I went to a Catholic school in the 70s and early 80s, where the teachers still believed in corporal punishment – and believed in it fairly often. Usually, about once a week, someone was taken either to the principal’s office or out in the hall for a spanking. I was a very quiet kid but found my way into and then out of trouble – I always got a break because I was so quiet.
One day, I ran to the girls’ bathroom with a frog I found outside during recess. I threw it in the door and ran. Well, all the girls in the bathroom started screaming and yelling.
The principal, Sister Ann, heard them all the way from her office and ran to the bathroom. Upon seeing the girls playing with the frog, she told all of them to report to her office immediately. From outside the office, I could hear the girls getting paddled. They each came out crying, one after another – all eight of them.
Later that day, a friend of mine told the girls that I had let the frog in. Upon hearing this, they confronted me and weren’t very happy. They told me I would get mine. They went and told the principal what I had done. The principal called me to her office and asked me if I was involved. I lied and said ‘no’. She said ‘fine’ and let me go.
A few weeks went by and nothing happened – I was safe! The girls were still really mad at me. About a month later, I was in the library helping re-shelve books with Sister Ann and one of the girls who had been paddled. Sister Ann had gone to lunch – or so I thought. After she apparently had left, the girl asked me why I threw the frog into the bathroom and then lied about it to Sister Ann. I told her that I could get away with anything – Sister Ann always believed me.
Well, little did I know that Sister Ann had not left – she realised she had forgotten something, come back and overheard our entire conversation. And she was furious. The girl I had been talking to said: “It looks like you’re finally gonna get yours.”
I was told to sit out in the hallway for a few minutes. Then I was called back in. All eight girls were in the library along with Sister Ann…and her paddle. Sister Ann made me apologise to every girl, and then to her for lying. She told the girls that it was not customary to allow students to watch as another got paddled – but she would make an exception this time.
Right there, she bent me over her lap and paddled me right in front of all those girls. She paddled me long and hard – she was really ticked off. My butt burned, as did my pride. I was sore for a week. As the girls were going back to class, they said: “You finally got yours.”