A typical school punishment that will bring back memories. By a new writer to us.

By Jenny

Jennifer Wilson did not enjoy Geography. She wasn’t interested in maps, why it rained or the cause of earthquakes. The main reason she didn’t like Mr Knight was that he taught Geography.

Mr Knight loved teaching, and Geography was his subject. He also liked working with children; their enthusiasm to explore their world amazed him. He knew, though, that a disruption would affect the class’s ability to learn. When he first started teaching he was determined not to be like the teachers he’d grown up with, turning to corporal punishment at the first hint of trouble. For sometime he tried talking through problems and using positive reinforcement to promote good behaviour. He was genuinely disappointed how quickly some kids had worn him down and how he’d learned that the quickest way to restore order was to reach for his slipper.

At this mixed secondary modern school in the middle of England in the late 1970s, the head teacher knew the girls could be as much trouble as the boys and encouraged equality when it came to discipline, much to the detriment of Jenny’s bottom, even in her late teens.

On the day in question, Jenny had already had more than her fair number of warnings. Mr Knight knew this particular topic was complicated and keeping the attention of the whole class would be difficult, but this was the fourth time he’d heard her talking to Faye on the row behind.

“Jennifer Wilson!” He shouted. He rarely raised his voice and when he did the class immediately sat to attention. “Get up here now!”

Jenny, who had been resting on the rear legs of her chair, nearly fell backwards. Regaining her composure and realising what was about to happen, she stood up. Already her stomach was tightening and knots were forming. Reluctantly she stepped around her desk and walked along the aisle towards the front of the room where Mr Knight was already repositioning his chair. As she walked, she knew that the rest of the class would be putting their heads down trying hard to avoid eye contact.

As Jennifer approached the front, Mr Knight had taken his chair from behind his desk and placed it in the open area beside it. He opened his bottom drawer and picked out the tired white and green plimsoll that lay there. As Mr Knight sat down again, Jenny had still not reached him.

It didn’t surprise Mr Knight that at home time the class emptied in seconds but when it came to punishment, time seemed to stop still. He sat and waited while the girl took the last few steps to reach him. As he waited he idly patted the rubber sole of the plimsoll against his right palm.

This shoe had been retired from sport for a couple of years, well worn from his other role within the PE department.

As Jenny approached the teacher she didn’t need telling what to do. She had been in this situation a number of times before and knew she just had to clench her teeth and ride through the pain, ideally without tears.

Mr Knight also knew instructions weren’t required; he just lifted his arms so the girl could lie over his knee. The toes of her polished black shoes remained on the floor behind her to his right. Her bottom lay over his right thigh covered by a pleated grey skirt. A light grey jumper hung loosely around her middle but had pulled up exposing her white shirt. Her brown shoulder length hair flopped forward, her hands rested on the floor in front of her.

As she lay there, Jenny felt very vulnerable, which she knew was the idea. The punishment intended to cause her pain, but the drama and anticipation made the experience more effective. She felt very separate from her bottom, such a long way behind her, the focus of this teacher’s attention, and soon to be glowing red. Feeling the firm pressure of the slipper resting on her right bottom cheek, she braced herself and tensed every muscle in her bottom.

Mr Knight looked at the small bottom in front of him wishing this wasn’t required, but it was and he switched into autopilot. He rested the slipper on her right cheek and then lifted it high; tickling the girl would achieve nothing. He slammed the shoe down hard with a sharp pop echoing around the silent classroom, silent apart from the reluctant “ouch” from the girl over his knee. Pop… Pop! Three slow steady swats. He paused, knowing she was waiting for the next three.

As the first strike hit, Jenny tried to contain the pain but the incredible burning sting bit quickly, wrapping around her right cheek. The “ouch” escaped despite her efforts. The second stroke fell over the first and the burning doubled, it took all her effort to keep her hand on the floor and not to cover her bottom. After a pause, which seemed like for ever, three heavy strokes fell hard but slowly across the left side of her bum. She knew she had cried out for each one but was more worried that she had felt a tear already run down her right cheek. She didn’t want anyone to see her cry. She kept her head down hoping her hair would hide this weakness.

Mr Knight could tell these three strokes had hit home well, from the tensing of her body and the lifting of her left foot. But there was no going back. He had a routine and he would complete it. Now he would finish with six hard rapid strokes across both cheeks knowing the message would literally ‘hit home’.

Jenny’s bottom exploded. The beating was certainly fast but the sting doubled with every stroke and she couldn’t help but lift her head back and cry: “Nooooo!”

But before she knew it, it was over. Her bottom burning, she stood up aware that tears were streaming down her face; however she was beyond caring. She rushed back to her seat, carefully sat and put her head down, blocking the world out. After a couple of minutes the fierce stinging had become a throbbing burn and her tears had been absorbed by her jumper sleeve.

Mr Knight had let the girl up and quickly moved back to his desk. The slipper sat proudly on top as a warning for the rest of the lesson. He decided to ignore Jenny’s position for a few minutes hoping she was listening while composing herself.

Despite both parties wishing the while incident had never occurred, they took heart in the fact they were unlikely to repeat it for sometime, but Jenny knew she would feel that slipper again because Geography sucked.

The End

© Jenny 2016