Parental Consent

I started secondary school in the late 1970s. This was at a time when corporal punishment was being phased out. My school in the Midlands elected for a typically British compromise and decided its pupils could be given corporal punishment unless their parents sent a letter stating that they wished their child to be exempted from such a sanction.

The school’s muddled thinking led to pupils who had committed serious offenses together being punished in totally different ways. My friend Karen and I were caught smoking during school time in the local shopping precinct. We were summoned to the office of the Senior Mistress who, having dug out of her files the letter of objection to my receiving corporal punishment written by my parents, gave me five hundred lines and the loss of break times for a week. I was then told to return to my class. Karens parents had not sent such a letter, and Karen remained in the office where the Senior Mistress slippered her bottom.

Knowing what I do now, I would have much preferred a slippering.


A slippering can be a very painful punishment. What do you know now that would persuade you to accept it rather than the lines? Given the choice would you have also selected the slipper at the time you were at school?


Although we were caned at school in the fifties, parents were not asked permission.
But our mother asked a lady teacher to visit our house and cane us boys, we had lost our father so mum had to cope with three of us. I vividly remember the teacher coming to our house for the first time to deal with my older brother.
They took him to the front room and I listened with my other brother as he was lectured and then we heard the strokes of the cane being administered.
The cane was left with our mother for future use!!

Corporal Punishment Library