Notes on Corporal Punishment & Curious Punishments of Bygone Days

Dunce caps were a part of school disciplinary policies up until 50 years ago in the USA. It’s left a lasting impression.

The school spanking sounds like a fetishists but one never knows?

The wide range of opinions from a century ago is something that shows a lack of consensus to the role gender and age plays. There is less sympathy for a girl meriting judicial punishment than scholastic.

But as it was affirmed not long since, “that no reason could be given why girls should not be whipped in school the same as boys,” I submit the following: 1. Girls are not boysthey are very different from boys. They have moral and physical characteristics that distinguish them, as every parent having children of both sexes in the family must have observed, therefore they should not be whipped the same as boys. 2. Girls are weaker, more sensitive in feeling, and the budding of that nice sense of propriety and delicacy which marks the woman is seen in the little girl. To punish with blows a fragile being with a nature so gentle and affectionate, which leads her instinctively to claim protection is not duty, it is cruelty. 3. The girl is physiologically different-her blood corpuseles is smallerher nervous system is of much more delicate structure, her brain is lighter and her muscles smaller. The reason that keeps her from the rough sports of the play ground should exempt her from being flogged, i. The motto of civilization is “strike not a woman even with a feather.” The little girl is the germ or bud, the woman with fine sensibilities is the full blown rose. If the physical organization of womanhood is sensitive that of the girl is more sensitive, and her spiritual nature doubly so. Flog her! As well flog an angel of light! It is vain to count the blows, or mark their severity, lustily laid on by some unfeeling clown, on her tender and quivering little frame; or even to remember how long she bore the mark, if you do not sympathise witli her in the far sorer wounds that her gentle spirit has received by the infliction. She is mortified and disgraced in her own estimation by that rude flogging in school, so that years may not efface the consequences. Many a sweet little heart has been thus rudely broken, many an over sensitive young life has been thus withered if not wasted. Is it any wonder then, that girl flogging in school arouses the sympathy, stirs the sensibilities, and brings down the censures of the civilized and christian world?

A punishment at the school I attended during the sixties was reffered to as shorty punishment,which meant the boy had to wear short pannts as a punishment.I was punished in this way because I used the library out of rota and had to wear short pants for six weaks.

One particular teacher I still remember at my primary school, who was known for her sadism, and of whom every boy was terrified above all other teachers, used the holding your pee punishment.
She wouldn’t let any boy use the toilet, no matter how urgent, during her class.
She was also a great believer in CP.

As far as I can remember all the other teachers would let us go if we raised our hands and begged to be excused.

I have heard that in some schools toilet breaks, or bathroom breaks in American language, are limited, and only in set times.
I don’t know how common, or uncommon this is, or was in the past in other schools.

This is a piece of Americana taken from a professor of folkloric studies at Western Kentucky University. There are quite a bit of humorous anecdotes that depict a time and place that often goes unnoticed. Search words like spanking or paddle and it will help you navigate to parts pertaining to topics apropos to this estimable Forum. I hope for our UK readers this selection can be read. If so I could copy and paste some of the stories and post them under Corporal Punishment Lighter Side but I would prefer not.

A walk down some unpleasant lanes in Britain’s history of corporal punishment.

An early English poem, printed around the year 1500, called The Birched School-Boy, reveals the antiquity of floggings in the educational process:

I wold ffayne be a clarke

But yet hit is a strange werke;

the byrchen twyggis be so sharpe,

hit makith me haue a faynet harte…

My master pepered my ars with well good speede…

he wold not leve till it did blede.

A taste of Americana. Sitting on the stool and putting on the dunce cap is shown on the first video. The same teacher gets his just due for meting out corporal punishment in the second one. Records often show that the bare back was the target of CP perhaps for modesty sake.

I have often wondered if the dunce cap was an actual punishment employed by teachers. The closes I came to the dunce cap was having to stand in the front left corner of a classroom with my hands on my head for ten minutes in front of the class. Is there a modern equivalent to the dunce cap?

Probably not in any westernised first world country, where the fragile egos of modern children (or rather the litigation-happy state of their parents) would make the use of any ‘public humiliation’ type punishment profitable for the lawyers and career limiting for the teacher.

However, here’s a screenshot from a TV series recreating a 1950s UK grammar school showing how they used to do it when I was at school! No dunce’s cap, in this case the punishments were for misbehaviour not academic failure, but the same principal of making the pupil appear foolish in front of their peers, just as when you were similarly punished.

In some countries, such as Korea, humiliation as a school punishment survived, frequently combined with some sort of physical stress to add to the discomfort of the unfortunate pupil. Indeed it may still go on. Here’s another screenshot from a Korean TV series showing two girls having to kneel on their desks in the school corridor while holding their arms up. And here’s some real-life pictures of the same sort of punishment.

I note your quoted observation by the girl actually taught by Miss Gibson. Everyone is entitled to their opinion (well almost everyone ) and if the girl involved was taught by Miss Gibson in the last 20 years or so I am not really surprised at her reaction. Modern schoolchildren and Miss Gibson as she performed in the 1950s school TV recreations would not be a happy combination.

Nonetheless what we like and want and what is actually good for us are very often not one and the same. The balance is sadly shifting, and not for the better, but it still remains the case that to enter adult life believing that you’ll always get what you want and that your will ranks above that of anyone else is not a good thing, unless you are very wealthy or very talented or both.

Children taught by Miss Gibson’s methods would certainly not harbour any of those dangerous misconceptions. In many instances though more ‘progressive’ teaching methods, which have replaced the once numerous Miss Gibsons, produce adults whom employers rightly say are unemployable, and the rest of us have to dip into our pockets to maintain them in the idleness which is the only thing they are fitted for

remarks about Mrs Hitler, I could not agree more !

If anyone in that school, including pupils, could be regarded as a failure it is her,

After the initial exchange of words Sophie said “I understand”, but at that point, Mrs Hitler contradicted her by bellowing at the top of her voice “you don’t understand”, and continued her tirade. She did not give Sophie a chance to explain and qualify her statement. Mrs Hitler lost the plot and objective completely to get Sophie to comply, when all it needed was common sense and respect for others. It is not in the school curriculum to teach good manners, but it is expected of pupils, and the example of Mrs Hitler was atrocious. Not just to another person, but as a teacher she should be an example to the pupils.

With teachers like her, not able to understand how to conduct themselves in the real world outside the school gates, it is little wonder some pupils get labeled as difficult. I am of the opinion that Mrs Hitler was NOT at all concerned about getting Sophie to comply, which should have been the objective, she had the power of authority, and that was all she was concerned about, was to enforce it for self satisfaction. Shows she lacks confidence in her own ability. Picking on someone that cannot retaliate is usually called bullying.

What you have said about your “difficult” pupils in the cafe, and the two previous links to alternative schools, shows just how wrong a teacher with years of experience can be about assessing a pupils attitude, it shows what can be achieved if treated properly.

I suppose if you want to avoid the cane you have to resort to other forms of “bodily” punishments as they do in India and dramatized here. These are curious by our standards but not theirs. It seems to maximized discomfort and shame. Students are depicted as showing respect for their teachers. The youngsters seem like good kids behaving in an age appropriate manner or at least as they are dramatically portrayed. Th girl jogging in the back is the class bad girl. They make life delightful.

Miss Elvira Heston, a Lisbon, Ohio school teacher, has several overgrown boys in her class. Having trouble with one, she hauled him out into the hallway by his collar and trounced him soundly. Then she thrashed his big brother. When the boy’s father came to complain and slapped her, she broke his nose with a poker, dragged him out into the street, fractured his jaw and beat him until he begged for mercy.

With regard to Miss Elvira Hester, she of the diminutive figure and knock-out punch, you said above:

I do so hope that you are not suggesting that red hair might be a suitable starting point! Curious punishments are not confined to bygone days you know. Things don’t come any more modern than the cyberspace conference room!

A school-teacher at Beatrice, Neb…chastised a boy severely and was fined five dollars for it. The school board,however, endorsed the action he had taken and raised his salary ten dollars, per month in consequence.

If you’re curious being a disciplinarian would seem to pay more than teachers who were less severe. They judged achievement as well as behavior and punished accordingly for what I can gather.

Today field trips are common to century old schools here with classroom equipped with instruments of correction and less often with costume replications of that day. This is an example in Australia. Some of this brings back memories that I will now inflict upon readers of this estimable Forum. This may be hard to follow but so be it and repetitive. I left it unedited to give the reader a better understanding of me at the expense of clarity. Be that as it may: match it if you can.

Was I living in a time warp born six years after the war?

Memories indeed with girls it was marbles, hopscotch, jacks, jump rope. A first bell meant freeze and a few seconds later another bell to proceed to a line up that lasted until one was perfectly lined up behind each other and perfectly still. Genders were always separate from 5 or 6 to 13 or14 depending on birthdays. In second grade the teacher/principal (two hats because of population explosion) with token hit the boys on a few that celebrated birthdays. I never let others know for I didn’t get as many gifts to brag about. Personally, I think birthday spankings trivialize corporal punishment when used for real. In practice you were sent to the office.

Slapping accounts are attested to online. In public school accounts it is often it didn’t me any harm letters written but that is rarely expressed in Catholic schools. Morally it was making a statement about you to be hit by a holy woman. In eighth grade I was told to stop smiling by Sister Mary Godzilla (btw there is current move (Three Stooges) where a nun is referred to and Sister Mengle) in line and that was impossible. A popular girl (reputation) laughed at my forced upper lip to hide my teeth and she slapped me in the mouth with that expression.

Our nuns slapped in anger really and doesn’t fit the corporal punishment written about in this estimable Forum. This explains why I advocate a cooling off period with an appeal and have differed in theory with prof n and practice with Renee.

My accounts correspond to the accounts of those in their late forties in industrial cities. The ethnicity of the nuns entrenched from Europe and serving those ethnic neighborhoods explained parental tolerance.

Sadly, the same factors played a part in the clerical abuse of the youth. As an example of parental tolerance my father told me when he talked in the nineteen twenties a sister snapped an elastic on his tongue. He stayed left handed in spite of his hand being tied behind his back.

In first grade a “pinky” a soft rubber ball was tossed to me by the sister. I caught it with my left hand but was given a right hand desk for there were not enough ink wells on that side. Ironically, we were told we were not going to use the ink wells until fourth grade but never did. I am ambidextrous with the the activities that I learned after that I use my hand right.

I realized “handedness” is something that has to be discovered. My failures in penmanship and art I believe can be somewhat attributed to that. My penmanship matches up or better with today’s kids. My penmanship didn’t improve as much as theirs have declined by lack of use.

The blame was placed upon my parents for not letting them know early enough that I need a lefty desk. I was later told by my father that my mother said she would walk me over to the public (not in the British sense but tax supported and mandatory one) if they did to me what they did to him in the twenties and tie my left hand behind me.

I was trained to work in a factory at a desk screwed to a floor and a top that lifted for all my possessions. It was always a mess and a source of contention. That habit has followed me. Sadly, the desk were dug up from the floor boards the following year. The Vatican Council and other things loosened it up by high school. I would like to think my kneeing her in the groin kept them at bay for the ensuing years. I must have been the talk of the convent.

Well, there is my boring story. I write this with no self therapeutic value, as in getting it off my chest a half century later, but for your edification, education and amusement even if it is at my own expense. Fortunately, my memory is not my strong suit and I don’t hold grudges.

I agree! Apart from the desks and benches, which I don’t think are typical of the UK, I’d say that scene is straight out of a Victorian (UK monarch not Australian State) classroom.

The items on the desk furtherest from us are interesting: From the right, cane, finger stocks, ?????, back straightener.

Back straighteners were used both to correct posture and force children to sit up straight. They were also used as a punishment, as they were very uncomfortable, even painful, if a child was made to undergo the process for a lengthy period. Sometimes they were strapped in position.

Finger stocks were used to restrain a child’s hands behind their back as a punishment for fidgeting or using the hands for anything naughty. The fingers were inserted in the holes and attached tapes used to secure the two parts of the stocks and the wrists together so that the hands and fingers were kept immobile.

In the comments on the Flickr picture someone claims that the finger stocks are a knuckle-duster which a child was made to wear to stop them writing with the ‘wrong’, ie left, hand. I’ve never heard of that. However one common method of dealing with left handed children was to tie their left hand behind their back. If finger stocks were used to do this I guess this might give rise to the knuckle-duster theory.

Happily, by the time I was being made to write with my right hand instead of my left things were a little gentler. They just watched you all the time and rapidly intervened if you tried to write left-handed. Oh, and you were kept in the classroom writing right-handed when the rest of the class had play-time. I’m sure that must be why after 45 years in computing I’m still a one finger typist!

Indeed it was, and in a most excellent contribution too! Sadly I have no idea how this happened, but I completely overlooked it. This is most unusual with your posts as they appear at the time they are made rather than being held in the Moderation queue and not being visible until some hours after they are made.

It is most interesting to note that both your Father and yourself were subjected to pressure to write with the right hand. Painful, and I presume ultimately successful, pressure in your Father’s case. You were fortunate to emerge ambidextrous from the experience. In my case although I am now fully right handed, I went through a period of writing backwards and then a period of totally illegible handwriting before I was able to transmit the correct signals to my right hand.

In England I probably encountered the last year or two of this practice of ‘correcting’ left-handedness being at all widespread. However I have an acquaintance who was forced to change 25 years after my experience, at a Roman Catholic Primary School in Kent, a very barbarous and backward part of the UK. In his case one particular elderly male teacher was obsessive about not allowing children to be left handed. The means of correction was actually much crueller than those used on me. He was hit hard with a ruler on the offending hand every time he tried to use it.

What absolute silliness that all was! Left-handedness is not only completely normal and fairly widespread, it is actually a good indicator for certain abilities. A high proportion of my younger colleagues in computing were left handed, and I used to watch for that characteristic when recruiting.

I have never been clear if the urge to ‘correct’ handedness arose because schools didn’t want to provide facilities for left-handed children, such as your desks with ink-wells on the left. Or was it, in the middle of the 20th century, some sort of throwback to long past times when widdershins was the Devil’s way and left-handedness was associated with witchcraft and demonic possession? Nobody at school ever explained to me why I couldn’t be left handed. They just said I couldn’t, and in those days that was all that was required!

You also said:

Hmm, I don’t recall mentioning any naughty boys, innocent or otherwise! As far as I’m aware back straighteners and finger stocks were used on both boys and girls, though I expect that little girls got rather more of the former and little boys rather more of the latter. However, the pictures above do not imply any rigid demarcation in suffering!

My parents were given the explanation about the left hand and right hand desk which would mean that with over 50 desks there was a certain percentage that had inkwells on either side. I had mentioned before I am a lover of fountain pens but we were never given an opportunity to use them. We were told that we would get to use them in fourth grade when we would be less likely to make a mess. What a canard! My brother of blessed memory never got to use them even back to 1953 when he was in fourth grade nor thereafter. I’m hesitant to note, for I hate to be picky and be accused of heavens forfend imitating you, as if possible, but for the record my Dad did not switch as I wrote: “He stayed left handed in spite of his hand being tied behind his back.” Wild horses could not change that man.

Practically speaking, with the world made up of right-handers, most things were made for their benefit so they may have thought they were doing us a favor if lefties, with less dominance, could be switched over before they used tools more complicated than pens, pencils or crayons. I have been flatteringly told, and I love it as it should go without saying, that I excelled in both science and liberal hearts because of a lack of a clear dominance. What a pile of codswallop not that I didn’t excell at both. I heard of the devil’s hand but I doubt if that played a role in the nun’s thinking for when I think of them I think of the adage: the devil comes in many forms.

The family reunion fell through so I have not stopped posting frequently if you haven’t noticed. I have been meeting with classmates and it might be of an interests to some. In my city there were four sets of different ethnic schools of nuns teaching in six grammar schools. They fed into two ethnic high schools. Therefore, those entering on the high school level only knew me as a high achieving and nun pleasing teenager and couldn’t picture me as ever crossing swords with them. In grammar school I understood that they were the inside the school bullies and to this day I see to it that bullies never prosper. So bully for me.

As recently as the middle seventies a French Canadian schools sent their chatterbox students home with a paper with a tongue drawn on it attached to a string like necklace that they didn’t dare take off between the school and their homes. That’s relatively recent for a bygone punishment. You have to give those French nuns epaulets for creativity.

Do you collect fountain pens? Some examples seem to command enormous prices now. I don’t collect but I do have a few, some of which need attention of various sorts. I’ve become reluctant to arrange this because some years ago I took a much treasured pen to a repairer who came very highly recommended in various enquiries I’d made and they made a complete hash of it. I eschewed ball points, felt-tips etc. most of my working life and used fountain pens with permanent black ink. The only time I used anything else much was my spell as an auditor, where different colours were essential to differentiate audit years in financial records.

I’m pretty sure the mystery item looks like a small example of a WN board, WELSH NOT, you can just make out the initials on the object. This method of punishment was practiced in Welsh schools where only spoken English was allowed. Teachers would punish a child speaking in Welsh by making the him or her hang a a wooden board carved with the initials WN around their neck, this would act as a deterrent to others to refrain from Welsh chatter. If another child committed a similar offence the board was passed from one guilty child to another. The pupil wearing the board at the end of the school day would be further punished by the cane.

The practice has some what turned around in order to preserve the native tongue, children reportedly are now encouraged to speak Welsh in Welsh schools as opposed to English to become bi lingual , This report HERE is fairly recent , but jugging by the comments the responses seem divided to its authenticity.

Here in recent years there has been a somewhat revival of Manx language, three of the Islands primary schools are dedicated solely to teaching and speaking Manx Gaelic. None of the Senior schools have followed suite. Never fear, those such children must be destined to work for the IOM Government having spent huge sums of money funding the renaming of roads, reprinting Government letterheads and sign painting vehicles in Manx. I doubt the word Infrastructure was common to Celtic times, however, the Department of Infrastructure has been renamed ” Bun Troggalys”, unlike their predecessors, the troggaldites of today, five men leaning on shovels peering into a hole seems rather apt to the meaning of Traa dy lioor – Time enough, qualifying us for some of the worst roads in the UK.

It is good to have your perspicacity and powers of observation available to this estimable Forum once again! You are absolutely correct, it is indeed a WN board. Sufficiently magnified the initials ‘WN’ are clearly visible.

Another cruel and unnecessary procedure, like attempts to stop children using their left hand to write. How the poor child wearing the board must have secretly hoped for one of their classmates to err as the end of the school day and the prospect of the cane loomed ever closer. What did it really matter if a child slipped briefly into their native tongue to express some idea or message they couldn’t readily assemble in English?

But then I’m prejudiced! Foreign Languages were my Achilles heel at school, the only academic subjects in which I could never aspire to come top. And this technique of compulsory use of the alien language and only the alien language was much employed. Happily without the board of shame and the cane but with lots of sarcasm and ridicule for failures.

As regards the reported reversal of the language enforcement in Wales, the report you link dates from November 2012. It all seems to have been swept under the carpet and everything declared to be perfect. Personally I doubt that. Well before the date of the article I heard at second hand similar claims of harassment of English speaking children from an acquaintance whose son and family had moved to a Welsh speaking area with his job. There has to be proper accommodation of children who have to move into a system with no knowledge of a language and in that case it seemed that there wasn’t.

The Gaelic revival proceeds apace in Scotland as well. And of course just as on the Isle of Man, in both Scotland and Wales very large amounts of cash are spent on multi-lingual signage. There can be problems though. See this report. It’s on the BBC Website and it isn’t dated April 1st, so it must be true!

I would like to advance an alternative explanation for schools suppressing some languages. Past suppression was not necessarily done by bad people nor for ulterior motives.

There are considerable advantages in sharing a common language, and in being multilingual.

If you want to learn a new language you must use it, even when your native tongue would be more convenient. Many parents supported schools that required non-indigenous language to be used. They saw learning the new language as essential for their children’s future success in a new world. At the time, there were few fears that their indigenous language would disappear even if its value was not properly appreciated by the dominant culture.

Earlier today at a friend’s house I watched a TV program on the Celts, a repeat from some years ago broadcast on Alba, the Scottish Gaelic Channel. One segment of the program dealt with the fate of the Celtic languages, including the suppression of Welsh following the ‘Reports of the commissioners of enquiry into the state of education in Wales’, published in 1847. This was the notorious report which concluded that the Welsh were ignorant, lazy and immoral, and that the reasons for this were the prevalence of Nonconformity in the religion of the region and the use of the Welsh language!

The consequential suppression of Welsh was illustrated by a schoolroom scene with children in period clothing. For reasons which weren’t explained, and which I am not sure were authentic, the boys all wore flat caps in school. After a demand for silence by a fearsome schoolmaster who reminded me of the teachers of my youth a boy told the teacher that another boy had spoken in Welsh.

The current wearer of the ‘Welsh Not’ a small wooden plaque with a neck cord and the initials ‘WN’ roughly engraved, exactly like that illustrated above, was called to the front of the class to hand over the badge of shame to the teacher, who then called out the latest miscreant to the front and made him put it on. The teacher announced that they all knew that speaking Welsh was forbidden, and that at the end of the school day the wearer of the Welsh Not would be given 6 strokes of the cane.

Apparently it was now the end of the day, because the lad who’d just received the token was told to hold out his hand and was given 6 (happily simulated) strokes of a rather businesslike looking cane, to the accompaniment of shots of other boys and girls in the class looking suitably sympathetic and/or frightened.

An interesting reconstruction. I find it rather strange that never having heard of the ‘Welsh Not’ before I encounter it in relatively quick succession first here and then on TV. I’m not sure of the production date of the programme, but it made several references to the Irish economy as ‘the Celtic Tiger’, so it was presumably pre 2007/2008

Other than no caps for the boys and a school mistress rather than a schoolmaster the scene looks very much like the TV portrayal. Sorry to keep on about the caps, but as part of the dialogue the boy originally wearing the ‘Welsh Not’ was actually told to take his cap off to remove the plaque from round his neck, and then told to replace his cap afterwards, and similarly with the boy who had to put the Welsh Not on, which struck me as just a touch strange!

The 1990 legislation raised thoughts about its application to women in cases of drugs.

That raised thoughts of a courageous young Katrika and the Courage to Submit pantheon who gained the world’s attention. Some habitues of the estimable Forum should know by now she was spared that whip wielding hired woman with a Koran under her arm to ameliorate the impact on her flesh for a gentle flogging. Was that to ameliorate their consciences? Their media even claimed she was a publicity hound on the verge of her own show. Do you believe their lies now?

For some reason the Americans may have found Mrs Pierce’s behavior more peculiar and thus more noteworthy. The Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine exchange of letters in the 1860’s shows perversive thoughts in print that would come as a surprise of a country just emerging from the Civil War.

Honest I never look at the Playboy girls only its articles. How else would I know about President Jimmy Carter’s lust?

An interesting observation.

However, for most women, such naughtiness could be more safely enjoyed within the pages of the leading domestic magazines. For, if anyone entered the room while they were reading of servants ordered to pull down a daughter’s underclothes, they could quickly flip the page to an article on fashion, the economy, politics, or the latest developments in the suffrage movement.

I remember having to sit in front of the whole class with a waste paper bin on my head as a form of punishment. Doreen Patterson.

A shame basket is not a dunce cap but even more shameful. Shame on Miss Green.

The other recommended teaching tool in Canada was the “shame basket” not having done anything worthy of the strap or paddle ( the paddle being given by the principal in the library) whereas the strap was dished out in the classroom…..

No ! the shaming wastebasket stood next to the teacher’s desk. The wastebasket made of metal and quite large became the receptacle, not of papers and trash, but children who were thought less than perfect. You had to stand in the waste basket for the rest of the lesson – you are a “waste of space” lesson to be learned. I spent many an afternoon standing in the basket for “questioning” Miss Green.

I didn’t know marriage was considered “unseemly behaviour” (2nd link). I thought it was something society approved of.

I don’t understand what’s wrong with a man getting “shaved in a barber shop” (4th link) either. I think men look better with beards but, if they choose to remove them, I don’t see the relevance of where it’s done.

Rule 16 (5th link) appears to prohibit children of both sexes “going to girls(sic) play places” which I think is rather sexist as only girls are prohibited “going to boys(sic) play places”
Spanking chair? News to me but leave it to the French!

I notice that there is no mention of a paddle, although a ferula could be similar.

I think the word used in the text is ‘ferule’ rather than ‘ferula’, see the image below:

I think the two terms are sometimes used interchangeably but can have different meanings depending on the context.

Ferula seems to have a long CP history, as the hollow stem of the Mediterranean and Asian plant of the same name was used by the Romans for corporal punishment. Latterly ferula seems quite often to be used in connection with the short, heavy punitive straps favoured by the Jesuits for hand chastisement in schools. Often made of two layers of leather stitched together, and stiffened with whalebone or weighted with a metal disk in the striking end, these implements seem to have had a quite fearsome reputation.

Ferule however is sometimes used to describe a flat wooden ruler like implement, slightly wider at the striking end than at the handle. Something like a small paddle for hands rather than bottoms in fact,

Did such 19th century fo memories of corporal punishment plant a seed for the perversions the English are so well known? There goes I but for the grace of God.

Some of my vile tormentors if unveiled would be born in Ireland as my grandparents and some even from the same county. I went to the same school that his parents sent him at a time when the nuns when almost all spoke with an Irish brogue. They would make him stick out his tongue and thenthey would snap a rubber band away from their parents and left to their mercies.

I have no such fond memories. 1891.

This tells a very sad tale of a little lad committing suicide rathewr than suffer a repeat beating for running away from school.

Sadly the facts are these:

At the time (1877) Christ’s Hospital was not, as the article infers, some sort of charity institution for the poor and destitute but a very prestigious school educating the sons of gentlemen, the well endowed and the wealthy, to go out and take their rightful place running the British Empire. It still is a highly prestigious school, but now I think it admits girls too.

And, hard and unpalatable as it may seem, we Brits didn’t produce the officer class capable of managing an empire encompassing half the world and on which the sun never set, by mollycoddling them at school. By George no sir, that’s not how it was done at all!

We beat the living daylights out of them at school, and then just in case they hadn’t derived the full benefit we beat the living daylights out of them again the next day too. So demanding was this process that there weren’t enough schoolmasters to carry out the essential beatings so senior boys were enlisted to help out.

And if they could cope with that at school they weren’t going to be unduly perturbed when things got a little sticky coping with the affairs of empire. Outnumbered 100 to one in battle or 5000 angry locals baying for your blood and you the only British administrator for 200 miles around, all child’s play compared to the regime at school!

empire is created through brutality and maintained by brutality, and the disciplined brutality needed to carve out and maintain one the largest empires the world has even known is not an inherent part of any people’s nature, it must be taught

Punishment blouses had such an ingenious purpose. It made sure that nothing stood between the instrument of correction and a schoolgirl’s flesh. Modesty was preserved with boys and girls being treated with equality. Are these fantasies or were they invention of the British mind? One can never be sure but one is always in the position to guess or make a reasonable surmise.

With regard to the 28 March 1908 Washington Evening Star report on the flogging of English Schoolgirls linked in your contribution #79 which you, mistakenly in my opinion, refer to as an ‘historical account’ you asked:
Are these fantasies or were they invention of the British mind? One can never be sure but one is always in the position to guess or make a reasonable surmise. Does anyone care to opine?

Never let it be said that Another_Lurker is unwilling to opine! ???? First the ‘historical account’ claim. The article is a carelessly assembled mass of vague and unsubstantiated CP scraps without proper attribution or authentication. Terms such as “young ladies of our great grandmothers’ days” are scarcely proper historical usage.

It is however fairly clear that much of what is being alleged happened a great many years prior to the date of the article, in the early 19th century or before. I recently pointed out in another thread that in 1817 young women were still being stripped naked to the waist, bound to the back of a cart and whipped through the streets of British cities as part of the judicial process. We should not be surprised to find that punitive conditions for girls, and indeed boys, in contemporary schools were also fairly rigorous.

Yet more good stuff from those old Welsh newspapers. Sadly the writer clearly fails to understand that at the time, 1871, the health and prosperity of the British Empire on which the sun never set, was largely based on extensive flagellation at all levels of society. When the great Public Schools of England stopped Headmasters birching boys on the bare and Prefects caning ’em likewise look what happened. Turned out that we were just an off-shore island of Europe! ????

Whenever school tours of olden days are given the youngsters oddly are attracted to school punishments in theory. Fatal attraction?

This is a still from silent film in the twenties that may well represent what school corporal punishment look like when not one doubt would cross a teacher’s mind that a girl wouldn’t benefit any more or less from a public spanking than a boy nor would be given the benefit of the doubt in the unlikely case there were one.

That is true of this 1901 government exhibit that should have given troublemakers some comfort knowing they’re better off today and perhaps complaining less as well as teachers knowing they are not alone in facing their difficulties.

1900 boys were punished as an alternative to corporal punishment to sit on the teacher’s. The bigger boys didn’t like sitting on her lap and took it to be a punishment while the little boys liked it and took it to be a reward. I thought it would be just the opposite.

Both portions of the anatomy were used to teach a lesson with the stick and the ruler. The paddle was not the instrument of correction in Reading, Pennsylvania.

What was considered progress two decades after the freeing of the slaves were colored schools answerable to school boards. Many schools used a rubber hose to spank the neither anatomy rather than the hands for they found by making that the target corporal punishment more effective. A tip of the proverbial cap was given to the Negroes for advancing the science of spanking. Credit the Negroes for their advancement in science for their creativity and practicality.

It is a non-violent way of punishing for past misbehavior while deterring future misbehavior. Parents have complained recently for teachers having their middle school age students to be told to face a wall as a punishment. It’s too embarrassing to treat them like a child.

They are lucky they are not told to assume this humiliating position at girl below. Perhaps some of those high school seniors posting on Twitter wouldn’t be racking up multiple tardies if they were mandated to spend an equal time of their tardiness.

After awhile she might even be begging to be paddled for coming to class before changing after volleyball practice. Stand for an hour for a dress code violation or five days of three swats.

Just standing nose to the wall is scarcely an adequate punishment for those naughty volleyball shorts clad senior female students you so frequently draw to our attention. Often, if I may say so, without even so much as a hint of a warning to your aged fellow contributors to prepare them for what they are about to encounter, thus gravely risking impairment of their health.

The full curious punishment of bygone days (see, on topic!) is to require the student to stand erect, toes well up to the wall, and to hold a coin in position against the wall with their nose. At the same time they should be required to interlock the fingers of each hand behind (not on top of) their head. Forcing the elbows back far enough to permit nose pressure to be maintained will prove quite strenuous and the allotted punishment time is restarted if the coin drops. They’ll be pleading to be paddled instead!

Since these things never happen in school the know have been a part of consensual domestic discipline. One of the more severe form supposedly occurred years ago when thumbs were wrapped behind a scholar’s back with a ribbon just to keep them in place as oppose to binding them but I have no confirmation of that but I wouldn’t be all that surprised.

Priorly posted. This added indignity occurred after a spanking as a compound punishment between consenting adults. If she opened her eyes for a long period of time she would go cross eyed.

It is almost a genre of its own in the nineteenth century for an author to recount stories from their youth to a new generation. This 1898 account shows how little dignity was ascribed to these urchins referred to as scholars. Some of today’s teachers would welcome its return in their districts where band I am sure there are some where it is permitted are not keen to the idea that they are limited to three swats or would prefer to have it increased to five.

Think of how sad TWP’s Renee would feel if she could only give Nashia three of those two handed swats she thought would settle the matter between her and the little white girl Amy. She would perhaps be deprived the satisfaction of seeing her clutching her buttocks. She came to mind because I thought of her mourning the loss of her poor loser leader.

What would these nineteenth century pedagogues think of the likes of those that would be theirs to teach today? BTW the story of a student having to go home with a paper tongue cut out and worn around their neck is something that occurred within my lifetime.

These punishments seem barbarous, and were barbarous when applied to most school delinquents, but there are some natures, almost or quite devoid of moral sensibility, gross mentally and physically—that can only be made to see their wrongdoing by severe corporal punishment. They are like animals. Their comprehension of guilt Is only vitalized and measured by the acuteness of the pain inflicted as a penalty.

One thing that all could agree is that there should be reticence in using corporal punishment. That makes sense when punishment at school mirrors punishment at home. There is little doubt that in areas where school corporal punishment persists at home it does so in the school. The only effective way in the school is to keep the hand away from the buttocks when a student gets older and now often a female witness is called even when an authorized one is a male to avoid even an appearance of impropriety but that is no always the case as punishment slips in the Twitter cache confirms.

There will always be wicked urchins but those that succumbed to their baser animal instinct have their coarse behavior addressed by a male principal and not a lady teacher. The physical punishment now can be given now to strong doages since the introduction of the paddle as an instrument of correction. Some still hang it on a pegboard knowing that it is still in the toolbox found on the disciplinary ladder. School the frequently use it the most are the ones that have it used for less heinous offenses found in the code of conduct that are often signed by the students on the first day. The nature of the offenses are school offenses that are less likely to have to be dealt with at home.