it’s from 1961 when a headmistress caned some girls in front of the school. it took place in Essex. Now then, we have discussed Essex in the past! It seemingly was quite a hive of activity with SCP, pupil parental discontent over uniforms, pupil sit-ins, etc.
I like this one, regardless of whether I support it or not.
Regarding my own schooldays, would some agree with me that teachers (not all) taught by fear? Or, was it, in some cases, merely an act? “Get stuck into the kids on the first day of term, and assert your authority.’
We had a teacher called Mr. Roughwell, who seemed high up in the chain of command at my primary school. I was quite new at the school and I quickly learned that this chap had a fearsome reputation. He scared the hell out of me. He brought a thin rattan into every lesson. It would be placed on his desk for all to see. One day I notices clear tape secured around both ends. I whispered to the boy next to me why so. The boy said, quote:
“So that it hurts more.”
Of course, I now know the reason for the clear tape. Canes split at the ends. Thus tape is used to keep the implement safe to use. (Ah, so he did have a caring side, eh???). But to a boy of nine, I didn’t know that.
So for me, he, like many others, was taught by fear, and it held me back. I was an inhibited little boy, and my feelings are that had I been taught in the school of today, I would have flourished. As I have said before, quite often, work takes me into schools and I see the improvements with my own eyes.
I have never had a cane that split at the end in normal use, only when struck against a hard surface, such as a desk or chair, in a fit of anger. Clear tape is very light, but at my school a damaged cane was wrapped at the tip in the old-fashioned tar-impregnated canvas electrical insulation tape.
In later years I tried doing the same and, while the tape is not that heavy, the extra weight at the tip did make a distinct difference. Your fellow pupil may have been right: my experiment showed that a cane with a wrapped tip did hurt more.
At my junior school, I can remember taking a cane to the teacher from his cupboard which was completely encased in what appeared to be clear tape. It was bendy but not springy, I assume originally it was a standard bit of bamboo garden cane adapted for school and after excessive use in its new purpose it started to split or crack but the teacher still liked it.
One of the Headmaster’s shorter canes had red (Elastoplast?) tape about an inch long wrapped around one tip. We never thought it made any difference to the amount they hurt
Administering canings in front of the school is not without hazards. What if you botch the operation or if one or more of the culprits are not compliant or openly defiant? What do you do if one of the criminals takes their chastisement badly or seizes the cane and beats you about the head and face?
Public canings that go wrong could end a career and force you to leave the country.