I'm always astounded when what I think are simple, universal experiences are anything but. I mean, yeah, I realize that some things, like your parents hiding ancient Indian skulls in your closet or being forced to pick up mangoes as a child are fairly esoteric, but most of what I write here I just naively assume are experiences that just about everyone who grew up in roughly the same time period as I did can share and laugh at.
So yeah, I'm always a little amazed that people are shocked that I went to a high school that still spanked students.
I grew up in a time when most parents spanked their kids. Most parents don't spank anymore which is probably a good thing. All it really teaches you (or taught me, anyway) is that there is someone bigger and more powerful than you who can cause you physical pain, so it's best to sneak around and not get caught. Or that you can inflict pain on someone smaller than you, like say, a convenient younger brother or sister.
I was spanked as a kid, and I hated it. Looking back, my parents had to live with me 24/7. I'm surprised they didn't beat me more just on principle. The weird thing was, it always seemed like any adult back then had free reign to grab you and start spankin.' I remember the first time I got spanked by a teacher. I was laughing at a comment someone next to me made in my second grade class. My teacher grabbed me by the arm, lifted me out of my desk into the dark, deserted hallway and gave me two licks with a ruler. While it hurt physically, the worst part was having to go back into class and sit down while everyone knew I was bad and got spanked. Also, I was shaking and trying not to cry.
Of course, that was in Mississippi, so I was probably lucky I didn't end up on a junior chain gang.
There were always teachers you had to look out for. There was a teacher later in elementary school who was notorious for shaking the hell out of kids. I know, because it happened to me. Once again, I was laughing, this time in a line, when she came up and said, "You think that's funny? Do you think this is funny," as she shook my little fourth grade body around like a paint can. This was a public high school in Florida. No other teachers came running up saying, "Hey, crazy teacher, I think you've shaken him enough," or "Hey! You know you can't shake kids, crazy teacher! We had that big staff meeting about that!" She wasn't even my teacher, just a woman who saw a kid who needed some shaking and decided she was the one for the job.
Most kids who grew up in the same era have similar stories; whether they themselves were spanked or shook, or they saw or heard about classmates getting similar punishments. This is probably why when a kid was called to the office, the entire class had to go "Oooooooooooooooh."
But what really throws people is when I casually mention that I was spanked in high school. In the 1980s. That's right, while everyone else in the country was dancing around to Kajagoogoo, having their John Hughes-esque day-glo good times, students at our high school were regularly spanked by adults.
I'm not sure what you had to do to get licks. I only remember getting them for talking/laughing in class (careful readers can detect a trend here) and once for getting three tardies. I don't know if girls got spanked or that was just a punishment for the guys. I do remember the last time I went in. I was a senior, which really seems too old for someone to get spanked. The dean gave me a choice of three licks or a three day suspension. I took the licks, since my parents wouldn't have to find out.
He called in a secretary. Apparently you had to have a witness. She looked at me and said, "Oh, I don't like it when they're little like this. They remind me of my grandchildren." I remember thinking, "You have the power to stop this, lady. Stand up and say something, and we can all walk out of here."
No dice. I grabbed a desk, took out my wallet, and spread my legs. Licks were delivered via an actual wooden paddle. The first one took a while, I guess he was warming up or trying to build suspense. It wasn't too bad, but holy crap did the next two sting. Just like elementary school, I didn't cry (plus, by now I had the advantage of being almost a full-grown man), but I was pretty shaky as I left the office.
In the years since I've had a number of jobs that required me to do things I didn't necessarily want to do, so I sympathized with the dean a bit more. The guy got a degree in education, thinking he was going to mold young minds, and instead he goes home each day with a sore shoulder and cramped hand from spanking teenage boys.
Years later, in my erotic life, I met several partners who liked the occasional spank. I am above all a gentleman, so I obliged. I'll admit, it was pretty fun, even though part of me was thinking, "didn't she get enough of this in high school?" Then I realized she probably had a normal upbringing where she wasn't getting spanked by deans for being late to class three times.
It also made me wonder if maybe I was wrong in giving that dean the benefit of the doubt.