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Slippered In The Gym

I was at a mixed grammar school in the south of England where corporal punishment – slipper and cane for boys, slipper for girls - was used. But I was a well-behaved and studious girl who never really got into much trouble. I reached the sixth form having never even been in detention with my worst punishment having to write out fifty lines in the third year.

In my first term in the sixth year the headmaster brought in a new rule that we weren’t supposed to leave the school premises during dinner hour. This was apparently because a junior boy had been involved in an accident when he’d been out of the school. I had been regularly going to the local library – which was just a few hundred yards away, across two minor roads – during dinner hour to do some reading.

I heard the announcement of the new rule in assembly but somehow I didn’t think it applied to what I was doing. I was a 6th former and I was going out for a good reason to a safe place which wasn’t at all dangerous to get to.

So, I carried on going to the library.

On the second day when I got back to the school gates there was a teacher waiting for me. It was Mr Falconer, who had taken us for maths in the second year. He shook his head when he saw me and said “I didn’t think you were a rule breaker, Donna”.

I explained that I had only been to the library – I actually had a library book to prove it – but he said it was against the rules and made me stand there with him till the bell went for the end of dinner hour. No other pupils came back while we waited. I’m sure that any real “rule breakers” wouldn’t have returned to the front gate like me but would have sneaked back into the school some other way.

Anyway, the bell finally went and as the rest of the school lined up Mr Falconer walked me to the headmaster’s office. He knocked on the door and ushered me in with him and explained to the head how he had caught me. He then left, leaving me alone with Mr Flatman (Fatman as the naughty boys called him!).

He was very angry and wanted to know why I had insolently disregarded his instructions. It was very scary but I managed to explain that the route was perfectly safe, that I’d been going to the library in dinner hour for ages and that I had not thought that the rule applied to pupils in the sixth form. In fact when I’d heard the rule announced I’d really not though that it applied to me but only to those naughty boys who were always getting into trouble.

But it was to no avail. He said I should have asked my form master for a pass and would then have been able to show it to Mr Falconer when I got back. But I had never heard about a system of passes!

Anyway, after a lot of telling off and shouting he got out his fountain pen and started to write a note. I couldn’t read it from where I stood. He put it in an envelope and sealed it and told me to take it to Miss Baxter, the Games and Sports mistress. However, I was first to go and join my class for the first lesson which had just started and then go and see Miss Baxter with the note in afternoon break. He told me that she would countersign the note “once she had dealt with me”.

So I had to go and knock on the door and arrive late at my class. We were mostly in small groups in the sixth form and there were only about six of us there I think, mostly girls, but I knew that some of them had probably seen me being taken to the head by Mr Falconer. And they must all have known I was in some sort of big trouble. The teacher obviously knew too because he didn’t ask why I was late but just told me to go and sit down. Luckily Jackie, my friend, had brought my bag with her.

She tried to whisper to me asking what it was all about during the lesson but I didn’t reply. And I didn’t stay to tell her about it when the bell went for break but just asked her to give my bad to another girl who was going to be in the same group as me after break.

I wanted to report to Miss Baxter as soon as possible – both to “get it overwith” as quickly as possible and also to give me more time after the whacking - I knew I was going to get the slipper – to recover by the next lesson.

I had seen Miss Baxter use the slipper a few times – girls were only slippered in front of the class in girls’ only lessons like gym or domestic science. I knew she slippered very hard but I’d never seen her or any teacher at the school ever give more than 4 whacks with the slipper – and I’d seen her reduce girls to tears with that.

But there were rumours that girls sent to her by the head for the slipper – like me – could get many more whacks. I remember in the fourth year two girls had told the rest of us that they’d got twelve vicious whacks each! I hadn’t believed it at the time and had assumed they were making it up because they were ashamed of having cried (it was obvious they had), but now I was very worried that they might have been telling the truth :-(

So I went to Miss Baxter’s office, through the girls’ changing rooms and knocked on her door. She was there and called me to come in. That was a relief in a way as if she hadn’t been I’d have had to go to the staffroom or the secretary to find out where she was and that would have been very embarrassing.

So I went in and gave her the envelope. I think she had been expecting me. She read the note and just looked at me and said something like “I am going to slipper your bottom so hard that you’ll wish you’d never been born!”

She fumbled about in a box in a corner of the room and took out a large old-looking black plimsoll, probably a man’s one from the size. She held it by the heel end and whacked it down on her table hard – the noise was terrifying and I squeaked in apprehension. I’d never come close to getting the slipper before and even at home mum hadn’t spanked me since I was about eight or nine.

She told me we were going into the gym and that I should take off my shoes and socks. We weren’t allowed to wear shoes in the gym and she said socks would be too slippery “and we don’t want you falling over”. She was wearing plimsolls herself as I think she always did.

In the gym she made me stand by the wall bars and hold onto the lowest of them. I was wearing black trousers as we were allowed to do in the sixth form and I could feel them tightening over my bottom as I bent. I suppose that was my one bit of good luck that day, because the girls I’d seen get the slipper had got it over their knickers.

It was so embarrassing bending there with my bottom about to be whacked. But I forgot about that as soon as the first slap of the slipper smacked down. I had never imagined how much it could hurt, I didn’t see stars but I did suddenly see a flash of bright light and I yelped and held on as tightly as I could to the bar because then the next one was coming and then the next and I had no way of keeping count because it was hurting so much and all the effort I could divert from the awareness of the pain was devoted to holding on and trying to stay as still as possible so as not to annoy Miss Baxter.

It just went on and on and I was crying and sobbing and yelling for her to stop but she kept on going, whack after whack on my sore bottom, each whack hurting more than the last and building up in an unbearable crescendo of pain. You might think that at a certain point the pain becomes so bad that you don’t react any more to more slaps, that your body becomes numbed, but this didn’t happen, it just got worse and worse and worse with the whacks coming as regularly as a metronome until finally and unbelievably there came a pause.

I didn’t dare to stand without permission and I just held onto the rail wriggling and howling. I was right to do so. Suddenly Miss Baxter unleashed the last two whacks of my ordeal taking me completely by surprise and causing me to howl like a banshee.

Only then did she tell me to stand up and go back to her office and put my shoes and socks back on.

That was harder than you might imagine. It hurt to walk and I didn’t even try to sit down as I pulled my socks back on. Miss Baxter watched me as I struggled and tried to stop crying.

Then she scrawled something on the note that she’d left on her desk and told me to go and take it back to Mr Flatman. But I didn’t go back straightaway. I went to the girls’ toilets and locked myself into a cubicle and tried to prepare myself for the last lesson of the day after the bell went for the end of break.

I looked at the note – Mr Flatman had just written something like “give this girl a sound slippering” and Miss Baxter had written “Done!” – and she certainly had. I carefully undid my trousers and eased them down and I could see the damage the plimsoll had done without even taking off my knickers which, as luck would have it, were not rather skimpy that day. My whole bottom including my upper thighs was a bright red and already there were incipient bruises.

I pulled my trousers up again and went to the wash basins, forced myself to stop crying, and washed my face, just in time for the bell at the end of break.

Walking was still painful and I walked slowly and carefully but I did just make ti in time for the start of the lesson. I sat down tentatively and Lisa told me that I winced and gasped as I did so. Everyone in the class could must have been aware that I’d just been slippered for naughtiness. I just put my head in my hands and paid no attention to the lesson and started to cry again, but quietly this time.

After school I took the note back to Mr Flatman though I’m sure my appearance would have informed him just as well as Miss Baxter’s confirmation that I’d been slippered.

He didn’t keep me long but told me I would have dinner time detention for the next two weeks “as I couldn’t be trusted”.

I never became a prefect, though most of my friends did and I am pretty sure that it was this incident to blame.



donna5321 donna5321 56-60, F 19 Responses Dec 30, 2011

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Were they ever given on the bare?

This is pretty disgraceful - one reason why CP was abolished in Britain was bullies like this. The guidelines said 'reasonable corporal punishment' not sadistic beatings.

Agreed, but I'm not sure anyone has worked out a sensible alternative, so much so that some children take knives and guns into school, whether they intend to use them or not.

Yes, but the opposite to 'abusive discipline' is not 'no discipline' but 'fair and appropriate discipline'. What Donna received was neither fair nor appropriate. It was plain abusive, especially for a girl who was never in trouble and had simply made a wrong assumption. I think you will note there were no knives or guns on her person when she mistakenly went to the library. In her case a telling off with a warning would have sufficed.

I wish I'd had a teacher like Miss Baxter!

We had a Latin teacher, ex army bloke, who clearly got a kick out of using the slipper on 12-13 year old boys. He always kept his slipper in an adjoining room to the class room, yet had ample space in the class to store it, and as the poor victim stood, face red with embarrassment awaiting his slippering, he teacher always selected a very pretty young girl to go and fetch the slipper.

He sounds like a pervert - probably a homosexual paedophile if he only slippered boys.

Its too easy to label people like that, there might be a lot more going on!

If only one sex was slippered what would that indicate?

I agree with Judyhv. If a teacher only slippered girls and always let boys off, I think a lot of people would suspect his or her motives. Why should it be any different if the teacher targets boys instead?

Exactly! Double standards at their worst. There seems to be a general refusal to accept that boys can be victims of abuse but all Hell breaks loose if you simply reverse the sexes.

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Dang that is REALLY rough

I remember how much that gym shoe hurt! I was at boarding school in the 70's & earlly 80's & slippering was the main form of punishment. Unfortunately by the time i reached sixth form age i had been slippered too many times to mention!

so, it never did you any good then? ;)

They only needed the slightest reason to use the slipper at my school. It appears you had the same problem smackedboarder?

My school was very strict,but i would push as many boundaries as i could.If i thought i could get away with it i woud try. I was a risk taker as much then as i am now!

You sometimes paid the price a few times, when taking a risk smackedboarder. I never really thought about the consequences when I broke some petty rule, that is until I felt the gym shoe making contact.

I always pushed the boundaries too and never really thought of the consequences of being caught either. I learned a lot about risk assessment at school. ;)

I would imagine from reading your comments you were like me, when I was caught I didn't try and pass the buck I came clean and accepted what the outcome was. I don't have time for moaner's. As well as the academic learning curves at school you also lean valuable lessons on life in general.

That was my attitude too. It might have got us slightly more lenient treatment because I'm sure teachers respected that attitude. The other benefit was that, if you get a reputation for owning up to what you did, you're more likely to be believed when you truthfully deny something. Honesty can be the best policy.

What you've said has in fact happened. We were told to support our School football team in our last lesson. On the way I was playing about with another boy, when a games teacher took exception to this and told us to wait in the corridor, where upon the Headmaster saw us. He listened to the full story and told us to report to him the next day after assembly. I duly reported to him the following morning, but the other boy was absent. After consultation with the games teacher, who said he was going to slipper the both of us, the Headmaster suggested as I had the courage to turn up it maybe appropriate just to give me a warning, which was agreed. When the other guy turned up 3 days later the matter had been forgotten. I didn't attempt to sugar coat my guilt, I openly admitted it.

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I was schooled in the UK in the 70s and early 80s when corporal punishment was very much an everyday reality, and I spent most of my time living in fear of the omnipresent slipper. I do recall that due to the age of 6th formers (17-18 yrs), and the fact that they were at school of their own volition rather than by law, they were treated differently to the younger pupils. Serious transgressions of school rules by 6th formers was a rare occurrence. I do remember a 6th former who, for a particularly serious offence, was given the choice of suspension for 2 weeks or the cane - he chose the cane so to avoid his parents finding out, but at least he had a choice that would not have been given to 5th formers and below.

Your punishment does seem a little harsh for someone with no history of causing trouble/flouting school rules, but perhaps the Head wanted to demonstrate a zero tolerance policy. If you had been in middle school (11-16 years) at the time, and a known nuisance, then I think the slippering would have been well-deserved. As a 6th former, it probably did you no harm either. For what it's worth I did witness a number of 'sound slipperings' at my boys only school and am extremely grateful not to have been on the receiving end. My form teacher in junior school (8-11 yrs) doubled as the PE teacher and kept a plimsoll on his desk (old black one, thick rubber sole, he probably found it in school lost property bin) and used it often. When he slippered he would rise on to the tips of his toes to get maximum height and bring it down with all his weight behind it, following through, with a loud crack as it made contact. Despite clear barked instructions the poor individual would never be able to keep fingers on toes throughout such a slippering, which would only serve to infuriate our teacher further, and result in more whacks. He never gave less than the standard six, regardless of the offence.

I got the cane in 6th form, along with two other girls and three boys, for going to the pub one lunchtime. We were given the choice of suspension or the cane too - we all chose the cane.

You poor thing I feel for you. Similar things happened to me at school but we never got more than six. Mind you we got it much more often. The strap on the hand in front of the class and caned own the bottom in private by deputy head, head mistress for girls . Let me know if you would like to chat about our experiences

Detentions are so boring - wouldn't you have preferred more work with the slipper?

I know what you mean about detentions, I detested them. :( At least a slippering is over quickly.

yes, and I'm probably a bit strange, but I like a bit of pain!

That would have helped. :) I just preferred to get it over with. A few whacks of the slipper across my knickers and it was over. Much better than dragging it out sitting in detention. :(

that is my trouble - i would have more than a few whacks and would probably have been very cheeky!

The slipper probably wasn't very effective as a punishment in your case. ;) To be honest, it didn't deter me much either.

oh, I like a good hard slipper but it does only inspire me to ask for the cane!

I managed to get the cane several times too, often because the slipper hadn't deterred me from doing again whatever I'd been slippered for.

Were you ever deterred or are you still naughty?

It never deterred me. I'm still just a naughty as ever and spend quite a lot of time bending over, with my knickers down, while my husband whacks a slipper or cane across my arse. ;)

I thought as much - sounds like me you are incorrigible!

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I think it was discrimination to younger pupile that you were allowed to keep your trousers on!!!!!

I got the slipper several times and the cane three times when I was at school. It was a common form of punishment then. If I got caught misbehaving, I got punished. It was no big deal, it was expected.

Very true and so common.

Deplorable and disgraceful. A seemingly strict disciplinarian zero-tolerance headmaster decrees that pupils shall not leave the school during dinner hour. What about those that go home for lunch ? What arrangements were made for them ? Did he say ? It sounds as if he didn't. Were form teachers supposed to clarify the ruling ? If so, no one did in this case. That could mean that 6th formers were not bound by the ruling. On the other hand, it would have been prudent to check on that fact before going to the library. However, a teacher who knows the pupil and who knows she is neither a trouble-maker nor one who goes looking for trouble finds that she has been out of school at lunch time. He is presented with an explanation which shows that there is a misunderstanding. All he has to do is to tell her that she is wrong and that she should get pass before going out again - and he could rely on that being done. But no, he gives her a personal introduction to the beak - that may be a reflection of the hold he held over his staff for this beak is, I think, a decidedly unpleasant character. Why was it necessary to shout at her ? Good headmasters shouldn't need to shout at anyone. It suggests that he had lost his temper. If so, he then made the mistake of imposing a punishment when his vision was distorted - my own headmaster told prefects never to impose a punishment if tempers were raised - tell the pupil to come back later by which time tempers would have cooled and the events could be judged with a clear mind. But in this case the pupil is sent to someone who sounds to be another nasty bit of work - a Miss Baxter - the "Miss" says it all - doubtless not a femme fatale - and she appears to relish the thought of giving young girls a good hiding. In the classroom a slippering can be administered with the pupil bent over a desk. She had a table in her office so the punishment could have been administered there. Why, then, was it necessary to go into the gym ? Was it an exuse to make the pupil remove her shoes and socks, knowing that putting them back on again would be a very painful business ? A nice masochistic touch. And so we end up with a pupil in a lesson taking no notice of what is going on because she is crying yet the teacher says nothing about it. It must have been disconcerting for him/her and the other pupils. Then, at the end of the day, the head adds insult to injury by imposing a further punishment of detentions. The slippering alone was way OTT. What would have happened had she done something really serious such as stealing ? Was there a gallows in the playground ? The whole thing is all the more disgusting because we have an ideal pupil. It is hardly the way to reward good behaviour. And what did the punishement achieve ? Nothing at all so far as I can see. It was completely unnecessary.<br />
<br />
Did what happened affect your outlook on life and the school ?<br />
<br />
Why not name and shame the school ? There may be others who suffered in thesame way.<br />
<br />
Was this headmaster a devoutly religious person by any chance ?

OldAndCrabby,<br />
Usually when parents find out that we were spanked, we got an extra 1 at home.

Reggie, it's a pity that that era is past tense!

An excellent account, Donna, and I really felt for you. I was v lucky in keeping out of the slipper and cane's way after about 12, but could so easily have slipped up. How many strokes did you get, actually, or did I miss that? Do you recall how long you were marked for? A strict but glorious era.

I don't really know to this day. I'm pretty sure it was at least ten and, at the time I thought it might have been twenty!

I was bruised for a few days at least. By the time I got home the initial smarting had eased off but my bum still throbbed and ached.

To answer the query about comics being used to reduce the effects of a hiding. <br />
No the Headmaster had a hearing problem, he was involved in a bomb incident during the 2nd world war. <br />
He did not use a cane as such, it was a thick wide strap with a slit up the middle from the end to the handle. The idea was that the strap wrapped round you posterior and right leg before the two sides came together pinching you and sometimes cutting the skin. You made sure that the comic was wrapped around to cover the top of the right leg under your trousers and underpants next to the skin reducing the cutting effect. Oh and if you forgot to cry out he would continue to smack you forgetting it was supposed to be six of the best. Some of the teachers both male and female would not send anyone to the Headmaster but would demand that you dropped your trousers and underpants before bending over and being canned in front of the class. Their canning hurt both physically and emotionally and the result was these teachers had little trouble with anyone of the naughty boys.<br />
All of these things are now outlawed. <br />
The Headmasters were not supposed to draw blood but few parents took any notice and my dad would give me another hiding if I told him I got one from the headmaster. If I told him I got cuts from a teacher with my pants down he would laugh and laugh.

I saw comics where that was done but never believed anyone could get away with it!<br />
<br />
Do you suppose the headmaster knew about the comics and just ignored it? I don't see how he cold have missed it! Apart from anything else I expect the sound of the caning would have been completely different!

We were also caned on our backsides.

When in High School I would get the cane every school day. I was totally complacent about it after a while. I would have some comics inside my pants to deaden the cane's effect. The Headmaster eventually asked my dad to move me to another school. The new Headmaster told me he would not tolerate any delinquency and he would give me the cane every time I was caught. Well I never got caught and never saw him except for assembly.