroke that was undoubtedly the worst, and I found it difficult to assess at the time exactly where this one had landed. It was only afterwards, when examining the cane marks in the mirror, that I was able glean an answer to this question.
“OK, it’s all over, Sophie,” I heard Miss Jones say. “You can get up now and please do as I’ve previously asked after you have put your shoes and trousers back on.”
I wasn’t sure at the time why my emotions were in such a muddle, but I felt a mixture of elation that I had endured the caning, and horror at how sore my bottom was. Whatever was driving me, I couldn’t get out of that room quick enough and all I wanted to do was find my friend Nancy. We had an experience in common and I wanted to share my thoughts with her and nobody else. I knew where to look for her and easily located her sitting by herself in her favourite quiet corner in the school library.
She looked up as I approached her desk.
“Well, that was astonishing,” she opened up with. She said it in a way that it wasn’t clear whether ‘astonishing’ was good or bad. “I certainly didn’t see that coming when I left my house this morning,” she continued. “Was that your first slippering, Soph?”
“No slipper for me, Nancy. I got the same as you.” I could hear that my voice was still trembling from the recent ordeal. “I was also wearing a thong.”
“Dear me, that must have been a hell of a shock for you. Are you OK now?” she asked as she got up and put an arm round my shoulders.
“Yes, OK now, thanks. I’m just starting to get my thoughts together.”
“I know what you mean, Sophie,” Nancy replied. “I was sitting here reflecting on the events of this morning also. I’ve been slippered a few times in the junior school and a part of me had always wondered what it would be like to get the cane. Not enough to deliberately get it but, I’ll be honest, a small part of me actually used to like the thrill and pain of a slippering. I wasn’t able to understand these emotions when I was younger, but now they are starting to make more sense to me. So, when Miss Jones told me that I was going to be caned, I wasn’t actually too upset. Wow, it was a big step up from the slipper though! I was really struggling by the end, but now I feel energised and excited. Does that seem wrong to you, Soph?”
“Well, I’m not sure, Nancy,” I replied after giving it some thought. “I hadn’t thought about it, but maybe you are starting to explain why my emotions have been in a muddle in the last few minutes. The actual caning was horrendous, and I cried quite a bit both before and afterwards, but I’m not here now wishing that it hadn’t happened. I tried to suggest to Miss Jones that I was wearing a thong simply to prevent the lines that would otherwise show beneath my trousers, but if I’m honest I love wearing a thong for the feeling of freedom and the sense that it’s just a little bit naughty.”
“Interesting, Sophie. Sounds like we might be similar in our make-up,” said Nancy. “I suppose as we grow older we will learn more about what turns us on. Maybe corporal punishment will be our thing! That said, I’m not sure I want to go through something that painful again. My bottom is still throbbing awfully! Do you want to have a look?”
“OK, Nancy. Yes, I’d love to inspect the damage. We’ll need to go round the corner between those bookshelves. We can’t risk a rerun in Miss Jones’ office!”
We were soon between two tall bookshelves with little chance of anyone seeing what we were up to. Nancy turned her back to me and gently gathered up the back of her frock until it was well above her waist. She wasn’t wearing any underwear and she leaned slightly forward with each hand resting on a bookshelf to give me a better view. I could still see around the outer reaches of her bottom that her skin was a lovely soft and creamy appearance. Nearer the centre, where the cane had been at work, it was a different story though. She had taken quite a thrashing with five evenly spaced red lines marched up her little bottom and only tiny gaps between them. At this moment I got the answer to why the sixth stroke had been such an ordeal for me. I could see what was presumably the last one on a diagonal path across Nancy’s bottom, crossing over the other cane lines and creating little areas of extreme inflammation at the junction points.
I gently brushed my hand over her cane marks, and I could feel unevenness where previously there would have been a perfectly smooth surface.
“That is some job she’s done on you, Nancy. Do you want to have a look at mine?”
We swapped positions and then, when we had said all there was to say on the matter, we went our separate ways back to our classes. We remained inseparable for the rest of that term, but we went to different universities and then somewhat lost touch with each other. I now only see Nancy at our annual school reunions. She is married with children and I never feel quite able to ask her whether her obvious thrill at being caned as a teenager developed into something that would give her pleasure over the ensuing years. As for me, I gave you a hint at the start of this account about the feelings that I now have. I often reflect on that day when I was at the back of a long queue.
© Julie Baker 2020
Julie welcomes contact from her readers. Email at: email@example.com or Julie’s Twitter address is: @JulieBaker_cane