Fighting in school means two girls have a choice

 By Paul Tecres

Paula and I sat in the office chairs across from our principal, Mr Legrand. We had both just finished giving our respective sides of the story concerning our girly fight in the hallway earlier. Neither of us were injured, as it was more of a shoving match, and was quickly broken up by a couple of teachers before things could escalate. Now that we had talked through the events, everyone involved had calmed down a little. After Mr Legrand finished looking something up on his computer, he spoke to us again.

“I’m glad that neither of you are hurt, and that you seem to be on friendly terms now. That being said, physical altercations of any kind are strictly forbidden on school grounds. In fact, that is a very serious violation of the rules of conduct. What that means for the two of you is that we now have to discuss disciplinary action.

“Now, I just looked up both of your school records. I found that both of you have parental consent on file for corporal punishment. That may not sound like a good thing, but it does give you some options as to how we handle this.

“Because we have a zero-tolerance policy on fights, this would get you suspended for seven school days. You won’t be allowed to make up work during that time. However, since we have that consent on file, I can offer an alternative. Instead of the suspension you can opt for seven swats with the paddle. The choice is up to each of you.”

We both sat in stunned silence. I had heard horror stories from classmates who had only gotten three swats with that paddle, and they said it was excruciating. Mr Legrand brought us back to reality then.

“Melissa, what are your thoughts on those two choices?”

“Um, could we see the paddle first?” I asked.

“Sure, hold on just a moment.”

Mr Legrand opened the bottom drawer of the file cabinet next to his desk. He pulled out the paddle and handed it to me. It looked quite menacing. It was about eighteen inches long, with eight inches of that carved into a handle. The blade was four inches wide, with rounded corners, and it felt fairly heavy. I found the thought of that being used on me terrifying. I offered to let Paula have a closer inspection of it, but she declined. I handed the paddle back to Mr Legrand and thanked him. He was very understanding of how I felt.

“I know this is not an easy decision, and it’s not meant to be. You two don’t have to decide right now. I’ll have you both called back here during your last class of the day. You can give me your decisions then and we’ll carry out whichever option you choose.”

We both thanked Mr Legrand as he dismissed us.

Immediately after we left the office, the lunch time bell rang. I sat in the cafeteria thinking things over since I couldn’t bring myself to eat. If I took the suspension, I wouldn’t be allowed to make up any work that I missed. I didn’t like that idea as I had been on the honor roll this year and wanted to keep my grades up.

I knew that my parents would accept whichever punishment the school administered, so I wasn’t worried about trouble at home. The more I thought it over, the more the paddle looked like the best of the two bad options. I’d be sore for a while, but at least it would be over quickly.

I spent the rest of the day trying not to think about my impending paddling. My efforts proved futile. Finally, during my last class with forty-five minutes left in the school day, I was summoned to the principal’s office. I was almost relieved that this would be over soon. That’s what I kept telling myself.

Paula and I arrived at Mr Legrand’s office at almost the same time. He called us in after a very brief wait and told us to have a seat. We sat across from him once again as he reminded us of the two options.

“Alright, it’s a seven-day suspension, or seven swats with the paddle. Melissa, what’s your decision?”

I struggled to get the words out.

“I, I’ll take the, uh, the paddle.” There was something surreal about hearing myself say that.

“Okay, I think that’s a wise decision. Paula, what have you decided?”

She took a deep breath and exhaled before replying.

“I’ll take the suspension.”

“Okay, Paula. That’s seven school days starting tomorrow, and since tomorrow is Thursday that means you’ll be out the rest of this week, and all of next week. I just want to be sure you understand that.”

“Yes sir,” she replied.

He wrote her a pass to return to her class. After Paula left, he turned to me again.

“Melissa, I’ll need you to wait outside while I get everything ready. You can have a seat on the chairs just outside the door. It won’t take long. Any questions before you step out?”

“Well, I’m not sure how to put this exactly. I’ve never been paddled before, and I wondered if you have any advice to offer?”

Mr Legrand paused for a moment before answering.

“I’d say, just follow instructions, and tell yourself that it will be over quickly. Also, since you have long hair, I’d recommend putting it in a ponytail so it doesn’t hang down in your face.”

That did make me feel a tiny bit better about my circumstances.

“Thank you,” I replied as I stepped outside and closed the door.

I decided to heed the advice, and tied my hair back as I sat down. The five minutes I spent sitting there seemed to drag on endlessly. Finally, Mr Legrand called me back into the office.

He closed the door behind me as I entered. I looked around and saw a couple of small changes. On his desk, he had the paddle with a piece of paper next to it. He had also moved one of the chairs to the center of the room.

He had me walk to the desk first. There he had me sign the piece of paper stating that I was opting for corporal punishment in lieu of suspension. After that, he picked up the paddle and directed me to the chair, and had me stand behind it before issuing his instructions.

“You’ll need to bend over the back of the chair and put your elbows down in the seat, and you’ll need to stay in that position until I tell you to get up.”

I got in position as instructed. The chair back dug into my abdomen slightly, and my thin cotton pants stretched tight across my bottom. I was glad I had taken the advice about putting my hair in a ponytail. Mr Legrand lined the paddle up on my backside and tapped it a couple of times. He then reminded me one more time of the penalty I was facing.

“Okay Melissa, it’s gonna be seven swats today. Let’s begin.”

With that statement, he drew the paddle back and landed the first swat. It made a reverberant ‘Pow’ that sounded like a gunshot going off. I let out an exclamation of, “Oooh!” It wasn’t really from the sensation of the paddle striking. The impact had caused my body to lurch forward a little which dug my abdomen into the chair a little more.

About five seconds passed and the second swat landed. I let out a grunt at that one. Now I was starting to feel sore, and my backside was heating up. The paddling continued at the same pace.




“Ahhhh!” I exclaimed as I jumped up and rubbed my sore backside. That swat had hit a very tender spot incredibly hard. Mr Legrand got my attention after the scream.

“Melissa, we’re not finished yet.”

I panicked and began apologizing, but the words just didn’t seem to come out right.

“Oh no! Sir I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to, uh!”

He seemed to understand and replied calmly.

“Melissa, it’s okay. We’ve only got three left. Just take a couple of deep breaths, then get back in position so we can finish up.”

After two deep breaths I bent over the chair again.

“Ready Melissa?”

“Yes sir.”

He tapped the paddle again and drew back as I braced myself. The fifth swat landed and I whimpered as I felt tears fill my eyes. The sixth brought them streaming down my face. Finally, the last swat landed, and I grunted loudly.

“Alright Melissa, we’re finished. You can get up when you’re ready. There’s no rush.”

I stood up carefully and took a moment to collect myself. I then learned of another small benefit of this experience. Mr Legrand informed me that under school policy any student who gets paddled gets a pass for the rest of the day. It suddenly made sense why he did paddlings during the last class of the day.

My drive home was unpleasant to say the least. Every bump in the road seemed to make the suffering worse. When I arrived, I went up to my room and got undressed from the waist down. I looked at my bottom in the mirror, and was quite shocked. The lower half of it was crimson in color, and I had a few dark purple bruises in various places. The skin stayed red for five days afterwards, and the bruises hung around for about three more. During that time, I got a reminder of my punishment every time I sat down. I don’t think I had noticed before just how much sitting I did in a typical day.

I saw Paula on the Monday after her suspension was up. I was sitting outside of the library that morning waiting for the first bell to ring when she came over to me.

“Hey Melissa, I just wanted to say I’m sorry about the fight, and both of us getting in trouble.”

“It’s alright. It was as much my fault as yours.”

“Are you doing okay?”

“Yeah. I’m just glad to finally be able to sit down comfortably again.”

“Same here.”

I was slightly perplexed by that reply.

“Hmm. I thought you opted for suspension.”

“I did. When my dad found out, though, he wasn’t pleased at all. If I had taken the paddling he would have considered it settled. Since I didn’t, well, off came his belt. I bent over the edge of my bed, and got my bottom whipped furiously.”

My jaw dropped in response to that. Paula continued.

“See, you were definitely the smart one. If I had taken the paddle, it would have been seven licks and done. I don’t know how many my dad gave me. He made sure he got his point across, and I got the message crystal clear.”

Paula and I ended up hanging out after school later that week. We swapped stories and gave more specifics. I told her about how vicious the paddle felt, and the drive home, and what my backside looked like afterwards. She told me about how her dad laid down a rapid volley of licks with his belt, then paused to scold her briefly before resuming. He went through about three rounds of that before telling her that she had five more to go. Then he delivered those last five one-at-a-time and even harder than the others.

We became really close friends after that conversation. I’m grateful for her friendship. When I look back now, though, I can’t help thinking, “What an incredibly odd thing to bond over.”

The End

© Paul Tecres 2022