any new or updated information is marked with *
schoolgirl corporal punishment in the uk
caning was used in various uk schools before it`s use in state schools was outlawed by just 1 vote in parliament in 1987, the ban did not include public schools but many decided to phase it out soon after. caning policy varied from school to school before the ban, many mixed and all girls schools made girls exempt from caning and all corporal punishment, where-as some schools used only the slipper on girls. but there were plenty of schools around that used the cane on girls, some very rarely, some more frequently. the cane was administered to either the palms of the hands or the buttocks.
the rodney co-educational boarding school in nottinghamshire, England, (pictured left) was the scene of probably the last of the well publicised canings of schoolgirls, and retained the use of the cane up until the total ban on corporal punishment in uk schools in mid 1998, the headmaster caned the boys and the school founder, ms. joan thomas, caned the girls. in march 1991 five 11/12 year old girls were caught sneaking into the boys dormitory at night. the girls parents were contacted about the incident and given the choice that the girls were to be either expelled or caned, all the parents chose the cane and all five girls were summoned to ms. thomas` study the day after the incident to be punished. all the girls were caned on their hands and bottoms, and the girl that was said to be the ringleader recieved the more severe punishment of the 5, she was given 7 strokes on her hands and 5 strokes on her bottom.
in 1984 the sunday times newspaper published an article about three schoolgirls who were each given eight strokes of the cane on their bottoms from their headmistress with their skirts raised for stealing a total of about twelve pounds from some other girls at the school. the three girls, two eleven and one twelve year old, were given the choice of being expelled from school or taking a caning, all three chose the caning.
in the late 1970s a church of england secondary school called bacon`s, in london`s docklands, was known to cane more girls than any other uk school. more than two hundred canings were administered to girls in one school year.
in 1976 the headmaster at camden square school in county durham held a fifteen year old girl down over a platform while a female member of the teaching staff administered six strokes of the cane to her bottom. the headmaster later recieved complaints for his part in the caning.
in a magazine article a lady named, jackie, recalled a strict caning regime at a north romford comprehensive school in the early 1960s. she recalled that: "mere insolence meant the stick for boys or girls." and she also commented: "i well recall having to bend over for eight of the best across thin gym pants for a second offence of smoking at the age of fifteen."
in 1976 the daily telegraph newspaper featured a report about a fourteen year old girl at northwich girls grammar school who was given three strokes of the cane on her bottom by headmistress, janet dines, for eating crisps in a lesson. in the report the caned girl, lynne simmons, commented that she was ordered to pull up her dress and bend over for the caning. a doctor who examined the girl reported that there were three red cane weals on her buttocks, one of which was fourteen inches long. the headmistress was taken to court after a complaint but was cleared.
in her book called child of a system a lady called, noele arden, recalls the discipline at an approved school in the 1950s called ,st. christopher`s place, near liverpool. she recalls being caned on her hands before the entire school for making a fuss about some items of hers that had been stolen. she also recalls running away from the school with another girl but being sent back by the girl`s mother. when they returned, the girls were taken in front of the entire school and both made to bend over a chair for a public caning on their bottoms.
*in a magazine article, sue nicholson, (pictured left) talked about the 13 years (from 1964-77) she spent with 2 of her brothers at the moorlands boarding school in lancashire, England. and in the article she mentioned that "the cane was still used on girls as well as boys." her brother, howard, also talking of their time at the private school, said: "we learned respect, politeness, discipline. we were caned, but we knew the boundaries. school gave us an edge. we learned to mix in a strata of society.
schoolgirl corporal punishment in the usa
paddling is still commonly used in schools in the usa. about half of the states in america still use the paddle especially the southern states. girls are paddled almost as often as boys, even pupils of 16, 17 and over can be paddled. the paddle is a flat wooden board which can vary slighly in design, length and thickness. some paddles have holes drilled in them to make them more aero dynamic, increasing the speed of the delivery of the swat making it more painful and more damaging. the paddle is designed to be administered to the buttocks only. it is common for pupils to be given the choice of taking a paddling or a punishment like suspension, for example five days suspension or a swat of the paddle for each day instead. or some schools may give a pupil two chances then on the third offence it`s a paddling.
in 1981 at the dunn high school in dunn north carolina seventeen year old shelley gahsperson was given six hard swats of the paddle on her butt from a six foot two, fourteen stone football coach assistant principal for skipping school for a day. she was originally put on an in-school suspension for six days which meant that she had to study in a room on her own for that period of time. but after three days she felt she wasn`t being given the proper work to keep up with her important schoolwork and asked the assistant principal for an alternative form of punishment. he said that the only alternative was corporal punishment and that she would have to take three swats of the paddle for each of the remaining three days left on the in-school suspension. the following day shelley made up her mind to go and see the assistant principal to take her nine swats, the assistant principal told her that six swats would be enough, she then had to bend over a desk for the paddling. two other girls were also in the study for a spanking that day, also for skipping school. the assistant principal produced a paddle about two feet long, six inches wide, and a quarter of an inch thick. he then gave each girl two swats at a time. three years later shelley told a senate commitee: "i could not take all six of them at one time, it was two at a time because the pain was so terrible." she also commented: "it was the worst pain i have ever felt in my life, both my buttocks were severely bruised."
in 1991 fourteen year old, renee mull, of lamarque junior high school in texas was given five hard swats of the paddle on her butt for persistent late arrival to school. renee refused to bend over for the punishment because she thought she hadn`t commited a paddling offence, but the teacher called for assistance and had the girl held down over a table by two members of the teaching staff for the paddling.
kimberly jones, an honours student of bartow high school near tampa florida was given the choice of a three days suspension or three swats of the paddle for parking her car on the school`s manicured lawns. kimberly chose the paddling.
in 1981 at lake stevens junior high school the principal administered a staggering eight hundred and seventy four paddlings, about two hundred and twenty were administered to the butts of girls. one thirteen year old girl described a paddling she recieved, commenting: "you have to bend over the back of an armchair and rest your hands on the seat, and then you get paddled. i got two licks." when asked to describe the paddling not suprisingly she said: "it hurts."
fifteen year old, tamara may, of mesquite high school in mesquite texas was due to be paddled for the second time in a year before her mother ann torbert complained. the school opposed mrs torbert`s view by insisting that their right to maintain authority was at stake. mrs torbert eventually agreed that tamara did deserve punishment but insisted that she would come to the school and punish her daughter herself, which was agreed. mrs torbert arrived at the school with a thick leather belt, tammy then had to bend over the desk in the principal`s study and was given ten whacks with the belt on her butt. one of the assistant principals who witnessed the punishment commented: "tammy would have been better off taking the paddle swats from us: her mom really sizzled her behind with that strap." (enter for mrs torbert picture)
twenty-seven states have abolished school corporal punishment. yet, the practice continues with twenty three states still allowing the use of corporal punishment in schools. over 470,000 students were paddled in the 1993-94 school year (statistics from the U.S. department of education). in arkansas, over 13 percent of students were subjected to corporal punishment. in the second big-hitter state, mississippi, almost 11 percent of students were spanked.
*the photograph on the left was taken on open day 1990 at matamuskeet high school in north carolina. the 2 paddles are classroom paddles, on careful inspection you will see room 5 written on the top paddle. the principal`s office paddle would likely be slightly thicker and heavier.