I grew up in the 70s when spanking was something that definitely happened both at home and in school.
My mother was Irish Catholic and she made sure that I was sent to Catholic school. Getting spanked at school was something that happened to every boy sooner or later.
Teachers were allowed to spank boys in their charge. A girl’s face could be slapped, but girls were never spanked or paddled. A spanking at school always meant a spanking at home too.
I was a well behaved little boy and a good student, so I rarely got spanked. Mrs Brown, my teacher when I was in first grade, spanked me a couple of times for being out of uniform and for talking in class.
These punishments were carried out at recess. Mrs Brown unbuckled my belt and pulled my trousers down around my ankles. She then placed me over her knee and spanked the seat of my underpants about 50 times. I always cried after just a few swats.
After the spanking was over and my trousers were pulled back over my stinging backside, Mrs Brown began writing a note. She then handed me the paper and explained that if the message was not signed by my mom and returned the next morning, I could expect to be paddled in Sister Elizabeth’s office.
These notes home always resulted in a bare bottom paddling over my mother’s knee with her wooden hairbrush.
However, although my first two spankings in Catholic school were painful, they were nothing compared to what happened on the day I made my biggest mistake.
Mrs Brown had written ten words on the chalkboard, then called on students to read each of the words. Although I normally paid good attention during class, I was day dreaming on this occasion.
Mrs Brown called my name and I was immediately startled. I stood up to answer the question, but didn’t know which word I was required to read. Because of my nervousness about this, I inadvertently said ‘damn’ as I answered.
My teacher told me to go into the hall outside the classroom. I obeyed right away. Then she walked out and went into the class next door. I heard her ask the other teacher to keep an ear out to make sure her class behaved as she handled a disciplinary matter.
She then went back into her own classroom and I heard her say: “I am taking Jeremy to the nurse’s office to get his mouth washed out with soap and his bottom spanked. If I get any report of noise while I’m away, the children responsible can expect a spanking for themselves at recess.”
Mrs Brown then once again came out of the classroom, grabbed me by the ear and hauled me along to where Mrs Simmons, the nurse, had her office.
Once we got there, Mrs Brown told the nurse: “It appears Jeremy has decided he can use curse words in class.” Mrs Simmons looked at me with benign amusement, then said: “I’ll get the soap.”
She went to the sink, turned on the water and began to rinse a bar of Lava brand soap. This was the same as my mother used on me whenever she caught me in a lie, and I knew from experience it tasted horrible.
Mrs Simmons was a very kind woman and was always treated us children well when we were sick or needed first aid. Even in this situation, where I was being punished, she was quite soft with me.
She walked over to me with the bar of soap, then said: “Open your mouth, sweetheart.” I opened my mouth obediently – somehow I felt quite loved in the moment, even when I was being punished.
Mrs Simmons rubbed the soap gently back and forth on my tongue for a few moments, then told me to close my mouth. The taste was terrible!
No sooner had she done that when Mrs Brown grabbed me by the ear again and pulled me into a corner of the office. She unbuckled my belt and lowered my trousers to my ankles, then ordered me to put my hands on the wall and stick out my bottom.
I was spanked 50 times on each cheek and Mrs Brown counted as she spanked me. Her hand was hard as a paddle and my underpants offered little protection. Tears flowed from my eyes and soap dripped from my mouth. ‘No rubbing’ was the instruction from Mrs Brown once she had finished spanking me, then I heard her walk out of the office.
I stood there wondering if I would get a note for my mother to sign. I knew that would mean the hairbrush bare bottom at home that night, the thought of which made me cry even harder. Mrs Simmons came over and put her arm around me. “Come on, Jeremy,” she said, “everything is going to be OK.”
Seconds after she said this, I heard two pairs of footsteps approaching the nurse’s office, and Mrs Brown told me to turn around.
As I obeyed, I saw the principal, Sister Elizabeth, standing beside my teacher. Sister Elizabeth was holding a thick paddle with several holes drilled into it, and the mere sight of it made me tremble with fear.
Sister Elizabeth asked Mrs Simmons to use the speaker phone to call my mother. Mom answered in her usual cheerful voice, but it quickly became more serious and sterner as Mrs Brown explained what had happened.
Sister Elizabeth then added: “Jeremy has already had his mouth washed out with soap and been given a spanking. However, Mrs Brown thinks – and I agree – that the seriousness of this incident calls for the paddle.”
I heard my mother’s voice reply: “I agree entirely, sister, and Jeremy will be getting my hairbrush across his bare bottom too later. How many is he going to get from you?”
Sister Elizabeth said: “I propose we give the boy 10 hard swats across the seat of his underpants. Mrs Brown will administer the paddling, and Mrs Simmons and myself will act as witnesses.”
My heart then did a somersault as the tinny, crackly voice on the phone said: “Fine. But I would prefer it if you spanked him bare bottom – he quite clearly needs it.”
Sister Elizabeth replied that she would be happy to accommodate Mom’s wish. As the call ended, I felt sick with both the fear of how much this was going to hurt, as well as the embarrassing situation of having three relative strangers see my bare bottom and privates.
The principal then turned to Mrs Brown. “I think it’s time we got this over with, don’t you?” Mrs Brown nodded and took the paddle from her superior.
I was ordered to face the wall again and stick my bottom out as before. Then I felt Mrs Brown’s fingers briefly inside the waistband of my white school underpants as she took them down to my ankles, slowly and carefully, exposing my presumably already very red behind.
Mrs Brown tapped my buttocks lightly a couple of times before pulling the paddle back and giving me a firm whack. I immediately began to cry. Mrs Brown gave the swats slowly so that I could feel every ounce of the sting – five on each cheek.
After the chastisement was over, Mrs Brown instructed me to stand up, with a warning to keep my hands off my bottom.
Then Sister Elizabeth came over to me, put her arm around me quite lovingly, and said: “Jeremy, you have paid for your mistake, OK? We only spank here because we love you and want you to grow up to be a good boy.”
“That’s right, Jeremy,” Mrs Brown echoed, then added: “I’d better get back to my class, sister.”
“All right, Mrs Brown. Mrs Simmons, will you please see to Jeremy and return him to his class once he’s ready to do so?” “Certainly, sister.”
Both the other women left and I was alone with Mrs Simmons. She came over to me with a tissue and gently wiped the tears from my eyes.
“You can open your mouth now, sweetheart.” She took the bar of soap out of my mouth and gently moved me over to the sink. I still had my trousers and underpants around my ankles and Mrs Simmons had to stop me stumbling and falling over a couple of times.
When we got to the sink, Mrs Simmons handed me a paper cup. “Use the water to rinse out the soap, sweetheart. You can take as long as you need.” As I rinsed out she kept her warm arm comfortingly around my shoulders the entire time.
When I had finished, she went over to her desk and pulled out a small bar of Hershey’s chocolate. “Do you like this?” she smiled. I nodded through my tears.
Mrs Simmons unwrapped the bar. “Open your mouth.” I obeyed, and she placed the bar gently on my tongue. “Don’t chew, now. Just suck on the chocolate. That way it’ll replace the taste of the soap.”
The chocolate helped a lot, and I loved being in her kind care. Then Mrs Simmons then had me shuffle over to her examination table.
“Lie down on your tummy, Jeremy, and I’ll rub some cream on that poor little bottom. The cool cream was very soothing on my buzzing buttocks, and I enjoyed the intimacy of her hand as she rubbed it into my bare skin.
After that, she told me to stand up, then pulled up my briefs and pants. She hugged me, kissed my forehead and asked gently: “Have you learned your lesson?” I nodded. “Good boy. Come along, let’s get you back to class.”
Mrs Simmons led me gently by the hand. Despite the cream my bottom still hurt so much that tears were streaming down my face as I re-entered the classroom, and I winced as I sat back down on the hard wooden seat.
Later, at recess, my friend David informed me that Mrs Brown had told the class in detail about my punishment, even the fact that I was paddled on my bare bottom. Apparently, she added that from now on, any boy in her class misbehaving could expect a bare bottom spanking. Fortunately, I was never spanked again by her, although several of my friends were, and she kept her word and did them bare.
I walked home apprehensively and rather awkwardly, as my bottom was still very tender. When I got to my house, my mother looked rather stern but greeted me as always with a hug and a kiss.
“Right, Jeremy, off with your clothes. All of them, mind! Let’s have a look at that bottom of yours, young man!”
I stripped as slowly as I dared, facing her and trying not to look her in the eye. As I removed each item of clothing, my mother took it off me and folded it neatly on the kitchen table. When I was in my birthday suit, she said: “Right – turn around, please.”
I did so reluctantly, and as she saw my buttocks I heard her audibly exhale. Then she said: “Well, that is a well-spanked little bottom. However, that is not the end of the matter. Cursing is a serious sin and I wouldn’t be doing my motherly duty if I didn’t punish you again. Come here to me!”
As I obeyed, I observed that she now had the dreaded hairbrush in her right hand. She placed me carefully across her knee and I flinched as I felt the wooden back touch my bare skin.
Then the spanking began. I cried fiercely as my mother blistered my bare buttocks. I begged for mercy. I promised I would never say a bad word again.
The spanking felt like it would never end but of course it did. I was a blubbering mess of tears and snot. My mother ignored my wailings and led me firmly over to the kitchen sink, where she lathered up another bar of Lava soap. “This is the only dinner you’ll be getting tonight,” she said. “Open your mouth!”
I tried to resist but this was met with a spank of her hand across my left bum cheek and my nose being pinched closed so I had no choice but to open my mouth. Just as Mrs Simmons had done earlier, my mother rubbed the soap back and forth on my tongue. After that, she parked me in a corner by the dining table.
After I had been there about an hour, my father came home. Mom had already called him at work to tell him what a naughty boy I had been. My father’s only remark was that he had never seen such a well-spanked bottom before in his life.
My mother then called my little brother in for dinner. I remained naked in the corner, mouth full of soapy mess, as the rest of the family ate dinner. Not until the meal was over was I led to the sink by my mother and allowed to rinse out my mouth. I was then instructed to pick up my clothes and shoes, and go to bed.
Needless to say, I had to sleep on my tummy that night. It wasn’t the last spanking I received, but it was definitely the worst.
I learned my lesson, though. Even now, 47 years later, I never use bad language.