The Slipper, Ruler And Cane
I went to school in the 1960s and into the 1970s, and teachers were able to smack you if you were naughty. Actually you didn't even need to be all that naughty, simply turning your head to look at a fellow classmate could get you into trouble. It was smacking on your legs or backside when you were younger, and later on, when you were bigger, came the slipper and the ruler. Happy days! Girls got the ruler either on the palms or knuckles (which was very nasty) and the slipper was used mostly on boys, bending over at the front of the class. I say mostly, because at the age of 12 yours truly got it, along with two boys and another girl, for disrupting the lesson (it was an argument over a stolen eraser, one of the boys took it from my friend when she wasn't looking) When I went to high school we learned about the dreaded cane, which we worried about I must say. For girls again it was used on our hands, which seems odd now seen as girls tend to have more padding at the back than boys. Besides which, hands are delicate and you had to be careful not to move your hand or you could end up getting it across your fingers. I knew of this happening and the girl's fingers where swollen afterwards so she could barely write! The worst cases meant being caned in front of the whole assembly, and it was almost always boys who were the culprits. These were not light taps either, but very hard swishes indeed given across the boy's bottom. The most I ever saw given was 4 strokes, and I couldn't imagine someone standing 6 like that. Our headmaster was a formidable man and even the toughest boys knees would knock at the prospect of incurring his wrath. However, bad behaviour was nipped in the bud, and bullies dealt with swiftly. I often wonder if in some ways we were better off.