A girl finds her demerit marks creeping up with unfortunate consequences

By Gillian Howard

My name is Tabatha Greengage, but everybody knows me as Tammy. After I had recently finished my O levels and got excellent grades in all subjects. I was invited to join a prestigious mixed 6th form at the local Grammar school. We all had to wear school uniform at all times, both boys and girls. Ours was a red blazer, grey pleated skirt no more than 3inches above the knee, with a white blouse and red/yellow stripped tie and a red beret. Oh yes, and red knickers which were far from flattering or comfortable as they had tight elastic around the legs and waist. We had to wear ankle length white socks in summer and knee length in winter, and for gym a red leotard. Boys wore grey trousers and red blazer with the same tie and white shirt and red peaked cap, even in the 6th form.

Corporal punishment was carried out both in class by the use of the slipper across the bottom or the ruler across the hands. If you were sent to the Headmaster it was the cane across your underwear.

All teachers used to give you a demerit for minor infringements in class and if you reached a certain number you had to visit the Headmaster for the cane. The disadvantage being they never always told you that you had a demerit. Most girls said they thought you had to get at least 12 demerits in a term to be caned.

I soon settled into the new school, made many friends and excelled at the work we were given. Any assignments I was given were always handed in early or on time and I always finished in the top 3 or 4.

During my first year at the sixth form, several boys and girls were punished in class and some of the class visited the Headmaster for the cane. The marks on their bottom, which you saw in the changing room, were awful and looked extremely painful. Also, if you received corporal punishment you were given a letter to take home for your parents to sign.

I had never to my knowledge even received a demerit and when my term reports arrived home the first one at Christmas had in the top left corner:


Punished in class                     0

Caned by the Headmaster       0 

Demerits                                  0

Detentions                               0

Mum and Dad were really pleased as my Easter report was exactly the same.

As we continued into the summer term we all started to look forward to the holiday and Mum and Dad were taking me to the Costa Del Sol for 2 weeks.

About 2 weeks before we broke up for the holidays, we went to our Maths lesson on Tuesday after lunch. Mr Normanton said as we all sat down: ”Tabatha Greengage, stand up please.”

I stood up and could feel myself blushing as I was expecting to be called out for punishment but didn’t know why.

“Tabatha, I saw you in the playground at lunch with your beret in your pocket, not on your head. I don’t know if you had just returned to the school premises or not so I am giving you the benefit of the doubt. If you were seen outside without it you would be on your way to the Headmaster, so I am giving you the maximum I can of 6 demerits. Now sit down.”

I could feel myself blushing for the rest of the lesson. As we went into the playground all my friends came up to me asking if I already had any demerits and I said: “Not that I know of, but I will be hoping the secretary doesn’t arrive in our physics class.”

During our lesson, which was the last of the day, I was continually looking when somebody walked past. Mr Marsden was a very popular teacher, always willing to help, and was normally very lenient.

Just before the end of the lesson, I heard him say: “Tabatha, stand up please. Why do you keep looking out the window?”

I said: “Sorry sir, but Mr Normanton gave me 6 demerits in the last lesson, sir, and I don’t know if I already had any, so I was watching for the school secretary, sir.”

“Well Tabatha, you can now think about it even more over night as I am giving you 2 demerits. Now buckle down to work.”

As I walked home, Laura, my best friend, said it looked like I may be paying a visit to the Headmaster tomorrow morning.

I got up the following morning and mum noticed something was wrong, but I just said I was ok. I met with a girl called Kerry and we walked to school together. She advised me to sit at the end of the row in assembly so that if I was called out it would be easier for me to walk to the front. As assembly finished I was really getting nervous as it was not unusual for the Headmaster to call out boys’ and girls’ names for having too many demerits. They then had to stand at the front of assembly before being sent to his office for the cane.

As he stood up he said that 4 boys and 3 girls had surpassed the allowed demerits so would each receive 6 strokes of the cane. He then read out the names of the boys and 2 girls before saying: “There was also an upper 6th girl who will be getting the cane for the first time.”

Before he said anything, I had started to rise when I heard: “Kerry Halsall, come to the front please.”

Kerry looked at me and rose and was shocked and close to tears as she passed me and went to the front.

We had a free double period so I made my way to the common room and about 15 minutes later Kerry poked her head round the door and I followed her to the toilets. We went into a cubicle and she threw her hands around my neck.

“Oh Tammy, that was awful. He really laid it on and I am in agony. Will you check the damage?”

She turned round and leaned against the wall. I lifted her skirt and eased her knickers down and there were 6 very angry marks.

I said: “I brought some cream with me as I expected to be caned. I will go and get it and come back. Just wait here.”

I got the cream and returned. As I knocked on the cubicle door she opened it and the tears were streaming down her face. I managed to apply plenty of cream to the marks which were really raised and looked very painful. She eventually managed to come back to the common room just before the break bell sounded and had a cup of tea.

She told me that she had no idea she had any demerits and she hadn’t felt pain like it before. We slowly walked back to class as the bell sounded and arrived about a minute late. Miss Woodward, our English teacher, said she would normally give us both demerits but as Kerry was in obvious pain and I was looking after her she gave us both a detention for the following Monday night. We both served the detention.

The following Friday we broke up for summer. As we were getting ready to depart to the airport the following morning, the phone rang and it was Kerry to say the post had arrived with her report and she had received 12 demerits in total, but never more than 3 at a time, so it must be right that you get caned after 12.

I said that it was lucky we got the detention as 4 demerits and I would have been caned as I knew I had 8. Then I heard the post arrive and mum shout for me to go down.

Again, I had a fantastic report and mum asked about the punishment section.

Punished in class                 0

Caned by the Headmaster   0

Demerits                             11   see below

Detention                              1   see below 


Not wearing beret. Could have been outside school without it – 6 demerits                       

Not paying attention in class. – 2 demerits         

Not spending free period in Common room – 3 demerits 

Detention        Late for class

Mum and Dad both said they were disappointed as I had never in all my time at school received any formal punishments. I phoned Kerry and told her I had 11 demerits and mum and dad were not pleased. She seemed to be sobbing and she said she had just been given a bare bottom spanking by her mum. We arranged to meet after I returned.

After a fantastic holiday, I returned with a great tan and met up with Kerry.

We went back to school and there were a couple of new teachers. We only had Mr Jameson for gym. Our classes were now smaller and mainly consisted of 7 boys and 8 girls. I was still doing well in all my exams and everybody had started to apply for university places.

On our fourth week back, it was Kerry’s birthday and as we changed for gym we sang happy birthday to her. We went into the gym and as we entered the boys all came in. As we waited for Mr Jameson he came in and asked the boys to lift the top 3 parts of the vaulting box off and put to one side.

He asked all the class to sit around the box, boys on one side girls on the other. He went back to his office, came out and placed a large plimsoll on the box.

“Ok, does any of you know what this is for?”

Jeff, one of the funniest of the lads, said: “ to warm up naughty botties, sir?”

“Correct, and who do any of you think needs a bottom warming?”

We all looked at each other, then I put my hand up.

“I don’t think anybody does, sir, as no-one has done anything wrong.”

“You are Tabatha, aren’t you?”

I just nodded.

“Do you think you need your bottom warming?”

I shook my head. “No Sir.”

He asked the boys: “Do you think Tabatha needs her bottom warming?”

“YES! YES! YES!” Screamed the boys in reply.

“I agree,” said Mr Jameson. “So bend over the box as far as you can so your bottom is facing the girls. The reason all the girls are going to receive 6 with the slipper is for singing in the changing room instead of getting changed. Do you still think you do not deserve a bottom warming, Tabatha?”

“Sorry sir.”

“Don’t move or there will be extra.”

I had to lie there facing all the boys as I was to receive my first ever dose of corporal punishment. The first stroke landed on my left cheek and really stung. I did all I could to not let it show in my face, but after 4 whacks tears were running down my face. After the 6th I stood up and was told to bend over touching my toes as the others were all given the slipper. I could see that all the girls bottoms were as red as our leotards. I was really embarrassed afterwards but we all got changed in absolute silence.

I noticed over the next few weeks that more demerits were being handed out, but only in 1 or 2’s. On a Monday morning, just at the start of our last lesson, I received what I think was my first demerit of the term; 4 demerits for coming to class with my top blouse button undone  and 4 demerits for my tie not being tied correctly after I had done a very strenuous work out in the gym during a double free period for a gymnastics competition. I was representing the school on the Friday.

That afternoon the school secretary came in and asked for Kerry to go along to see the Headmaster. As she returned she was all smiles as she had been offered a place at her favoured university if she got the required grades. As she came back she had to tell the class and asked for Julie to go the headmaster. I turned to Kerry and congratulated her.  Julie also came back to say she had also been granted her place at university.

Then on Wednesday afternoon Jon was called to the Headmaster’s study to be told that he had also been accepted. The week after I had represented the school at gymnastics, where I won the overall and floor and vault, at the Friday assembly, as we came to the end, the headmaster called out 4 boys and one girl and sent them to his office to be caned.

He then said: “Could Tabatha Greengage please come to the front of the Hall?”

As got to my feet, my legs were like jelly and my stomach was turning. I could feel myself blushing as I expected to be sent to his office as I thought I must have accrued 12 demerits and would therefore be caned for the first time.

The Headmaster said: “Last Friday, Tabatha represented the school in the county gymnastics and came 1st overall, 1st on floor exercise, 1st on the vault and to cap a great week we have just heard this morning she has been accepted by Oxford university if she gets the required grade. The whole school rose and applauded me.

The following 2 weeks, the last before Easter, were spent on revision. On Friday morning the headmaster wished us all a happy Easter and reminded everybody that  after Easter it would be the exam period starting. We were going to London over Easter and then to Brighton to meet my aunt and uncle and twin cousins, both 17,  Wayne and Christine.

Miss Woodward told us to continue reading a Tale of 2 Cities. I had only finished it last night but just opened the page after about 30 mins.

“Tabatha, concentrate on your book please.” Miss Woodward said.

It was a double period and several others were told to concentrate with the last 5 mins approaching.

“Tabatha, I will not tell you again.”

I finished the lesson and went for break. We were chatting in the common room and Kerry said: “It’s a good job it’s last day of term or she would have given you the ruler at least.”

“I know,” I replied. We had our lunch and now just had double gym after afternoon registration as we were finishing early.

At registration our form teacher, Mr Gaskell, went through the term both good and bad and stressed how well I had done in Gymnastics and academically. As we were about to leave he said: “Tabatha, the headmaster would just like a quick word, if he may.”

I blushed and passed my kit to Kerry who said: “I bet you are in the county team for gymnastics.”

I arrived at his office and knocked.

“Enter,” I heard, and went into his large study, He was sat at his desk and told me to sit down. He then handed me a letter that was an invite to represent the county at gymnastics.

As I thanked him, as he congratulated me, I stood and turned to go, but he said: “Wait, please.”

I turned and he picked up a pink folder off his desk and looked at it before saying: “Tabatha, do you know how many demerits you have this term?”

“I think, 9 sir.”

“Let me tell you. You received 4 for returning to class with just your top shirt button not fastened. I have all the dates if you wish to check. 4 for not having your tie fastened correctly and 3 separate single ones for not paying attention making 11, not 9.

“Then this morning Miss Woodward had to speak to you twice for daydreaming. She has given you 2 demerits for the first occasion and 3 demerits for the second. This brings your total to 16.

“Since 12 demerits earns you six strokes of the cane, and that leaves you with another 4 demerits unresolved, I think we will give you an additional two strokes on the hand.”

I just stood there in total shock never having been caned before and now I was to get a total of eight strokes.

“Bend over my desk and hold the other side tight. If you stand you will get extra.”

He lifted my skirt and pinned it to my blouse. As soon as he did I realised that we had all changed into our leotards ready for gym.

“I think you may well regret wearing your leotard, young lady.”

I felt the cane rest across my bottom, then heard the swoosh thwack and a line of fire sear across my bottom. Another 4 followed quickly after each other and I was screaming with pain. The final one was across the very top of my thighs.

I was told to stand and saw him put the cane away, but he then took out a smaller one. He picked up a science lab stool from the window alcove and placed it in front of me.

He said: “You will now sit on the stool and hold one hand out. You will receive three strokes. Move your hand and the cane will strike the tops of your thighs. That would be extremely painful, so I suggest you do not move your hand. Understand?”

I nodded, sat on the stool and offered up my left hand. He adjusted it slightly upwards and then brought the cane down hard 3 times. I was screaming in agony.

The End

© Gillian Howard