I am not in favour of real life corporal punishment of schoolchildren. If you don't want to read about such matters, please do not read what follows:
This is a fictionalised version of an actual event . . .
"Caroline Fletcher, Lisa Knox and Mandy Lovell will stand up and go out to wait outside Mrs Taylor's office!"
It was towards the end of assembly at Princess Alexandra School. Mr Denham, the headmaster, had just informed the school that three fifth year girls had been caught the previous day in town, having "bunked off" school. When he announced that they were to wait for Mrs Taylor everybody had a good idea of what was going to happen to them, and all eyes turned to the three girls as they stood up.
Caroline managed to maintain an expression of bored unconcern as she walked out of the hall, but both of the other girls were blushing a bright red. Lisa, the tallest of the three, looked desperately unhappy and on the point of bursting into tears.
When the girls were outside the hall and slowly walking down the corridor that led to the deputy headmistress's office the recriminations started.
"This is all your fault, Caroline!" snapped Lisa. "I've never been in trouble before. I didn't want to go to the park anyway! I've never, ever been in trouble before - and now . . . I'm going to get the cane!"
Lisa almost lost control of her voice for the last few words, but the others knew what she meant - they were also thinking of what was going to happen.
Caroline stood still. "Don't be such a silly cow, Lisa! It was your idea to bunk off yesterday just as much as it was mine, or Mandy's. We knew this could happen if we were caught and we're all in for it, not just you. Do you think I'm looking forward to the cane? Or Mandy?"
Lisa was still complaining.
"You've had it before, though. I've never even had the slipper! If I'd been caught bunking off by myself, I'd have got lines or detention or maybe the slipper from Miss Porter. But just because of you and your bad reputation, we've all been sent to Mrs Taylor. And it isn't fair . . ."
Caroline didn't say anything but just looked at Lisa. Then she started walking towards the deputy's office once again, ignoring her. Mandy and, after a short pause, Lisa started off with her.
Soon they reached the office and stood outside in a disconsolate group. There was no point in knocking. They knew Mrs Taylor was still in the hall and would be coming along at the end of assembly in a few minutes. The girls stood there, rapt in their own thoughts. From time to time each of them would, without being aware of what they were doing, put their hands on the seats of their dark green skirt and gently rub the soon-to-be-caned area.
Mandy pulled her hand away with an embarrassed start. "How many strokes do you think we'll get, Caroline? Is it really so much worse than the slipper?"
Caroline thought back. Girls rarely got the cane at Princess Alexandra School. Despite her "bad reputation" Caroline had only been caned once before - about two years ago when she'd been thirteen - although she'd had the slipper many times, much more often than most of the other girls in her class.
"Well, I got four strokes last time, Mandy, and that was back in the second year when I got sent here for swearing. If we're lucky it'll be the same this time. But she might make it "six of the best" this time as we're older. Or . . . she might give you two four and me six as a repeat offender.
"Whatever. Even four strokes is going to really hurt. Yes! It's a lot worse than the slipper. I'd rather get the slipper half a dozen times than get the cane. The slipper can sting like hell, but after half an hour or so it's all forgotten. When I got the cane I was black and blue for ages, and it hurt to sit down for days!
"But, I lived, and we will this time too. It will hurt, but it's not the end of the world."
The girls fell quiet again. After a short time they heard the sound of the assembly breaking up. Schoolchildren started to walk back to their classrooms and several glanced inquisitively at the three girls waiting outside the deputy headmistress's office. Caroline and the others could guess at the remarks and jokes that must be being made.
Finally they saw Mrs Taylor walking purposefully down the corridor towards them. Caroline felt a fluttering in her stomach. Despite her brave words to Mandy she was not at all looking forward to the next few minutes.
The deputy headmistress arrived and motioned them all into her office. She sat at her desk with the girls ranged before her. She launched into a diatribe on the evils of playing truant from school, emphasising the gravity with which the school viewed their offence.
"This matter has been referred to me because of its seriousness and only one punishment is appropriate. I am going to cane all three of you!"
Finally she asked the girls if they had anything to say for themselves.
Caroline and Mandy did not respond. They knew they'd been caught red-handed and that now they had to go through whatever punishment Mrs Taylor imposed. Lisa decided to try her luck.
"Please, miss, I've never been sent to you before! I've never even been in trouble before. You can ask Miss Porter! I'll never play truant again. Can't I have lines or detention, please? Not the cane!"
"Lisa! I am punishing you for your behaviour yesterday, not punishing bad behaviour or rewarding good behaviour in the past. All three of you broke the rules in the same way and all three of you will be punished in the same way. You, like your two friends, will get the cane."
Lisa's aversion to the cane outweighed her discretion.
"Please, miss, I don't deserve to get the cane the first time I've broken the rules. I know you can't let me off altogether, but couldn't I have lines or detention instead?"
"Be quiet, girl!" barked the deputy headmistress. "In the first place I don't believe for a moment that this is the first time you've ever broken school rules. It's just the first time you've been caught and sent to me! And I have already told you that you WILL get the cane. That is the appropriate punishment and all three of you will receive it.
"But, since you ask so persistently, you CAN have a detention and lines. As well as your caning, not instead of it! You will stay in after school in Mr Harding's detention class this afternoon, and I will expect fifty lines by tomorrow morning: ‘I must not waste Mrs Taylor's time when I'm sent for punishment."
Lisa finally fell silent. Silent tears began to trickle from her large blue eyes.
"There's no need to cry yet, Lisa; I'll give you something to cry about soon enough!"
Despite her own situation Caroline could scarcely prevent a smile of schadenfreude at Lisa's discomfiture. It was about time that Lisa Knox was taken down a peg or two. And it had been Lisa's idea to go to the park yesterday.
Mrs Taylor stood up. "Caroline, I've had to cane you before. I shall deal with you first and you will demonstrate the procedure to the other two! Lisa and Mandy, stand by the wall! Caroline, pull that chair into the middle of the room."
As the girls obeyed, Mrs Taylor walked over to a cabinet in a corner of the room and took out a rattan cane, about thirty inches long.
"Bend over the back of the chair, Caroline. I'm sure you remember."
Caroline drew a deep breath and obeyed. She was relatively short and had to stand on tip toe to bend over the chair. The wooden chair back dug uncomfortably into her stomach as she stretched out her hands to grip the chair legs. As she did so she felt her short green school skirt sliding up, revealing half her bottom. To Caroline's surprise she felt Mrs Taylor turning back the hem and pulling her knickers up tight so that her bottom was effectively bare. That hadn't happened last time!
The other girls were also shocked - they had always heard that the cane was given over skirts, just as the boys got it through trousers.
Now Caroline felt the cane tapping on her exposed bottom. She tensed herself and closed her eyes, gripping the legs of the chair as firmly as possible.
The cane whipped through the air and crashed down hard against Caroline's soft flesh. The girl gave vent to a sharp gasp and her whole body shook with the force of the blow. But she remained otherwise silent and stayed firmly in her ignominious position.
Another stroke lashed down, less than an inch below the first. Once again a tremor passed through Caroline's body and she wriggled desperately over the chair as the stinging pain bit in. Mrs Taylor paused to admire the effects of just the first two strokes. Two weals were clearly visible on each bottom cheek, but so close together that the deputy headmistress guessed that they'd soon combine. She stood back a little, intent on making the third stroke the hardest one yet.
This time the cane landed lower down and Mrs Taylor aimed it so that the tip hit the centre of the fifteen year old's right buttock, burying itself deep into the meat before bouncing back up.
"Oww!! Oww!! OWWW!!"
This time Caroline could not avoid yelping with pain. She bounced up and down over the chair, her feet drumming, as she tried to recover her self-control. Mrs Taylor was congratulating herself, meanwhile. She knew that there would soon be a painful bruise where the cane's tip had dug in. Little Miss Fletcher would not be sitting down in any comfort for quite some time!
To her embarrassment Caroline realised that tears were seeping out of her closed eyes. She tried to pray as hard as possible that the next stroke would be the last and that Mrs Taylor wouldn't decide to give her more than last time. She became aware of the deputy headmistress raising the cane.
It was the hardest stroke yet, lashing down onto the most tender part of Caroline's bottom, where it merged into her thighs.
"YEEOOWW!! Aeeii! Oww! Oww! Oww!!"
As the pain of that stroke exploded in her nether quarters Caroline forgot about her watching friends and just reacted automatically. But despite the unbelievable stinging she still remained bravely holding on to the chair and awaiting the deputy's instructions. After a short pause Mrs Taylor had mercy:
"Very well, Caroline. You may stand up."
The well-caned girl slowly straightened herself, sniffing back the tears. Her school skirt fell back into place, covering her bottom. On Mrs Taylor's gesture she limped over to join her two friends over by the wall. When she was standing by their side her hands went to the seat of her school skirt and she gently massaged her smarting bottom through the dark green material.
"Lisa! You're next. Come over here and bend over the chair as Caroline just did!"
Lisa walked forward very slowly, tears still slowly falling down her sad face, but now she knew better than to bandy words with the deputy. When she reached the chair she cast back one imploring look but there was no mercy in the teacher's face and the previously unspanked schoolgirl lowered herself over the chair. She was taller than Caroline and this exercise caused her less trouble. When she was in position her green school skirt was still fully covering her bottom, although it was tightly stretched. Much to her relief Mrs Taylor made no move to adjust it.
Instead Lisa squirmed as she felt the cane tapping onto the taut green skirt. Then, with no more warning:
The cane whipped down hard in a photocopy of the first stroke Caroline had received. Lisa's reaction was disproportionate.
"Oww! Oww! Oww!! Oh, Jesus! My bum!"
The tall schoolgirl lost her grip on the chair and stood upright, dancing around the office clutching both hands to her wounded behind. Mandy gave a wry look to Caroline and, despite her own intense discomfort, she smiled back. Mrs Taylor was not amused.
"Lisa Knox! Get back over that chair this minute! I know it hurts. It's meant to. But you're not a baby. You're a fifteen year old girl who is quite old enough to take a well-deserved caning. Don't you think Caroline was hurt? She didn't make this fuss!
"Now, get back over the chair. And if you stand up once more before I tell you, or put your hand in the way, or waste any more time I will have Miss Porter in here to hold you down and you will get extra!"
With a groan that sounded as though she had been sentenced to death, rather than a sore bottom, Lisa lowered herself over the chair once more. The green material of her school skirt tautened over her caned bottom.
The deputy did not moderate the force of her caning for the rest of Lisa's punishment. She delivered three stinging strokes all across the centre of the girl's large bottom and all laid on with vigour. Poor Lisa could not help making a fuss. She shrieked, sobbed and wriggled frantically over the chair. But she did stay bent over - the deputy's warnings had been sufficient. Finally, Mrs Taylor told her to stand up and to go back to the wall.
Lisa stumbled over to her friends, hands pressed to her stinging bottom. She looked a real sight, with her hair all over the place and sobbing like a baby. But Mandy's only thought was for her own bottom as she dismally walked over to take Lisa's place.
Like the other girls Mandy got four strokes and, like Lisa's, they were delivered over her school skirt. She took the punishment more stoically than Lisa, but was still in tears after the second stroke.
Finally Mandy was told to stand up and to return the chair to its place. Then all three girls were made to stand in front of the deputy's desk, with their hands on their heads, while Mrs Taylor made the appropriate entries in the school Punishment Book.
"Well, girls. I'm sorry that that was necessary, but I hope that it will be a lesson to you. Now rejoin your class! And don't forget your detention, Lisa. Nor your lines."
The three naughty girls, their bottoms still stinging intensely left the office. Mrs Taylor gave a satisfied sigh. She didn't think those three would be playing truant again!
The above is my fictionalised version of the actual experiences of someone who I met in an aol chatroom. She didn't want me to post her screen name here but asked me to pass on any comments or queries to her.