A girl’s experiences of punishment at school
By Gillian Howard
I am Dawn Marsh and I attended a mixed grammar school in the early 70s in the midlands. I was very popular at school with both the boys and girls. I was not in the top stream but I was doing fairly well and was hoping to go to University. I was quite well behaved but had earned several detentions and been placed on report on three occasions. However, apart from receiving 4 strokes of the slipper across my bare bottom for swearing in the shower after a hockey game in the first year, I had not been subject of any other form of corporal punishment during the following 5 years.
Punishments were carried out on a regular basis and both boys and girls could receive the slipper in class or the ruler across the hands or bottom, and some teachers would give the cane across the hands as well. I had received some notoriety for being the first girl in my year to be slippered bare bottomed.
During my first few years I witnessed a lot of boys get the cane across the hands in class and saw the results afterwards with 2 or 3 raised blue lines across their hands afterwards. A few girls also got the cane and they always cried and were in agony afterwards. Usually at least one pupil a week would get the slipper or cane in class. My best friend Claire was in the top stream of pupils and she said that she had only ever seen one person in her class caned.
If you were sent to the headmaster you could receive the slipper or the cane, and in both cases it would be over your underwear only. It was in the fifth year that I first saw the results of a caning by the headmaster when 3 girls returned to class in tears and having difficulty sitting after receiving 6 strokes each for bullying a second year girl, and as we changed for hockey that afternoon we all saw the results and I actually touched the raised welts on Julie’s bottom and was surprised at how solid they were.
On a Friday morning in assembly, every pupil that had been caned by the headmaster was announced to the school with the reason and number of strokes they had received. This was done as a means of humiliation for being caned.
As we moved into the sixth form, our classes were smaller and the work more intense but the punishments continued. I was having Maths when the headmaster’s secretary entered the room and asked for 2 girls, Samantha and Angela, and three boys including George my boyfriend who was sat next to me to report to the headmaster’s office immediately. I had been in lunchtime detention so did not know what had happened but they all looked worried.
It was about 10 minutes later that Angela returned in floods of tears and it was obvious by the way she was walking that she had been caned. Samantha returned a few minutes later in the same state, then 2 of the boys returned walking stiffly but not crying. Then George returned and he had a note for Mr Blackwood which George was asked to read out.
We apologise for disrupting this class but at lunchtime we had left school premises and were observed in the local park smoking. As is the rule, we have each received 4 strokes of the cane over our underwear and we are sorry for causing this disruption.
He then came and carefully sat down next to me. I put my hand over his and gave it a gentle squeeze. That evening when George came round, we were in my room when I had another chance to run my hand over the welts left by the Headmaster’s cane.
George said: “He laid it on really hard and it was the hardest I have had.”
He then admitted it was his fourth visit for the cane. I told him I had never been caned in class or by the head.
He said: “I know. Everybody says they can’t believe you have never had it after getting the slipper.”
I was shocked he knew about that as he was not in our class at the time.
He said: “Everyone heard about it and all the boys were talking about it.”
As I applied cream to his very sore looking bottom I got a strange feeling in my stomach and groin, and we became somewhat intimate. As I went to the bathroom, mum was coming upstairs.
She said: “Both of you get dressed and send George home now, please.”
After he left, I was quizzed by mum as to how long it had been going on and I explained it was the first time. She was really upset and told me I was grounded for 2 weeks and to think myself lucky I was not over her knee for a good spanking.
I saw George the following day at school and told him what had happened. Claire overheard us talking and couldn’t believe my mum had caught us. Several others also found out as word spread.
As we approached Easter Samantha, Joan, Julie and myself from our class, and Claire had all been placed in lunchtime detention by Mr Jefferies for running in the corridor. As we were sixth formers, we only had to do a set assignment which always took most of our hour detention and were not supervised.
I was sat on the front row and I heard Claire say: “Dawn! Catch!”
As I turned, a water balloon passed my head and landed on the floor in front of me, causing everybody to laugh out loud. About ten minutes later, Mr Jeffries entered the room to collect our assignments and, after doing so, stood at the front and said: “Would whoever made this mess on the floor stand up?”
Nobody answered, so he walked over to the classroom cupboard, opened it and took the classroom cane off the top shelf.
“Perhaps I should have caned you all earlier, then we wouldn’t have had this nonsense. So, one last time, who caused this mess?”
Silence prevailed as the rest of the girls began to look around.
“Ok, then I will cane you all.”
“It was Claire, Sir,” I blurted out, without realising what I was doing.
“Claire, is that correct?”
“Out here now and wait outside!”
“Dawn, clean this mess up and the rest of you can go.”
Mr Jefferies went outside and we heard him say: “We will see what the headmaster says about this,” and took Claire off.
The rest off the girls saw I was upset and said: “You shouldn’t have said anything. We would have just got a token 1 or 2 strokes on the hand. Now Claire will get at least 3 across the knickers. And if, as normal, she is wearing her briefs and not school knickers she will also get 2 on the hands as well.”
“I know, but I didn’t want the cane and she would have got it anyway and it just blurted out.”
As we settled down to our English lesson after lunch, Samantha tapped my leg and I looked to the window and saw Claire walking past in tears. Miss Marsden saw us whispering and told us both to come to the front.
“What were you talking about, Dawn?”
“I was just sympathising as our friend, Claire, walked past after visiting the headmaster, miss.”
“Well, you can both sympathise with her.”
Then she walked over to the cupboard and took her slipper from the top shelf.
“Samantha, face the blackboard and bend over, touching your toes.”
Her skirt rose up and Miss Marsden placed the slipper across her bottom. I could see it twitch, then she raised the slipper high above her head before bringing it down with an almighty whack across her bottom. Samantha was pushed forward slightly and, after 2 more thundering blows, I heard a screech from her. Another 2 followed in rapid succession and caused her skirt to rise, and I could see her red knickers through her tights. The final one was the hardest of them all and again brought her red knickers into view.
As she was told to stand, the tears were running freely down her cheeks.
“Dawn, face the blackboard and bend over, touching your toes, and don’t move.”
As I bent over, I felt my skirt, which was a couple of inches shorter than Samantha’s, rise and I realised that my lime green knickers would be seen by all the class when I started to get the slipper.
I felt the slipper rest on my bottom before moving, and heard a sudden bang followed by a pain all over my bottom. Another 2 followed on the same spot and I shrieked at the pain. Then 2 in quick succession and all thought of my knickers being on view disappeared with the pain. The final stroke caught me low down and, as I got up, tears were rolling down my face.
At break time George asked how I was and reminded me that I was lucky I had not been to the Headmaster as I would have received 1 stroke across each hand as well for not wearing school knickers. Just then Claire came outside and I gave her a big hug and apologised. She said she had been given 3 strokes of the cane across her knickers and another across each hand for wearing black briefs and not school knickers.
As we returned to school after Easter, all was well and friendly and nobody was in trouble in our group. As the end of term was fast approaching, Claire was informed that she had been selected to be Head Girl the following year. We all congratulated her over lunch and Samantha gave us all a mint Imperial.
As we split up, I told them I had to go and get my hockey kit from my locker as we had hockey the last 2 lessons. I collected my kit and headed for class.
As I passed the boiler room, I heard: “Help, please help!!”
I entered the room and shouted: “Hello, is anybody there?”
There was no reply, but I thought I heard somebody running away so I made my way back to the door. As I was leaving, the caretaker came and asked what I was doing as it was out of bounds.
I told him what had happened and he accompanied me back inside and said: “Somebody has been smoking in here. That’s dangerous as well as being against school rules. You can accompany me to the headmaster.”
“I haven’t been smoking. Smell my breath.”
“All I can smell is that mint you are sucking.”
We arrived at the Headmaster’s office and I was told to wait outside as he went in. After 5 mins he came out and as he walked away he rubbed his bottom, laughing as he did so.
After a few minutes, the secretary came out of her office with a pink folder and red leather book. She was just about to knock on the headmaster’s door when she turned around and went into her own office. She came back carrying a 4’0” long cane and went into the headmaster’s office.
I waited a few more minutes, not believing what was happening. The door opened and I was ushered into the office. The secretary stood just behind me and the headmaster was sat at a large oak desk which was clear apart from a pink folder and the red leather book which I could now see had the words PUNISHMENT BOOK in gold lettering on the front.
He asked me to give my side of events, so I told him everything. He sat and listened and appeared to be in deep thought for a few minutes before opening the leather book and turning a few pages before he found the one he wanted. He took a fountain pen out of his pocket and wrote in the book. He also opened the folder and wrote in that as well.
“Right, Marsh, just listen to me and do not try to interrupt. The caretaker found you in an out of bounds area. He could smell the fact that somebody had been smoking. He thought he could smell cigarettes on your breath and you were sucking on a mint to get rid of the smell. You say you heard somebody shout for help, but nobody was there. You say that you heard somebody run away but neither you nor the caretaker saw anybody.
“So, as far as i am concerned, you were smoking and in an out of bounds area, both of which carry a penalty of an automatic 3 strokes of the cane, thus making six in total.
“You will bend over the end of my desk and hold onto the far side. My secretary will then roll up your skirt, pin it to your blouse and pull your knickers tight. I will then administer your caning over your knickers. If you move or stand up, that stroke will not count and you will receive extra. Do it a second time and you will be held down and we will start again. Do you understand?
“I will then inform the school that you have received 6 strokes of the cane for smoking and being out of bounds at assembly on Friday, and 1 across each hand for wearing briefs and not school knickers. Ok prepare yourself.”
I just stood in total disbelief that i was going to be caned for the very first time for trying to help somebody.
“MARSH! Today please.”
I stepped forward and leaned across the desk.
“MARSH! Are you deliberately trying to annoy me? Stand up. How can I cane you across the knickers if you are wearing tights? Take them off.”
I stood up, took my knee length white socks off and put my hands up my skirt to gently ease my tights down so as not to pull my knickers down as well. I then leaned back over the desk again. As I gripped the far side, I felt the secretary start to roll my skirt up.
As she pinned the skirt to my blouse, she said: “Headmaster!”
The headmaster walked around the desk before saying: “Marsh, what colour are school knickers?”
“Why are yours yellow briefs then?”
He slammed the cane onto his desk and walked to the cupboard by the window. Taking out a smaller cane, he came back to where I was by now shaking.
“Right hand out!”
I lifted my hand in front of me.
When I eventually had it just below my shoulder height, he laid the cane across my palm and said: “If you 6th form girls think you are above wearing school knickers, well, you will now painfully learn that you are not,” before raising it high above his head and bringing it down across my hand. The pain had me screaming.
I gradually raised my left hand to be given the same treatment. He put that cane down and picked up the larger one.
“Right, back over the desk and no more silliness. You are going to receive 6 of the best, so just take them. When my secretary pulls your knickers tight they will not provide much protection.”
I felt the secretary’s fingers in the top of my knickers. She certainly pulled them up tight!
I then felt the cold feel of the cane against my bum. The tears were flowing onto the desk and I was having difficulty holding on to the desk. I didn’t realise the cane had moved till it landed across my bottom, bringing with it a feeling of pain I had never felt before. 2 more came and I was screaming for him to stop, but he carried on and the pain increased with each stroke. Then I felt the cane across the bottom of my bottom before moving and landing right in the crease of my bottom and thighs. I shrieked in pain.
As I heard him speak and put the cane down, I realised it was over.
The secretary unpinned my skirt and I tried to ease my knickers away from my bottom, but the pain was tremendous. I left them and picked up my tights and socks and went to put them in my pocket.
“You wore them when you entered my office, you will wear them when you leave.”
I struggled to pull my tights over my swollen bum with my sore hands and every move brought more pain. I had to pull my knickers out of my bottom and the elastic in the legs rubbed against the welts. I finally got my tights on and as I bent down to put my socks on the pain increased again.
Eventually I was dressed and the secretary handed me some tissues. I was then told to sign the punishment book and saw my name:
MARSH D. Out of bounds in boiler room. 3 strokes of senior cane over knickers.
MARSH D. Smoking in the Boiler room. 3 strokes of senior cane over knickers.
MARSH D. Wearing yellow briefs. 1 stroke of hand cane across each hand.
I had to sign all 3 entries as being correct. As the secretary countersigned, she then took the book and my folder together with the senior cane back to her office.
“Right, Marsh, I will now escort you back to your lesson where you can inform the class what has happened and apologise for the interruption.”
I had to try to follow the headmaster back to class, but every step was agony. As we entered, I was still in tears and I was told to face the class and tell them why I was late.
“I was seen coming out of the boiler room and accused of smoking. I received 3 strokes of the senior cane across my bottom for each offence.”
Just then the headmaster grabbed my shoulder, spun me around so my back was to the class, lifted the back of my skirt and gave me 2 really hard smacks across the top of each thigh and 1 across each bottom cheek.
“That is not what you signed the punishment book for.”
“No, Sir. 3 for being out of bounds and 3 for smoking, Sir, and one across each hand for wearing yellow briefs instead of maroon school knickers.”
I was in agony for the remainder of the day till we got changed for Hockey and everybody wanted to touch my bottom. It was agony running around. As I was getting a cold shower, the Headmaster’s secretary came and told me she had 3 forms for my parents to sign and return in the morning.
After school, George said that he would take me home and put cream on, if I wished. We got on the bus last so there was standing room only and George stood behind me to protect my bottom.
As we got home, mum saw I had been crying. I give her my notes and she asked George if he would like to stay for evening dinner with us. He accepted, so mum went to phone his mum and told her my dad would bring him home.
As George and I were going up to my room, mum asked: “I take it you want George to rub cream onto your bottom?”
“Well, I was hoping he would.” I replied.
“Well, not yet! Dawn, I Know your 2 brothers are 10 and 12 years older than you, but how good is your memory? Do you remember what happened when Philip or Roger came home after receiving the cane?”
I stood there trying to think and then remembered.
“Mum! You can’t be serious. I am 18!”
“Yes, and Roger was 18 the last time he was caned. So, Dawn, I am afraid that you will soon be bent over the kitchen table in front of everybody, and that will include George, to receive the same number of whacks with dad’s shaving strop as you had with the cane, and over your bare bottom. Remember, Sophie saw Roger punished. And, apparently, it will be nothing George hasn’t seen before. The only concession I’m giving is that you can take it now off me and not wait till dad comes home.”
George said: “Please, Mrs Marsh, do I have to witness this?”
“Yes, George, I think you should.”
I looked at George and said: “Can you do it now, mum?”
She went to the bathroom, returned with the strop and told me to bend over the table. George was asked to stand over the other side and to hold my arms. She then undid my skirt and took it off, and pulled my knickers and tights down to my knees. She then, without warning, started, and although nowhere near as hard as dad would have given me, they still hurt due to my caning.
As she finished, I jumped up and George smiled at me as I pulled my tights up enough to run upstairs. Mum handed George a large bottle of cold cream and he followed me to my room. I had just fallen on to the bed. He gently pulled my tights knickers and socks off before applying the cold cream, very gently, to my bottom.
Dad asked if I was alright when he saw my letters to sign and I told him I was now and that mum had punished me as well.
Both my parents and George’s parents accepted our relationship as we were both 18 and could marry if we wished, but we wanted to go to university. So as long as we were reasonably discreet they approved.
There were no more problems before breaking up, apart from a lunchtime detention for me for fidgeting with the pain in my bottom.
Just after the start of our final term, Samantha, Claire and myself were laughing as we were leaving assembly and, as we passed the Headmaster’s office, he came out and lined us up on the opposite wall. As the rest of the school filed past, he gave each of us 2 strokes across each hand. That meant another 4 across my bare bum at home, and this time they really hurt.
Both George and I did very well and both went to university, but after 2 years we went our separate ways, although we are still friends today.
© Gillian Howard 2015