Boarding school discipline

During the 1950s, I went to a strict boarding school in Western Australia, and I remember being caned very vividly.

To earn the cane, you had to admittedly commit a pretty grave and serious offence, and even then maybe several times before corporal punishment was used. But when it was used, it was brutal!

You had your punishment written up by the teacher involved, and your parents were called and told about your behaviour and the impending punishment.

Unlike many accounts I’ve seen on your website, the whacking wasn’t given immediately – you had a date to present yourself for punishment, which was usually a couple of days or so after the original offence. You had to go to the punishment room, where the school nurse would check you were physically fit enough to be caned.

Then the teacher administering the cane – usually the senior mistress for girls – would appear with the instrument, and you would have to bare your bottom. Girls had to lift their skirt and drop their knickers, boys had to lower their trousers and underpants. Then you would be told to bend over and spread your legs.

The beatings we received were very harsh, up to 20 strokes. We used to cry and shout even after a few whacks, but on some occasions a few girls would actually faint from the pain. Once they had been revived, they would be bent back over to complete their punishment. One boy told me that he and other lads occasionally got erections either before or during a caning, though I doubt they were hard for long!

Afterwards, there would be vivid red stripes across your bum. On the day you are caned, the pain was pretty much unbearable. It hurt even to walk or stand, let alone sit. You would have a very sore bum!

You would try and rub some ointment, if you could get any, on to your buttocks in order to calm the pain. Some kids would go to the toilets, fill a sink with cold water, and dip their bare bottoms in it.

There was evidence, too, that some boys and girls smoked and even masturbated to take their minds off the pain. I remember going to the toilet and rubbing my vagina every day for about four days running.

Contributor: Nicola

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