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Who remembers being caned at school?

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Bring this back some of the pupils who think they are tough would soon come down to earth with a bump nothing wrong with good old fashioned discipline it taught you to have respect

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Did anyone on here go to Gosforth School in Dronfield in the late 60s/early 70s. It was more like a Stalinist labour camp than a school. Actually, only a few teachers used corporal punishment, but those who did must have been satisfying some sadistic perversion. I remember two in particular.

 

Headmaster Mr Kemp

Nobody knew how old he was but he must have been way past retirement age and senile. He was obsessed with discipline. Every morning, after assembly, he would read out a list of boys' names (girls were not beaten) who had committed some kind of "offence" (usually trivial) the previous day. Or he would send boys out during assembly if he thought they had been talking, coughing etc. They had to leave the hall and go and wait outside his study. Anyone who has seen the film "Kes" by Ken Loach will know what I mean. He would then spend much of the first period giving them a long moral lecture, followed by a caning on the hands. I never got it, but I remember boys coming back to the classroom with ugly stripes across their palms.

 

PE teacher Mr Hill

The usual species of sports master - all brawn and no brains. As was usual with PE teachers, he gave the slipper - frequently and brutally. The list of offences was endless: forgetting an item of kit, "slacking" on the sports field, etc. Slipperings (on the backside) were usually administered in the changing rooms in front of one's fellow pupils, for whom it was undoubtedly great entertainment.

 

Of course, at the time, no one questioned this. It was totally normal. I can't remember anyone's parents ever coming to school to complain. Mine were totally in favour of corporal punishment. Children, by virtue of their very existence, had to be punished.

 

I know there is a lack of discipline in schools today, and perhaps some pupils could benefit from the odd caning. But what I saw at Gosforth has made me a life-long opponent of corporal punishment.

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Used to get the " stick " cane on a regular basis , once it even broke on my hand when man Bull year head at Norfolk comp , gave it to me for throwing a snowball , well it was in the classroom, also got the slipper of man pile , even got punched by one of the teachers , can't remember the mans name but looked like max wall .

If I went home and complained, got a scutch around the ear from dad , for not doing as I was told in school.

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Yes I got six strokes across my open hand for losing my hymn book but it was nicked out of my desk at break time the little **** my hand were sore for ages as two strokes were near the ends of my fingers it was done by the headmaster at glad less sec mod called mr Hughes more commonly know as batman with his black gown x

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Yes I got six strokes across my open hand for losing my hymn book but it was nicked out of my desk at break time the little **** my hand were sore for ages as two strokes were near the ends of my fingers it was done by the headmaster at glad less sec mod called mr Hughes more commonly know as batman with his black gown x

 

Was that Mr. Hughes from Wales?

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Here's an excerpt from my book (see url on my signature) that speaks to this issue. I used a pseudonym for the gym teacher out of respect for his descendants. Most teachers administered corporal punishment "respectfully," if you see what I mean.

 

"One exception to this was Mr. Littlewood, “Woody,” the chain-smoking gym teacher. He harboured a sadistic streak. Playing noughts and crosses with his fingernails on little boys’ bare chests, blowing cigarette smoke in their faces—these frivolities in front of the class. Twirling his bunch of keys, also at bare chests of unsuspecting boys, as he strolled around the gym. It soon became obvious why the gym uniform was shorts, gym shoes and socks, no clothing over the upper torso. It was Woody’s target zone. One morning, he crossed the line with me. I was in Form 4A, a fifteen year old, waiting at the Pond Street bus terminus for the bus to High Storrs. I had decided not to get on the next bus because I wanted to wait for my girlfriend, Sally, to arrive and sit with her. Sally was a pupil in the girls’ school at High Storrs. When I arrived at school, the door was locked. I was late. Woody was the late-for-school master. As always, he opened the door after assembly was over and told the group of us to line up facing him.

“Why are you late, Cruickshank?” he barked.

“Alarm clock din’t go off, sir.”

“You’re in detention,” he says, writing down the boy’s name, “Next Monday night.”

“Slater, no excuses from you. It’s your third time late this term. Your name will be read out at morning assembly and you’ll report to Mr. Griffen.”

Mr. Griffen was the Deputy Headmaster who instilled fear into all who crossed his path. An ex-military man, he was the only teacher other than the Headmaster who used a cane. The hands were his favourite targets...

...“Yes, sir,” says Slater, head bowed. He was having visions of what was to come.

“Gordon, step forward,” growled Woody.

He’s picking me out of the line up, I’m thinking. What on earth for?

“And why were you late?”

“Missed the bus, sir” I said, believing what I said to be technically true.

“Gordon, you’re a liar,” snarled Woody, as he flung his fist into my face. I reeled back, temporarily blinded in one eye.

“You waited and let a bus go through. I was on that bus. You chose to be late.”...

...Needless to say, my eye reddened, blackened, puffed up as the day progressed. Sitting around the tea table that night, my mother noticed it.

“What’s ’appened ter thee eye? “

After I told her, she hit the roof.

“Bloody ’ell. ’E’s given ’im a black eye. Pat, will tha go up ter see t’Headmaster an’ tell ’im we’re not standing for that? Bloody teacher’s no right ter be givin’ kids black eyes.”

So, Dad went up to speak to George Mack. A day or so later, Woody asked to speak to me in his little alcove of a room beside the gym. He asked me how my eye was, told me that he didn’t think it would swell up like that, almost but not quite apologizing."

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I was at shiregreen school in the 40s and early 50s. I was given the ruler for being cheeky to a student teacher. Boys got the cane and I always wondered what "cane break" was. Thank you Timbuck for the explanation. My name was Carol Stevenson then. I remember Mr Coombs, Mr Ludbrook, Mrs Moore and the headmaster Mr Kent. One of the other teachers used to tell us murder stories on wet playtimes. Wonderful.

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Here's an excerpt from my book (see url on my signature) that speaks to this issue. I used a pseudonym for the gym teacher out of respect for his descendants. Most teachers administered corporal punishment "respectfully," if you see what I mean.

 

"One exception to this was Mr. Littlewood, “Woody,” the chain-smoking gym teacher. He harboured a sadistic streak. Playing noughts and crosses with his fingernails on little boys’ bare chests, blowing cigarette smoke in their faces—these frivolities in front of the class. Twirling his bunch of keys, also at bare chests of unsuspecting boys, as he strolled around the gym. It soon became obvious why the gym uniform was shorts, gym shoes and socks, no clothing over the upper torso. It was Woody’s target zone. One morning, he crossed the line with me. I was in Form 4A, a fifteen year old, waiting at the Pond Street bus terminus for the bus to High Storrs. I had decided not to get on the next bus because I wanted to wait for my girlfriend, Sally, to arrive and sit with her. Sally was a pupil in the girls’ school at High Storrs. When I arrived at school, the door was locked. I was late. Woody was the late-for-school master. As always, he opened the door after assembly was over and told the group of us to line up facing him.

“Why are you late, Cruickshank?” he barked.

“Alarm clock din’t go off, sir.”

“You’re in detention,” he says, writing down the boy’s name, “Next Monday night.”

“Slater, no excuses from you. It’s your third time late this term. Your name will be read out at morning assembly and you’ll report to Mr. Griffen.”

Mr. Griffen was the Deputy Headmaster who instilled fear into all who crossed his path. An ex-military man, he was the only teacher other than the Headmaster who used a cane. The hands were his favourite targets...

...“Yes, sir,” says Slater, head bowed. He was having visions of what was to come.

“Gordon, step forward,” growled Woody.

He’s picking me out of the line up, I’m thinking. What on earth for?

“And why were you late?”

“Missed the bus, sir” I said, believing what I said to be technically true.

“Gordon, you’re a liar,” snarled Woody, as he flung his fist into my face. I reeled back, temporarily blinded in one eye.

“You waited and let a bus go through. I was on that bus. You chose to be late.”...

...Needless to say, my eye reddened, blackened, puffed up as the day progressed. Sitting around the tea table that night, my mother noticed it.

“What’s ’appened ter thee eye? “

After I told her, she hit the roof.

“Bloody ’ell. ’E’s given ’im a black eye. Pat, will tha go up ter see t’Headmaster an’ tell ’im we’re not standing for that? Bloody teacher’s no right ter be givin’ kids black eyes.”

So, Dad went up to speak to George Mack. A day or so later, Woody asked to speak to me in his little alcove of a room beside the gym. He asked me how my eye was, told me that he didn’t think it would swell up like that, almost but not quite apologizing."

 

I am surprised that your parents did not take the matter up with the police and the LEA. Such a person was clearly not fit to be entrusted with the welfare of pupils - much better suited to being a concentration camp guard. He should have been sacked and given a sentence by the Magistrates.

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Corporal punishment in state schools has been unlawful since September 1987. What most people do not realise is that much of the unofficial discipline that went on years before that was also unlawful. Whilst getting the cane or the slipper was ok if carried out within reason , it was never lawful to hit pupils with board rubbers/chalk etc - or to cuff them on the head or ear. The latter was never 'authorised corporal punishment' and when it happened it fell under the legal heading of 'assault'.Even back in the 1950s a pupil hit across the head by a board rubber or teachers hand could have walked into a police station and reported the incident with a view to taking proceedings. Alas most pupils and parents were ignorant of the law, and teachers invariably relied on that to get away with effectively abusing their positions!

We have been appalled in recent years to read the stories of sexual abuse by celebrities such as Jimmy Saville- Rolf Harris - Stuart Hall and others relating to incidents dating back several decades. Now when schoolteachers went beyond the law - throwing board rubbers for example - they were guilty of physical abuse.. Such an offence is much less serious than sexual abuse but ,nevertheless, I would point out that the possibility of seeking legal redress is still there - particularly if a group of ex-pupils can get together to amass evidence. Should a conviction be obtained the sentence imposed would obviously reflect the less serious nature of the offence as compared with Messrs Saville and Harris. If some of you still feel a strong sense of injustice - I would! - why not seek to expose these people and shock the living daylights out of them? Remember the saying 'Revenge is a dish best served cold'.

It was a different world then, teachers were the Police, the Judge, and the Jury, and parents went along with it.It may sound horrific to people of your generation, but in actual fact teen crime as such was negligible in those days compared to how rampant it is today. Discipline is lacking today because of the politically correct people allowing youngsters to do whatever they want and wreak havoc at will. I grew up with that discipline and have no regrets, or hang ups, and yes I had my share of wallopings, along the way. By the way the chances of any convictions is zero as all the guys involved are long gone.

Edited by TORONTONY

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It was a different world then, teachers were the Police, the Judge, and the Jury, and parents went along with it.It may sound horrific to people of your generation, but in actual fact teen crime as such was negligible in those days compared to how rampant it is today. Discipline is lacking today because of the politically correct people allowing youngsters to do whatever they want and wreak havoc at will. I grew up with that discipline and have no regrets, or hang ups, and yes I had my share of wallopings, along the way. By the way the chances of any convictions is zero as all the guys involved are long gone.

well said torontony i could'nt agree more . thats the way to do it.

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It was a different world then, teachers were the Police, the Judge, and the Jury, and parents went along with it.It may sound horrific to people of your generation, but in actual fact teen crime as such was negligible in those days compared to how rampant it is today. Discipline is lacking today because of the politically correct people allowing youngsters to do whatever they want and wreak havoc at will. I grew up with that discipline and have no regrets, or hang ups, and yes I had my share of wallopings, along the way. By the way the chances of any convictions is zero as all the guys involved are long gone.

 

I was born in the mid-1950s and remember the era very well! My criticism does not relate to corporal punishment per se but rather to the assaults via throwing of board rubbers/chalk/books which was never authorised as a form of discipline and,therefore, unlawful. Moreover many teachers from the 70s and 80s are still alive - if mostly retired.

I might add that I am aware of incidents dating back to before World War 2 where boys were severely hit about the ear by irate schoolmasters as a result of which fathers went into school the following day and proceeded to give the master concerned a good hiding!

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I am surprised that your parents did not take the matter up with the police and the LEA. Such a person was clearly not fit to be entrusted with the welfare of pupils - much better suited to being a concentration camp guard. He should have been sacked and given a sentence by the Magistrates.

 

True, he should have been. But, they were different times. I remember being proud of my dad for daring to go to the school and discuss it with the headmaster.

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