When I was 10, I thought all physical discipline would end at our private school, at least for girls. We generally got some form of detention.
I had a friend named Darla who lived just a few blocks from me. We were the two leaders of the girls in the class and often were in competition for leadership. I don’t know why.
One day, while outside at recess, Darla said something nasty to me. I retorted with something equally nasty. Girls tend to be ‘mouthy’ as a way of ‘fighting’. The next thing I knew, Darla had organised a group of girls, who came charging at me to confront me over whatever it was we were at odds about. My group stood behind me and there we were, nose-to-nose. Something was bound to happen.
It did. Darla slapped me in the face. I just stood there, stunned. I had never been slapped in the face in my life. I don’t think it was the pain, although it did burn a bit; I think it was the rage that began to build in me that caused events to unfold as they did.
As Darla turned away with her nose in the air, I rushed at her and pounded both fists into her back. She crashed forward on to the cement playground. She just lay there, and I stood stunned at what I had done.
The other girls ran for help and I tried to get Darla up. She was so mad at me that she refused to move. I knew she was faking – I just knew it. She just wanted to get me in trouble. The maths teacher ran outside and got Darla up. She was fine. However, she went into a wounded animal routine.
The teacher got her inside and to the nurse’s office. Of course, everyone knew I had thumped her down, so of course they told on me. My group tried to defend me but even though I had a right to be angry and Darla had no right to slap me, I was wrong for hurting her like that.
That’s all I heard as the headmistress ushered me into her office and closed the door. “Recess is over for you, young lady,” she said. “Take off your coat.” The headmistress had a smaller inner office where private conferences could take place and I found myself being taken in there. There was a telephone on the desk and she called my parents. Daddy was home from a concert tour, so I knew he would find out.
The headmistress said that physical discipline was called for and my parents could come down to the school and take me home to do it, or it could be done here with the phone connection still open.
My head was spinning! My parents elected to have me spanked there while they stayed on the phone, as Daddy had to leave for Atlanta by 3pm. The headmistress put the receiver on the desk and came for me. From there, she went and drew the curtains across the window.
There was a leather armchair in the room that had extra padding on the arms and at the head rest. She bent me over one of the arms so that my face was on the cushion. Then she lifted my kilt up my back, my slip and finally pulled my panties down to my knees. She just left me there. In the desk drawer she pulled out something I could not see.
She picked up the receiver and greeted my parents again, describing everything that was happening. That is when I found out that she had a ruler. The receiver went back down on to the desk and I felt the headmistress’s hand on my back. She was holding my skirt and slip up and at the same time, pressing me down.
All of a sudden, she started to spank me with that ruler. I don’t know how many times she spanked. I was determined not to cry, because I knew that my parents could hear, but all of a sudden a great, huge cry just burst from my lungs. I could contain it no more.
The spanking ended and I was helped upright again. The headmistress handed the phone to me so I could talk to my parents. I could hardly breathe, let alone talk. They did all the talking. I just cried and cried.
I remember sobbing that I wanted to go home, and mom said that she would come and get me after taking daddy to the train. I did not want to stay at school another minute. I got my clothing put back together and stayed in that room for a while to ‘compose’ myself, as the headmistress put it.
I do not recall how long I was there but when I finally went to the bathroom to wash my face and relieve my bladder, I realised that the day was nearly over. Darla was fine and my friends all seemed concerned – but I was the talk of the school for a while.