Corporal punishment follows a girl through her academic career.

 By Gillian Howard

My story goes back to the late sixties and early seventies. When I was 4 and 5 I had a minor speech impediment which meant I had to attend weekly speech therapy sessions every week for 9 months. This resulted in me falling behind most pupils and I was tormented by the other students so I became very introverted and I found it hard to participate in class. When I was approaching 11 I had a growing spurt and was 5’1” tall, a lot taller than any other girl in my class and got called more names. When the time for the 11+ exam came around I was crying through most of the exam, so failed miserably. I was then sent to a secondary modern school.

At this school, lessons were mainly seen as a way to educate you towards a trade, or labouring for the boys and hairdressing, office work or sales assistant for us girls. In our school corporal punishment was a daily occurrence and we saw at least 1 boy caned across his short pants in front of the class every day. Girls were thought of as too fragile to be smacked or caned and we would get lines (25) or 30 mins detention.

Before I started at the secondary modern, we moved to the next town as dad had changed his job, so I started a new school where I knew nobody and was soon friends with several girls and boys. We also did not have to wear uniform and the naughtier boys always wore jeans as the thicker material gave them more protection. We would also be the first year that all schools took pupils till they were 16, as before only Grammar schools did that.

By the time I was in the fourth year I was 5’8” tall and as all the girls wore mini skirts mine looked a lot shorter than the rest, even though it wasn’t. At the start of the Easter term of our fourth year we got a new Headmaster who could see no reason that girls could not be smacked but would not be caned. The first morning back, I was walking around with 2 visible hand prints on each leg for talking in assembly with a boy who was given 3 strokes of the cane.

Just before we broke up for summer, I was in English on the Friday morning when the headmaster’s secretary came in and said: “Margaret Smith, to the headmaster’s office immediately.”

I got up blushing and followed her to the head’s office. As I entered, mum and dad were sat there and I almost started crying as I was really worried, but the headmaster said: “Nothing to worry about; in fact quite the opposite. I have just been discussing with your parents your final year next year. All the teachers are of the same opinion as me, that you should be entered for the GCE exams and not the CSE exams, but we do not run the syllabus here. I have spoken to the education chairman and he is willing for you to remain at this school and to take the exams from here with some specialised teaching. Then, if you pass them, you would be allowed to enter the grammar school’s 6th form the following year.”

I was stood open mouthed before saying: “Will I be able to catch up as my cousin is well ahead of me and he is the same age.”

“It will be hard work but we think you will. Otherwise we would not ask you and if you feel it is too much you can still revert back.”

It was agreed that I would see how it went till February when I would sit the mock exams at the grammar school. I had a great summer and developed more body-wise, so I no longer looked tall and lanky, and I let my black hair grow past my shoulders. I became a member of the school netball team for obvious reasons and was really enjoying the challenge of the work I was doing. After a couple of mishaps on the homework, I managed to get really good marks for my school work and the tests that had been set for me.

The time came for the exams at the grammar school and Mr Warwick, our headmaster, took me along to the school in his car. I was shown where the exams would take place and told that I would be expected to be in my seat 10 mins before the exam started. I was also asked to make sure I turned up for the remainder of my exams in more appropriate clothing as my skirt was much too short.

The exams went really well but about 20 mins from the end of the last but one exam the girl sat in front of me was pulled from her seat and taken outside. I then heard, as I was sat next to the corridor window, the unmistakable sound of somebody receiving 4 strokes of the cane outside in the corridor. As our papers were being collected Miss Morrison, the Headmistress, walked in and picked up the test papers from the desk in front of me and ripped them up before saying: “Sheila was caught cheating and has suffered as a result and will fail this test.” She then left.

I got my results and had got at least 60% in all the exams. When I met up with my friends I told them what had happened and they said they had heard before about girls getting the cane at the grammar school. In the summer I sat the GCEs and passed 6 of the 8 I took, so was accepted to study Maths, Physics, Chemistry and General Studies in the sixth form at the grammar school.

I attended a parents’ meeting and was shocked to discover that corporal punishment was used widely at the school and the headmistress administered the cane over the pupils’ knickers. I would also have to wear a school uniform for the first time; the skirt at knee level and school knickers. We would also be expected to wear a red beret outside of school. When I went with mum to the school outfitters I was pleased to see the school knickers were in fact red in colour and although full were not baggy as I thought they might be.

During my first term I buckled down and was soon into the swing of the lessons. By Christmas at least half of the girls had been punished for even the most trivial of things. Some had to bend over and get the slipper, some got smacked legs. 8 girls had the cane across their hand and 5 had been to the headmistress for the cane. When I saw the marks during games they looked extremely painful.

During Easter term we took exams and I did very well. I was pleased I had become a member of their netball team due to my height, which was very useful. During one match at home Michelle, who I had become friendly with, was adjudged to have deliberately barged into one of the opponents right at the end and the penalty throws cost us the game. As we were applauding them off the field, Michelle whispered: “That was no foul; the bitch gave them that foul so her team would win.”

“My office, now, Cooper!” As we looked around, Miss Morrison was stood there so Michelle headed off as the rest of us headed for the showers. They all asked me what had happened to Michelle and I told them what she had said, and that Miss Morrison had heard her. They all said 6 for her then. As I came out of the showers, I had just dried myself and was putting my school knickers on when Michelle arrived back and walking appeared painful. I had just put my bra on when she asked if I could gently pull her knickers down, which I did, and immediately could feel the heat and then saw the 6 parallel welts raised above the skin.

As I saw them I gasped and said: “Wow, Michelle, they certainly look very painful.”

“Smith, what are you doing?” Miss Jermain, the games mistress, shouted from the door.

“Michelle asked me to help her take her knickers off, miss, so I obliged, miss.”

“You appeared to be taking a great deal of interest in her cane marks. Perhaps Miss Morrison will give you a matching set. Should I send you to find out, Smith?”

“I only commented how painful they looked, Miss.”

“I am sure they are very painful. Stand on the bench with your hands on your head while the rest get dressed, so I can decide what to do.” I stood on the bench in just my bra and knickers, realising that I was almost certainly going to receive some kind of corporal punishment for only the second time, and the first here at this school. There was a chance I may even be caned. Michelle came out of the showers and was stood to my right, and I again saw the marks.

“Smith, get down and touch your toes.” As I bent over, I knew I was to get the cane. I felt my knickers tighten and ride up, exposing more of my bottom. I heard Miss Jermain return from her office and as she stood at my left side I heard some murmuring from the other girls then Swish Thwack and my bottom exploded in a line of fire. There was another loud thwack and the pain caused me to scream out. A third followed before I heard her say: “Get up. Perhaps now you will not be so inquisitive when a girl gets the cane. Now, lower your knickers so all the girls can see you welts and remember next time it will be the headmaster.”

I lowered my knickers so all the girls could see my bottom. As I pulled my knickers back up I did not realise how the elastic would rub against the welts and screamed in pain. It was painful to sit for the rest of the day. As I got home the pain was not as bad and I managed to get through the evening without letting mum and dad know. I had the marks for about 4 days but it was a full week at least before the marks on Michelle’s bottom faded completely.

The rest of term went well and we broke up for summer without any further problems. I had become close friends with Michelle and Gwen and we made arrangements to meet up in town on the Saturday afternoon for some shopping. I got up on the Saturday at about 9.00am, went downstairs for breakfast and after washing my bowl told mum I was having a bath then going into town shopping and meeting Michelle and Gwen. After my bath I got dressed in my new purple hotpants which were really tight fitting and only just covered my briefs.

I came downstairs and went into the kitchen for a drink of water and dad saw me and said: “Well, I don’t think you could wear anything shorter, could you? Do you think she is ok going out like that, mother?”

“It is the modern style and we may not wear that type of clothing but all the girls seem to and she has done really well at school, dear.”

“I suppose so. Here is your spending money.” He handed me a £10 note, then added: “And you can have this as well for working really hard.” He gave me another £15 but then said: “Could you sit down a moment?” I put the money into my purse and sat on the chair opposite them both. Dad commented that at least I was still decent when sat down.

“Perhaps you could tell us, Margaret, why you did not tell us that you had been caned at school this term. It says you received 3 strokes across the knickers in games.”

“Sorry, but I didn’t want to disappoint you. I got caned for looking at Michelle’s cane marks as I helped her to take her knickers down. Am I in trouble for not telling you?”

“No. With the reputation the school has, we are surprised this was your first punishment. Now off you go and enjoy yourself and if you want you can invite Michelle and Gwen over for a sleepover sometime and I will contact their parents. Just remember in future, the next time you get caned don’t be afraid to tell us.”

“I won’t, but I hope there won’t be another time.” They both laughed.

I caught the bus and met Michelle and Gwen. We had a great day out. We met up several times a week during the holidays and even had a few days away with Michelle’s mum just before we returned to school, so we arrived back with great sun tans and were really happy.

As we waited for our first lesson we were talking about our sun tans with a few of the other girls when a young man came and asked us all to enter the classroom. When we sat down he introduced himself as Mr Marsden and he was to be our Maths and form teacher this year. He was quite good looking and only looked to be in his early twenties. He walked up and down the rows of desks, tapped Gwen on the shoulder and told her to go to the front. He then did the same with me, Michelle Olwyn and Bernice. He then said: “I know this is the start of a new school year and you want to catch up with friends, but not in school waiting in the hallway. I will not allow this. I may be new but you will all soon learn that I mean what I say. You 5 girls were chatting louder than the rest so while they may be lucky this time I will be watching. You 5 girls stand 2 feet apart and hold your hands out at elbow height straight in front. You are to receive 2 strokes of the cane across each hand. Any movement and you will go to the Headmaster for the cane off him as well.”

I could not believe this. The very first lesson and I was to receive the cane. He retrieved a cane from his cupboard and stood at the side of Gwen, laid the cane across her right palm before raising it above his shoulder and bringing it down wit real force. This caused a squeal from Gwen. Another followed before he told her to lower her right hand and gave her 2 across the left. By this time she was really in tears. I then saw him rest the cane across my right palm and my eyes followed the cane above his head. It slashed down and I let out a screech as it landed and I saw what looked like 2 welts appear on my hand before a second stroke landed, reducing me to tears. I lowered my right hand as told, and then the cane was resting on my left hand and the procedure repeated.

After we had all been caned he said: “Let that be a lesson to you all. I will not tolerate any interruptions unless being asked a relative question.”

We sat down and I looked at my hands. I saw 2 raised welts across both palms but could not try to ease the pain as Olwyn blew on her hands and had her skirt raised and three hard smacks applied to her legs. As I got home, I told mum and she could see the marks. She smiled before saying: “You didn’t last long, did you? After saying you had no intention of being caned again, too!”

I just nodded, went upstairs and got changed into a pair of hotpants. Coming back downstairs, I did my homework. I was just finishing it when dad arrived home. He greeted mum and shouted through to me: “Good day at school, Margaret?”

“Yes dad, apart from getting the cane across both hands for talking while waiting for our new form master to arrive.” Dad came into the kitchen and looked at my hands before smiling at mum and walking away. After tea the phone rang and mum went through to the lounge to answer it as I cleared the table and started the washing up. When I had finished I went through to the lounge and mum told me that it was Gwen’s mum on the phone. They were having a surprise birthday party for Gwen’s dad at the local social club on Friday evening as he would be 40. We were all invited and we had to be there for 7.30pm.

I met Gwen on the bus the following morning and we had to decide what to wear. Gwen finished up having her legs smacked for not paying attention and was warned for not wearing school knickers, as Miss Grayson saw her white knickers when she lifted her skirt to smack her. Gwen told me on the way home that she had been caned across her knickers in the fifth year for the same thing.

The week flew by and our last lesson on Friday was Maths. As the lesson progressed, I was asked a question. For the first time, I got it wrong. Mr Marsden commented on his surprise as he had been given good reports on my work and apart from the incident on Monday he had been impressed. As the lesson neared the end I was asked another question and got that wrong too.

“Margaret Smith, out here. Stand in the corner facing the wall with your hands on your head.”

I walked to the front and stood there with my hands on my head. After about 5 to 10 mins the bell went and he told the rest of the class to pack their books away quietly. I sensed him behind me and felt him raise my skirt right up before feeling a tremendously loud and painful smack to the top of my right thigh which almost knocked me forward. I yelped in pain as the next connected half way down my thigh and I started to lift my leg as the third landed between the others. He repeated the same to my left thigh. I was in tears by the end. After he told me to be more careful with my answers in future, he dismissed the class. As we walked to the bus stop, Michelle and Gwen commented on how hard he had smacked me but I certainly knew as both legs were on fire.

As I got home mum told me to get changed and bring my uniform down for washing and get my homework done. I went upstairs, stripped naked and just put a pair of hotpants and top on without underwear as I would be having a bath as soon as I had finished my homework. I came down and put my clothes in the wash basket. Mum came in and said there was a drink on the table for me. I walked past and as I did so she exclaimed: “Margaret, I see you have been smacked. I hope those hand prints fade before we get to the social club and I hope you will be wearing knickers and bra tonight as those hotpants are so tight you can see the outline of your private areas.”

“Yes mum. So do I, as I have never been smacked before, so I don’t know. I have been told they will fade in no more than 3 hours and of course I will be wearing knickers I only put these on to do my homework. My school knickers are in the wash and I thought it would save on washing.”

As soon as we had tea I got up to have a bath and dad asked if I had been smacked as he thought he could see faint marks. I had a bath, got dressed and put a short skirt on and pink top. When I looked in a mirror I could not see any marks on my legs. We had a great time and we were sat with Michelle, her mum, dad and twin brother and sister. Gwen was also sat with us. Michelle’s brother and sister were home from uni as they had 2 more weeks before going back. I could hear mum telling Michelle’s mum about me being caned in class and having my legs smacked.

Danielle, Michelle’s sister, said: “She had better get used to it, Mrs Smith, as when I was doing my A levels there we had more punishments in that year. They said we should be concentrating on school work all the time. I had never been caned by the head till that year but visited her office 4 times. According to Michelle the headmaster is a lot stricter. So don’t be surprised if she comes home with a sore bottom.”

The following morning over breakfast mum told me what Michelle had told her and I said: “I have been warned, mum, but I will be doing my best to avoid it, although I must agree the threat does make you concentrate more and I have started to double check my homework as well.”

At school on Monday, we agreed it had been great on Friday all out together and Gwen had seen Mark Michelle’s brother on Saturday and Sunday and was planning to visit him at uni in half term. What we had been told was evident as more girls were punished in class and by October, 6 girls had been caned by the headmaster. I myself had received 6 with the slipper over my gymnastics leotard in PE bent over the vaulting horse.

On the Monday of the last week at school before half term, just after registration the secretary came into class and called out the names of half the class including Gwen. They all followed her out while we carried on working. After about 40 mins they were brought back and the rest of us followed the secretary. We were taken to the assembly hall and it had been divided into cubicles. We were all told to strip to our bra and knickers for the doctor who would be giving us all a medical and rubella injection as it appeared our parents had agreed at the start of term but we had all forgotten about it. As I was called in I saw a female doctor who measured my height and then weighed me before asking me to lie on the bed. She examined my abdomen and my breasts, then I was asked to sit up as I was given an injection. She asked a number of questions about my health and whether I smoked, which I never had. Afterwards, we were then told we could leave and as we filed out the nurse handed me a sealed envelope and asked me to give it to Mr Marsden, which I did.

As we sat down he opened the letter and read it. He then stood up and read out the names of 9 girls including both Michelle and Gwen and said: “Could you 9 girls please put your books etc into your bags? You are all to take your bags with you as it is nearly break time and report to the headmaster’s office to explain why none of you were wearing school knickers.”

Dawn, who had not been punished since the third year, was already sobbing. As our lesson finished I made my way to the common room and was told that in total 35 out of the 50 girls in our year were sent to the headmaster to be caned for not wearing school knickers and I was just thankful that I always wore mine. There was soon a steady trickle of girls coming from the heads office heading for the wash rooms. I saw Dawn just stood against the wall with floods of tears running down her face. I went out to her and helped her into the common room. I told her I would get a cold tissue for her and went to the washroom which was full of girls dabbing their bottoms with cold wet tissues. I took some back for Dawn just as the bell sounded for the next lesson. During the first 15 mins girls came into class including Michelle and Gwen with tear stained faces. Gwen sat next to me very carefully and struggled to concentrate.

The rest of the day passed and as we made our way home I was told the secretary had been asked to pull their knickers tight and also that Miss Jermain had assisted with the canings. And for the rest of the week not a single girl in our class was punished. On Saturday morning Gwen called to see me and we went to my room she showed me the marks on her bottom and they were very sore. She told me she was going to see Mark and would be staying over till Monday. We returned to school and normal punishments were clearly back to normal.

Thursday morning, as we went for break, I was laughing out loud when we were walking along the corridor. Mr Cartwright came out of his class, stopped me, lifted my skirt and gave me 3 hard smacks to each leg. In the afternoon I was called to the nurses’ office to be told that my water sample had shown I had an infection and was advised to see my doctor. The following morning, Mum took me to the doctors where I was prescribed antibiotics.and then I made my way back to school with a doctor’s note, stopping on the way to buy a bar of hocolate. I arrived at school and took my note to the secretary’s office. She took the note and gave me a blue medical slip to hand in, which I did.

Just before lunch the head’s secretary came into class. Mr Marsden then said: “Margaret Smith, could you collect you bag and accompany the secretary to the headmaster, please.” I really blushed and was worried that I was to be caned, although I could not think why. I was ushered into the Headmaster’s office for the first time and was surprised at how big it was with him sat behind a large desk.

He looked up at me and said: “Smith, could you please tell me why you were late for school today, please.”

“Yes, sir, I was called to the nurse yesterday to tell me that my urine test taken during my medical had found an infection and that I should see my doctor. So mum phoned up and made me an appointment for this morning, sir. She let school know.”

“So, did you go to the doctors?”

“Yes sir, and she gave me antibiotics which mum got for me, so I took one and then came to school, sir.”

“I do not like it when girls tell lies to me!”

“I am not, sir.”

“Since when has the small shop around the corner been a chemist? You were seen entering it, then 5mins later leaving the shop before coming to school. I take it you were buying confectionary when you should have been in school. If you had said that, I may have been lenient but you never said anything so please put your bag down remove your blazer and skirt and bend over the end of my desk. Perhaps 6 strokes of my cane will remind you to always come straight back to school.”

I could not believe he was going to cane me. As I removed my blazer, his secretary entered the room carrying a black leather book with ‘PUNISHMENT BOOK’ in gold lettering and also a cane about 3’6″long and 3/8” thick with a curved handle. I removed my skirt and folded it onto my blazer on the floor. I heard him pick the cane up and swish it a few times and was surprised as to how whippy it was. I moved to the end of his desk and stretched across and gripped the opposite edge. Then his secretary pulled my knickers tight and I felt them rise more, exposing more of my bottom. The secretary walked around the desk and took hold of my wrists, pulling me further over. I then felt the cane tapping my bottom before leaving. Then swoosh, thwack, it landed, igniting my bottom and causing me to scream in agony. Another followed. I tried to stand as the pain took effect after 4. The tears were rolling and I was stamping my feet after 5. I was begging him to stop as the final stroke landed lower down my bottom. I let out a scream and was told to stand and get dressed.

As I stood I felt the elastic in my knickers leg rub on the welts and cause me to jump. I managed to step into my skirt and pull it up but it was really painful as I pulled it over my bottom. My bottom felt a lot bigger and it seemed tighter. I put my blazer on and was told to countersign the punishment book. I was then told to go and had to walk really slow as the pain was excruciating. I got to the wash room, lifted my skirt and lowered my knickers. I saw the 6 angry welts across my bottom. I slowly applied cold water but it only helped a little. As I pulled my knickers back over my bottom I wished I hadn’t moved them. As I left the washroom and made my way slowly to the canteen, Gwen and Dawn caught up to me and asked what I had done.

I said: “I had called for some chocolate on way back to school and been seen entering and leaving shop so I got 6 across knickers for not coming straight back to school.”

The pain was awful but I managed to cope. After school Michelle came back to our house as she was staying the night. As soon as I got home mum asked what was wrong and I told her I had been caned. She lifted my skirt and saw the damage. All she said was: “Ok girls, upstairs, get changed and homework done.”

I changed into a loose fitting pair of hotpants with no knickers and we did our homework. The lowest stroke I received was clearly visible with my hotpants on. Dad saw the mark when he came home and commented that it looked really sore. Over the weekend Michelle told me that Gwen had stayed with Mark all weekend and they had slept together and hardly got out of bed.

We had only got about six weeks left before Christmas and our lessons were becoming more intense. I got the slipper for getting less than 70% in a physics exam and our group in a chemistry lesson each got 1 stroke of the cane across each hand for spilling some hydrochloric acid during an experiment. Straight after Christmas we had intense studying for our mocks and I escaped any punishments at all that term. I passed all my exams with my lowest marks being 71%. Mum and Dad were really pleased and promised me a holiday abroad if I did as well in my A levels.

Easter was a case of revising all the time and I never saw any of my friends till the day before we returned, when we were invited to Gwen’s for a party with all our families. Michelle was there with Mark and two of his friends and Danielle had brought her boyfriend. When we got there I was introduced to Alan, and Michelle was sat with Mark’s other friend, Len. During the afternoon I was upstairs with Michelle and Gwen when Michelle told me she had slept with Len on Easter Monday. I told them my exams were too important to me to start getting involved with boys beforehand.

We returned to school and the intensity of revision increased as everything was geared up to giving us the best chance of exam success. Punishments were given for any lack of attention. I got 6 with the slipper for looking towards the window when trying to recall a chemistry experiment and in the last week before half term the 12 girls in my physics class all got 1 stroke of the cane across each hand for failing to get above 85% for an oral exam.

After half term the exams were soon upon us and after they were finished I was really pleased with the way they had gone as I knew every question and hoped my wording for the exams was correct. Michelle and Gwen thought they had also done well and we were all hoping to go to university. After the exams we still had 5 weeks before school finished. We were mostly asked to help by supervising exams. In one of the exams I caught one girl cheating and sent her to the headmaster who destroyed her exam sheet and caned her. After all the school exams were over and everybody was relaxed, punishments were almost non-existent and we were looking forward to finishing school as Michelle Gwen Dawn and myself were going to Ibiza for two weeks holiday.

On Thursday, we were walking along the corridors when Mr Marsden came rushing around the corner knocking me over. Not knowing what had happened, or who it was, I just shouted: “What are you doing, you idiot?”

He looked at me spreadeagled on the floor and helped me up, took my arm and dragged me to the headmaster’s office. He went in and after 5 mins I was called in. The headmaster was sat at his desk with Mr Marsden at his side. His cane was lying on the desk in front of him.

He said: “Smith, I believe you called Mr Marsden an idiot? After hearing the facts from both you and Mr Marsden, I do not think you knew who you were talking to and Mr Marsden does apologise for knocking you over.”

I answered: “Thank you. There is no way that I would have spoken like that to any teacher and I apologise   for doing so.”

The Headmaster said: “Thank you for you apology, Smith. It is accepted and that is the end of it. However, as you were sprawled on the floor Mr Marsden was of the opinion that you were not wearing school knickers. Is that correct, Smith? Or do I get my secretary to check?”

“No need, Sir, I have not got school knickers on.”

“Thanks you for your honesty. Mr Marsden, that will be all. Could you ask my secretary to bring in the punishment book on you way out?”

I stood in shock that I was to receive the second dose of the cane across my bottom on the next to last day at school. As the secretary entered, I was told to remove my skirt and bend over the desk. As I bent across the desk, my blue nylon briefs tightened over my bottom and rode up. I then felt the secretary pull them tighter and I felt them going into my bottom and realised there would be very little protection from the effects of the cane. The first stroke landed and was worse than I remembered. I screamed in pain as the second landed and, as I stamped my feet, the third landed and another scream emitted from my lips. As the fourth and fifth landed, my bottom was numb. Then the last one was entirely on bare skin, and I screamed in agony. I was told to get dressed and leave which I did and never spoke to or saw the headmaster again. I got home and was in so much pain mum and dad phoned school to say I was not fit to attend my last day.

When the exam results came out, I had passed them all and went to university to study applied mathematics. While there, I met Andy who was to become my husband. I got my degree and then took another year to get a teaching qualification. After completing my teaching experience for another year, I was informed that the Headmaster at my old school had passed away suddenly and Mr Marsden had been appointed as the new head. He contacted me through my mum as he didn’t know my married name, Bamber. I went to see him and he explained that the school was now co-educational and if I was interested there was a position in the maths Department. So I started back at school 6 years after leaving.

I started back the week before in order to go through the syllabus. I would be teaching the sixth formers and also 4/5th years. On the Friday before school started, we had a Staff meeting and along with the other 3 new teachers we were given our own canes and were told we should cane boys across the bottom and girls on the hand unless boys and girls were punished for the same reason when we would cane across the bottom. We were advised to take our canes home to practice using them on a pillow.

As I was leaving, Mr Marsden asked me to stay back and said: “You remember my first lesson here? I would suggest you do the same.”

Over the weekend I became quite accurate with the cane. On Monday I arrived early, went to my classroom and checked everything was in order. I placed my cane on the top shelf of the cupboard. My first lesson was with the sixth form after morning break. As I entered the classroom, a lot of talking was going on. I was very slim but tall and, as I asked for quiet, several finished what they had been saying. I wrote my name on the blackboard and asked them all to stand to answer when I read out their names so I could see who was who. After doing the register, I handed out some problems I had devised the previous week. As they started the work, I slowly walked around and told 4 boys and 5 girls to stand at the front.

“Could everybody stop writing, please, and sit up facing the front? As you probably know, this is my first day here and as a teacher at this fine school respect should always be shown. When I entered, most of the class were talking but stopped. However, these 9 did not so they will find out that I will not stand for it. All 9 of you, stand in the corner hands on head. When I call you over you, will rest your elbows and fore arms across the left side of my desk with your legs straight and you will then receive 4 strokes of the cane across your bottoms. I will start with the boys first.”

As the first boy bent over I took my cane out of my cupboard and lined up the first stroke. I was pleased as I saw his head rise. It was obvious after the first three had been caned they were fidgeting as they sat in their seats. As the first girl bent over it was obvious the short tight skirts that were the style would give me a good target. As she bent over, her skirt tightened and the line of her briefs were clearly visible. I lined up the cane across the centre of her bottom before raising it high and delivering a solid blow that brought an instant reaction. As she stood she was in tears but apologised for talking. The next 2 girls yelled out but took the caning well.

As I told the last girl to bend over I could see the tears in her eyes already and she said: “Please don’t cane me, miss. I have never been in trouble before and won’t again. It’s not fair I get the cane for my first spot of talking.”

“What is your name, girl?”

“Debbie Buckley, miss.”

“Well, Buckley, you are telling me that you have never been smacked, had the slipper or been caned before, are you?”

“Never, Miss.”

“Well, if Mr Marsden had been teaching you this morning, would you have carried on talking when he entered the room? I don’t think so.”

She just looked at her feet and shook her head.

“Bend over now. You will be getting 6 strokes, not 4, for answering back.”

She slowly bent over and I lined up. As the first stroke landed she screamed so loud I expected somebody to come. After the third stroke she jumped up and was dancing around and would not return to the desk for the remaining strokes, so I gave the class an exercise to get on with it in silence.

I turned to Buckley and said: “Come with me and we will sort things out.”

I escorted her slowly along the corridors and before she realised it we were entering the headmaster’s office. I told the head what had happened and he just told her to stand against the wall. He then asked his secretary to come in with Buckley’s file and the book. She entered and gave both books to the head, who opened the pink file and dialled a number. It was soon obvious he was talking to Mrs Buckley and he informed her that if Buckley did not accept 6 strokes of the cane immediately she would be expelled.

He handed the phone to Buckley who listened before giving the phone back. The head passed a few pleasantries before replacing the phone and standing up, clearing the end of his desk.

“Buckley, come here. Remove your skirt and bend over my desk.”

She slowly unzipped her skirt and, as it was tight fitting, carefully took it off, revealing a tight fitting pair of pink satin briefs. She slowly bent across the desk revealing 3 clear stripes but not very raised welts. He told his secretary to pull her knickers tight, which she did, causing more than half her bottom to be bare.

“Buckley, Miss Bamber awarded you 4 strokes of the cane, then had to increase it to 6 for complaining. After 3, you refused any more. I have spoken to your mother, so have you, and you will now receive 6 strokes of the cane from myself. Your mother will then collect you and take you home for the rest of the day. Prepare yourself.”

Without any further delay, he applied 6 of the very best, each one causing a scream from Buckley. As soon as the punishment was complete she had to get dressed and accompany me back to class to collect her books and bag. As she left to meet her mum, she turned and apologised to me then the class through her tears. The rest of my day passed without incident. The following morning as I arrived there was a letter on my desk. As I opened it I read a sincere apology for causing me so much trouble.

Over the next 3 months Debbie proved to be a very well behaved and hard working pupil. After seeing the marks that I had left on Buckley’s bottom it was obvious I had not caned her as hard a I had thought. By half term, though, I had heard that I had gained a reputation as one of the hardest caners and on more than one occasion a sixth form boy had stood up with tears in his eyes after feeling my cane .I left the school after four very happy years to start a family and never returned to teaching.

The End

© Gillian Howard 2016