A girl becomes curious about her school’s discipline
By Paul Tecres
I always knew that corporal punishment happened at my high school. I had never been paddled myself, and I hadn’t really talked to anyone who had. At least, no one mentioned it in conversation. This was due in part to some rather unique policies the school had in place.
Paddling was done by our principal, Mr Donahue, and was always administered after school hours. When a student was scheduled to be paddled, they would first go to the locker room after school and change into their gym shorts and a t-shirt. The gym shorts we wore were issued by the school, and were made of a very thin synthetic material. They offered almost no protection from the impact of the paddle. Among students, paddling was informally known as ‘gym shorts at 3.30.’
Since I had no personal experience with the paddle, I didn’t give it much thought at all. Until one day, early in my senior year. That was a day that would change my life drastically.
I had stayed a little late that day because I had to ask a teacher a couple of questions about an upcoming assignment. It wasn’t really a big deal to be a little late leaving. I lived about a quarter of a mile from school, so I walked home. Thus, I didn’t have to worry about missing a bus or anything like that. Both of my parents worked and didn’t get home until at least 5.30 pm, sometimes 6.00 or later, so there were no questions if I got home a little late. After I finished up talking with my teacher, I started casually walking toward the front entrance of the main building to leave for home.
My route took me by the door to the principal’s office. As I was passing by, I could hear some muffled talking coming from behind the closed door. I didn’t really pay attention to it, until a moment later when I heard a loud pop. That sound was immediately followed by a pained groan. I froze for a moment out of sheer surprise. A few seconds later, I heard a second pop. This was accompanied by a yelp of agony. It was followed by a third, and another yelp. After that, I heard Mr Donahue’s voice say something like, “It’s over. You can get up when you’re ready.”
I resumed my walk then, trying my best to not look suspicious. As I made my way to the front, I heard the sound of the office door opening. I turned around and looked just briefly. I saw a girl with curly blond hair. She looked like one of the younger students. She walked out of the door dressed in her gym shorts, and a blue t-shirt. She was rubbing her bottom as she turned in the direction of the gym. I kept going until I reached the door.
I thought about the experience the whole way home, and continued thinking about it when I got there. I wished I could talk to that girl and find out what it was like for her. The curiosity had taken root in my mind now. The next day, I started a new after-school routine. Every day I would lag behind the crowds exiting when the dismissal bell rang. I would slowly walk by the principal’s office to find out what I could hear.
Some days there was nothing to be heard. Other days there were the pops of the paddle and the grunts, groans, or sobs of other students. I would get close whenever I heard talking behind the door. That was my cue that the show was about to begin.
Sometimes Mr Donahue was friendly and kind toward the student. He would say things like, “I’m sorry we have to do this,” or “Don’t worry, it’ll be over quickly.” Then there were others who had clearly made him upset. He would say something to them like, “This should be a lesson you won’t easily forget!” He didn’t usually say anything during the paddling. Afterwards, if he was really upset with the student, he might add something like, “Make sure I don’t see you in this office again!”
After the student took their licks I’d quietly but quickly find a place to hide and watch as they made their exit. The students were from all walks of life and all grade levels. I’d say the mix was about sixty percent boys and forty percent girls.
Some of them came out crying. Some just had a distraught look on their face. Almost every one of them came out rubbing their bottom. I listened and watched every time I got the chance. My fascination seemed to only increase. Day after day, I’d listen.
I started to discover small details, like how Mr Donahue followed a particular rhythm. Once he started, the swats would land about five seconds apart until he was finished. I gathered, from hearing the initial discussions, that students usually knew how many licks they were getting ahead of time. Though occasionally Mr Donahue would remind them first.
These became like a collection of memories that I would ponder over in my off-hours. Sometimes I would sit back and let multiple memories of paddlings replay in my head like some kind of audio drama. I was slightly disappointed that I only had audio to go on. There was a part of me that really wanted to see a paddling happen. I tried to think of a way to accomplish this, but I couldn’t come up with anything. This had become such an enjoyable hobby for me. Until one day when it went too far.
It was a couple of months before the end of the year. I walked by the office as usual, and heard the talking behind the door. I approached and waited. I think, because I had been doing it so long, that I got a little careless, or maybe subconsciously I wanted to get caught. I’m not really sure. I had gotten very close to the door this time.
I heard Mr Donahue say that this student would be getting four swats, and give the instructions to bend over. A moment later, I heard the first loud pop, accompanied by a grunt. The second pop landed, and the accompanying grunt was a little louder. I should have hidden after this one. I was so excited that I didn’t notice the interval between that pop, and the next one was longer than usual. I stood in place as the office door flew open, and Mr Donahue stood there, paddle in hand, glaring at me.
“Erica Watts, ” he said. ” It was you! I knew someone was listening in on these paddlings. Get in here, now!”
I don’t know what gave me away, and I was too terrified to think about it. I complied and stood in the office as he shut the door behind me. One of the chairs in front of his desk had been moved to the center of the room, and a boy was bent over the back of it. Mr Donahue continued.
“Well Josh, it seems that Erica here was enjoying having a listen to your misery. It’s alright though, you’re going to get a little payback today. When we finish, I want you to stick around and relax for a little bit.”
He turned to me then.
“Once I finish with Mr Brightwell here, I’m going to satisfy your curiosity once and for all. And he’s going to witness it. Alright Josh, two more.”
Josh Brightwell. I recognized his name, and I had seen him at school before, but I didn’t know him personally. Now I stood here in the office for the last half of his paddling. I felt terrible because it made his experience much more embarrassing.
Mr Donahue then continued Josh’s punishment. He lined up the paddle and delivered Josh’s next strike, eliciting a loud groan. Then the same five second pause before he delivered the last one. Josh stood up afterwards and, while not shedding any tears, in his eyes I could see a look that told me this had been an ordeal. Mr Donahue began scolding me then.
“Alright Erica, I know you’ve been doing this for some time now. Today we’re going to put a stop to it. I’m going to give you five for listening in on something that doesn’t concern you, and three for enjoying another student’s suffering. Now, get to the locker room and change into your gym shorts and a t-shirt. I’m giving you exactly ten minutes to get back here. If you are so much as one minute late, I’ll be adding extra swats.”
I walked as fast as I could without running to the girls’ gym locker room. I had to change completely since I was wearing a white button-down blouse with a knee-length black skirt. I stood at my locker and removed those two articles of clothing. I put on my gym shorts and shirt, locked my other clothes in my locker and went back to the office quickly.
I arrived at the office with two minutes to spare. Mr Donahue closed the door behind me, and pointed the paddle in the direction of the chair as he spoke.
“Erica, you need to bend over the back of that chair. Put your elbows down in the seat, and keep your eyes focused on the floor.”
As I turned to walk toward the chair, I caught a glimpse of Josh’s face. He had an expression of sympathy for me. Probably because he knew first-hand what I was about to experience. I also noticed a certain kindness in his eyes that seemed to be there naturally. I really appreciated that.
I got into position as I was told, and I felt the thin material of my shorts stretch tight across my backside. Mr Donahue lined the paddle up and tapped it a few times. He then brought it to a rest on my bottom and spoke again.
“Now Erica, we’ll see how you like it when you’re on this side of the door.”
He drew the paddle back and I braced myself. I was not at all prepared for the sensation of that first swat landing. I froze and didn’t make a sound as my brain tried to process what had just happened. It hurt way more than I had expected it to.
The second blow landed shortly afterwards and I flinched. This added to the pain as my lower half lurched forward slightly, and dug the front of my thighs into the chair. The third swat hit and I yelled out “Owww!” Tears filled my eyes then and began running down my face. Mr Donahue continued to spank my bottom with his usual rhythm. The next three brought out screams, and I let out a loud grunt after number seven.
There was a longer than expected pause after that. I hated this because I was so sore and miserable already, and just wanted it to be over. Mr Donahue added one last scolding.
“Erica, you’ve got one more coming today. If I ever catch you outside of that door eavesdropping on a paddling again, I’m going to give you the maximum of ten, and I just might have you scheduled to come back the next day for a few more. Do you understand?”
“Yes sir.” I croaked out meekly.
The last swat landed shortly after and I screamed out.
“We’re done. Both of you can leave now.”
I got up and left the office, walking toward the locker room and wiping away tears as I walked. I got back to my locker and changed. I dried my eyes and fixed my makeup in the mirror. Once I was composed, I decided to do one more thing before leaving. I stepped into the restroom and stood facing away from the full-length mirror. I looked back, lifted my skirt and lowered my panties, to inspect the results. My backside was dark red, with a couple of big purple bruises. I couldn’t believe I’d gotten myself into such trouble over my weird, voyeuristic curiosity.
I stepped out of the locker room to find Josh waiting for me. He had changed back into his school clothes, and looked quite handsome.
“I just wanted to be sure that you were okay,” he said.
“Yeah, I’ll be alright.”
“I think Mr Donahue went a little overboard, to tell the truth.”
He then hugged me, and there was something very nice about it. He held me close for a few minutes and it felt good to be in his arms. He smelled nice too.
I pulled back and said, “Thank you Josh.”
He kissed my forehead before letting go. We talked for a moment, and it turned out that he also walked home and lived just a couple of blocks away from me. He offered to walk me home and I accepted.
When we arrived at my house, I asked him to step inside for just a moment. I went to the kitchen counter where we kept a notepad and pen that we used for shopping lists and messages. I tore a sheet off, wrote down my name and phone number, and gave it to him. He thanked me and left. We became really close-knit after that day. We kept in touch for the rest of our senior year, and all through college. In those days I was known as Erica Watts. For the last three years however, I’ve been Erica Brightwell.
© Paul Tecres 2023