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School Punishment

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  • Justin124
    replied
    I attended a very strict Boys' Grammar School in West Wales 1965 - 73. There was no Detention system at all , but a general reliance on corporal punishment - though its use was restricted to the Headmaster and his Deputy when the former was absent. He was the last Headmaster of the school 1958 - 78 when a Comprehensive School replaced it. A very explosive character who was hot tempered and impatient - effectively he was temperamentally unstable in that he would lose control of himself when angry.
    Nearly 4 years before my own arrival , there was an episode at the school at the beginning of 1962 when the Head punished a boy so severely that his legs were bleeding. His parents took the matter to the national press and eventually did receive an apology. I have no idea as to why they failed to involve the Police by pressing charges because had it gone to Court there would probably have been a high probability of the Head being convicted under the terms of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861 - which would have cost him his job. What happened to that boy was not 'punishment' but 'physical abuse.' Whilst corporal punishment remained lawful in state schools until Summer 1987, physical abuse was never authorised. Beating boys to the point where they were made to bleed or remained seriously bruised for weeks clearly crossed the threshold from 'punishment' to 'physical abuse' . The boy concerned - and there were other examples - could have revisited the issue years later and denounced him in public as a 'physical child abuser.' In truth , most pupils -and parents - will have had limited knowledge of the law - and that probably spared the Headmaster's career. Whilst he passed away 20 years ago - and is, therefore, beyond human justice - his victims could still seek redress by suing the LEA on the basis of vicarious liability - in that the Local Education Authority had employed him. An award of damages might still be forthcoming.

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  • HampshirePete
    replied
    I went to school in the 1950’s and 1960’s. At infants school it was a smacked bottom. At primary school it was the ruler, slipper or cane. Got the cane twice there, one stroke on each hand. Both times from deputy headmistress and boy did it hurt.
    At grammar school it was even more strict. All teachers could use the cane and most did. The lady teachers were more likely to use it though. I got six cuts in my second week from a lady teacher for rudeness. Then it was generally once or twice a year. It was generally warranted. School rarely used detentions and lines were for minor things like talking in class. Only visited headmaster once though. Got six cuts for playing truant.
    Didn’t tell my parents either. They would not have objected and I might have got punished by them as well.

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  • George 1978
    replied
    No wonder we hear about former headteachers and strict teachers, usally PE or some other disciplined subject, bringing out "Sammy the Slipper", or "Michael" (as in Michael Cane [sic], geddit?) as a sanction, and are now in their 70s or 80s, and are getting their comeuppance at long last, being brought to justice in the courts many decades after their "punishment" on youngsters all those years ago. Thankfully it never happened to me, but I bet that up to the 1970s (and even 1980s in private schools) that it continued behind closed doors, and at the time, one assumes that it was the "normal" thing to do back then; to chastise youngsters if they had done something wrong. board rubbers, rulers, chalk, etc, have been used as weapons, not by kids, but by teachers.

    I am glad that we have had reform in the way schools have been run even since he days when I was in the system myself; writing out the same sentence 100 times may give kids the odd-arm ache, but it isn't quite as cruel as the old "six of the best" foray, in which we reached the latter half of the 20th century in schools while principal methods send the system back into Victorian times.

    Rumour had it that my Junior School headteacher had a cane in his office which was inherited from his many predecessors dating back to the 1930s at least, but when I happened to be in front of him for some strange reason (I don't even know why I was there myself to be honest), I found out that this was not true, thank goodness. We didn't have a punishment book either - well, I never saw any existence of it anyway.

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  • Juliatoo
    replied
    My Gran was a deputy headmistress until 1976 when she retired. She used to give badly behaved kids the slipper. Fortunately I didn't go to the school she worked at!

    I got a whack across the back of the legs from my class teacher with a ruler at junior school - I was in tears as soon as I knew I was getting it and hated that teacher even more.

    My brother got the cane at junior school. Mum was furious with him when she found out and he was lucky not to get her slipper too.

    Hard to believe now

    Julia

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  • Moonraker
    replied
    Originally posted by Marine Boy View Post
    Re: School Punishment

    Hi Kaz

    Well, I was at secondary school between 1974 and 1979. I think the cane was withdrawn during this time. When I started at the school, I remember there was a rumour going round amongst the kids that you could 'refuse' the cane and get suspended for a few days instead, and that many children just agreed to being struck so they could then keep it from their parents. The girls only got the slipper, not the cane.

    At Junior school, we had a very fierce head master, and once again, I believe he kept a cane but rarely used it. The deputy head used to occasionally whack a child's backside though.

    The idea of a teacher using a ruler to strike the palm of an eight year old, seems astonishing now doesn't it?
    Certainly the cane was around when I started secondary school in 1977. I was a good kid so never got punished. But one time I forgot to bring my swimming trunks; on a day when the deputy head decided to cane anyone who left their gear at home.
    There were about 7 of us waiting outside this red door. We were in a queue. The deputy head said 'come in,' and the first kid went in. I heard one whip and a cry. I was near the end of the queue... and it was getting shorter. Boy it hurt.

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  • Bubbles66
    replied
    I can remember all the class being made to stand in a circle at the middle of the classroom. The tables and chairs were moved out of the way. The teacher stood in the middle and randomly pointed to one of us to answer the times table she called out. I always dreaded being asked the 7's or the 9's, all the others I was okay with.

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  • Bubbles66
    replied
    Ooo, naughty that was. I remember standing on a tin tack once at home, that was bad enough.

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  • HG
    replied
    I only got them once after myself and some others put drawing pins on chairs in the classroom. I must not put tin tacks on chairs X 100

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  • Bubbles66
    replied
    Once I had forgotten to bring to school some homework. I was told to write out 100 times ''I must not forget my homework again''. Strangely enough I enjoyed doing that.

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  • Bubbles66
    replied
    I remember having to stand near the teachers desk to then be told to lower my socks, then I was smacked on my legs with a ruler. This was due to a friend asking me if I could lend her something from my pencil case, all I did was throw it to her gently.

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  • Siobhan57
    replied
    I attended a Roman Catholic secondary school in the north coast area of Northern Ireland in the late 1970's where corporal punishment was used on a daily basis. The strap was the most used form of punishment, always on the hands in public and could be administered by the Headmaster and a few select senior teachers. I witnessed strappings on a daily basis, mainly in assembly and occasionally for more serious offences pupils, both male and female, were caned hard on the hands.
    I was never a trouble maker at school, nor were my group of friends. However 2 specific instances stick in my mind. On one occasion my best friend at school, who had never been in trouble before, foolishly was spotted by a teacher spitting out chewing gum in the playground. A double whammy as chewing gum was banned and spitting it out was a definite no no. She was marched straight to the headmaster's office and returned to our class after lunch with tears in her eyes. As she sat beside me, she showed me her hands which were quite severely marked with the effects of the strap. She later told me the headmaster was furious, told her off and told her she was to receive 3 hard strokes with the strap on each hand, which she took with great difficulty almost in tears. I think the headmaster and other teachers were even more strict with us well behaved pupils as a warning to never reoffend. My friend never took the risk again if even chewing gum let alone spit it out.
    I personally received only 1 punishment in my 5th year close to exam time. I foolishly took an afternoon off as it was Sports Day, thinking I wouldn't be caught. A teacher however spotted me and 2 others, reported us to the headmaster who in assembly the next morning read our names out and told us to report to his office immediately after assembly. We were waiting outside his office and he ordered us into his office in a no nonsense tone. We knew we were in big trouble as he regarded our absence as a form of truancy which was one of his pet hates. He told us we were going to get caned on our hands, 2 on each hand. I was first and the pain of the cane was almost unbearable and despite only 2 strokes on each hand, my hands were stinging and I was close to tears. I then had to watch my 2 friends get exactly the same. Afterwards I went to the toilets and ran my hands under the cold tap to try to dull the pain. Needless to say it was only temporary relief as the pain lasted all day. That was my first and last experience of corporal punishment.

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  • manofkent59
    replied
    I was at secondary school during the 1970s and had the slipper (PE teacher's plimsoll). And on one occasion, a whack on my backside with a cricket stump! From the same PE teacher

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  • George 1978
    replied
    Does anyone think in hindsight that detention actually worked as an actual punishment? At my school, detention was all about staying in at playtime/breaktime or for half an hour after school, writing out lines 100 times, "I must not...", or copying two textbook pages onto A4 paper. Was it a waste of time (and ink and paper) or did the punishment actually work and thus one never repeated the offence at school again? Was it bearable enough that the misdemeanor wasn't too bad to get the so-called punishment which was on offer - and some did it again?

    After all, there wasn't mush difference between being suspended or expelled and breaking up for the summer holidays - they both meant no more going to school!

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  • Mulletino
    replied
    Originally posted by 80sChav

    Btw Happy New year to mate and I tried to PM you a few days back but I think your In-box was full or something! Please try to In-box me and I hope all is as well as can be expected "Down Under" with you/for you
    Happy new year to you too mate! I'll have a look at my inbox to see if i can clear it out, didn't realise i was that popular.

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  • George 1978
    replied
    I used to hate Wednesday mornings between break and lunchtime - our classroom was our "changing room" as that was where we had to put our PE kit on, and then we had to travel by bus to an open field around a mile away where it was cold, and had to do PE activities - the teacher used to say "run up and down, you'll soon get warm" as if he understood how we were feeling, in which he obviously did not. It might not have been a punishment as such but it really felt like one.

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