A different way of describing a girl’s school paddling

By Paul Tecres

 Excerpt from Ridgewood Academy Student Handbook:

Corporal Punishment Policy:

 Corporal punishment at this institution is administered using a wooden paddle. The paddle is to be made from pine, or a similar type of wood, and have a smooth surface. The dimensions of the paddle are as follows. Eighteen inches in length, with eight inches of it shaped into a handle. The blade is four inches wide, and the paddle is three eighths of an inch thick. Students assigned corporal punishment will be given a minimum of three strikes, up to a maximum of ten strikes at the teacher’s discretion. For male students, corporal punishment will be administered by Principal Thomas Dolan. Female students’ corporal punishment is administered by Coach Amanda Hargrove.

When a teacher feels that a student’s actions merit corporal punishment, they will perform the following procedure. The teacher will log into the school network and submit a Corporal Punishment Referral Form. This form will be submitted electronically to the appropriate designated administrator, as well as the school disciplinary committee. In the form, the teacher will include the nature of the offense, as well as any specific details necessary, and also include the required number of strikes. The student will then have up to three days to report to the designated administrator. If the student fails to report in this time period, additional disciplinary measures may be taken, up to and including assignment of a second corporal punishment.

Appeals:

 If the student feels that they have been assigned corporal punishment unfairly, or have been assigned an excessive punishment, then they may submit an appeal to the disciplinary committee. This appeal may be sent via email to disciplinary@ridgewood.edu. Students will have three days to submit an appeal. The committee reviews each appeal thoroughly, and once a decision has been reached it will be considered final. The student will then face whichever action the committee has decided on. It should be noted that there are multiple possible outcomes to an appeal. The following are just a few examples:

* Student is given a reduced corporal punishment.

* Student is given a warning only with no other disciplinary action.

* Student is given an alternative to corporal punishment such as Saturday detention, suspension from school, or being barred from certain school activites. (sports, prom, etc)

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Corporal Punishment Referral

 Teacher: Helen Kasinsky (Substitute)

Student name (Last, First Middle): Rodgers, Kelsea Ann

Offense: I warned the entire class at the start that I do not tolerate talking during class time, and that anyone caught talking out of turn would be subject to disciplinary action. I do not appreciate disruptions to the learning environment. Not with this, or any other class that I teach. Despite this warning, I witnessed Kelsea Rodgers whispering something to a classmate. When I confronted her about the matter she attempted to argue the point. I do not tolerate rude, argumentative behavior either. Since I will be teaching this class as a substitute for two more days, an example will be made. I am assigning young Miss Rodgers 5 strikes for talking in class after being warned against it. I am also assigning an additional 3 strikes for arguing. Maybe this will get my point across.

Number of strikes: 8

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From: Kelsea.Rodgers@ridgewoodstudents.edu

To: disciplinary@ridgewood.edu.

Subject: Disciplinary appeal

Dear Committee,

My name is Kelsea Rodgers and I have been assigned a corporal punishment totaling eight strikes. I was assigned this punishment due to a misunderstanding. The substitute teacher in my physics class, Miss Kasinky, witnessed the end of a brief exchange between myself and a friend of mine. My friend whispered to me that she needed to borrow a pen because hers was running out of ink. I handed her an extra pen that I had with me, and she thanked me for that. I whispered back to her “no problem.” That is what Miss Kasinsky witnessed. It was only a low whisper, not loud enough to cause a disruption.

I apologized and tried to politely explain myself. Miss Kasinsky interpreted this as me arguing with her. I was really surprised by that, and all I could think to do was apologize once again. Miss Kasinsky seemed to be even more infuriated by this, and told me that she would submit a referral with additional punishment for back talk. I sat in stunned silence then, mostly because I felt like any reply I gave would only make things worse. I meant no disrespect toward Miss Kasinsky, and I am not questioning her by writing this appeal.

My regular physics teacher, Mrs. Burke, would not have assigned corporal punishment for whispering. At worst, she would have given me a warning. Also, if I politely explained the circumstances to her I know that she would have understood. It is for these reasons that I feel a punishment of eight strikes with the paddle to be excessive. I humbly ask to not receive corporal punishment for this offense. If the committee feels disciplinary action needs to be taken I will fully accept whichever action is deemed necessary. Thank you for taking this matter into consideration.

Sincerely,

Kelsea Rodgers

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From: disciplinary@ridgewood.edu

To: Kelsea.Rodgers@ridgewoodestudents.edu

Subject: re: Disciplinary appeal

Kelsea,

We have reviewed your appeal carefully and fully understand your request. After careful consideration we found the following. You did violate a class rule as set by the substitute teacher regarding talking in class. Furthermore, this was a class rule that you were warned about. For that reason the committee has decided to allow corporal punishment in this matter.

However, the committee has also found the corporal punishment assigned by Miss Kasinsky to be excessive, and she has been advised to avoid further attempts at making an example of students in her charge. We’ve also spoken with a classmate of yours who confirmed that you did try to politely apologize and explain yourself. Therefore we have decided to amend your corporal punishment.

You will only be paddled for breaking the no talking rule, and we are only assigning four strikes for this. You will need to report to Coach Hargrove within the next three days for your punishment to be carried out. We know this disciplinary action can be difficult to endure, but we do have your best interests at heart. We advise you to think of this as simply another learning experience to help you be your absolute best.

Sincerely,

Ridgewood Disciplinary Committee

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Dear Diary,

As I’m writing this, I’m sitting on top of a padded cushion in the seat of my desk chair. After my recent response from the disciplinary committee at school I just wanted to get the whole thing over with. I had until Friday to do it, but I decided not to wait. I went to see Coach Hargrove today.

I went to her office during my lunch break, since my stomach was tied in knots anyway. She didn’t yell at me or lecture me in any way. She was as friendly as usual, and didn’t really make a big deal out of it. I was grateful for that, and I think it made things mildly easier, though it was still a very difficult experience. She looked up my revised referral on her computer. After reading over it she had me hang a ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign on the hook outside of her office door, and then close the door and lock it.

She opened the bottom drawer of her file cabinet and took the paddle out. It was one of the scariest things I’ve ever seen. The dimensions were exactly as described in the handbook, and the corners of the blade were rounded off. Coach directed me to a spot on the right side of her desk. There, she told me to stand with my feet shoulder-width apart. Then she had me keep my legs straight and bend over until my elbows rested on the desk. She walked around behind me and tapped the paddle a few times on my bottom.

Then she said, “Kelsea, get ready.”

At that I closed my eyes and braced myself.

The first swat landed with a loud reverberant thud. I flinched at the impact. I wasn’t sure if I did that because of pain, or the sound. Looking back now, I think the anticipation may have been worse than the strike was. About three seconds passed and she landed the second swat. I gasped at how much it hurt. Another three seconds went by and the third swat hit. I yelped at that one. I was already so sore from the first two that it seemed to have more bite to it. Coach Hargrove told me that I had one more to go, then delivered the last one with the same vigor. After one last shout of agony from me, she told me I could get up whenever I was ready. I stood up slowly as my backside throbbed. The way she swung that paddle, it made sense to me that she coaches the tennis team. She asked me if I was okay, and I told her I was.

When she told me I could go, I went to the restroom. I made sure that nobody was around to see me. Then I lowered my jeans and underwear to check my backside in the mirror. The lower portion of it was a dark red with two bullseye shaped bruises right on the sit-spot. I’m still very sore, and I feel like that is going to persist for the next few days. I am thankful that the committee cut my sentence in half. I can’t imagine taking eight swats from that awful thing. I probably wouldn’t be able to sit comfortably for weeks. I’m glad this horrible ordeal is over. I never want to see that paddle again.

Kelsea

The End

© Paul Tecres 2022