I attended a boys’ grammar school in the North of England in the 1960s. Corporal punishment was widely used. Most of the teachers used the slipper, while the headmaster and deputy head used the cane.
The majority of teachers were male and although we had more women teachers later, at the time in question, when I was 14, we had only two female teachers.
One was Mrs Johnson, the new science teacher, who was a big, blonde woman in her late 30s. She took over from our previous science teacher who had been very strict, and she made it clear from her very first class that she intended to be the same.
It was after about a week that I got into serious trouble. Mrs. Johnson had told us to get on quietly with work, and to make no noise, but I risked a whisper to a friend sitting nearby. Mrs Johnson noticed, gave me extra work and said that I would be punished severely if I spoke again.
Being very silly, I did just that and when my friend did not answer, I wrote a note and tossed it across – but of course it fell on the floor, just as Mrs Johnson turned round. She was extremely angry and told me to wait behind at the end of the class.
When the rest of the class had gone, she took me into the small science prep room, and said that she had intended to send me to the headmaster to be caned, but had decided to punish me herself. I was very relieved at first, because although I had never been caned, I knew boys who had and I knew that it would be awful.
But, she said, I was not going to get away lightly, and would get six with the slipper on my bare bottom. I was rather shocked, but did not say anything because it was still better than the cane.
Mrs. Johnson took a large gym slipper from the shelf and told me to face the wall. “Take your pants down,” she said. Obediently, I dropped my trousers to my ankles – and then hesitated. “Get those down as well, and touch your toes.” Feeling terribly embarrassed, I took down my underpants as well and bent over as instructed.
Mrs. Johnson brought the slipper down with a tremendous whack across my bare bottom. It stung far more than any other slippering I had had, and I could hardly stop myself jumping up and rubbing my behind. Somehow I managed it, as she continued to slipper my bare buttocks very hard.
After the sixth stroke I was told to pull my pants up and to behave in her class in future. That night, as I examined my red, smarting bottom in the mirror, I determined that I would do exactly that.