Has anyone any experience of this once popular but underestimated punishment ? From my experience the sting to the legs is “sharper” but more short lived. The optimum places to smack being the backs of the legs just above the knee and just below the bottom – would anyone agree ?
Saw the just-above-the-knee many times by ratty parents in my childhood(I was born 1952) & in the class sometimes.
Both boys & girls got it in about equal doses & apart from leaving a pretty visible mark as a potential deterrent, it generally hurt, from what I remember of the miscreant’s reactions!
Tell you what, too, like boxing-the short-range smack, not the flailing long wallop, was more effective. Especially if delivered in the midst of a verbal dressing-down or fierce scolding-one to each leg in turn, then repeat the dose.
“Only” 4 smacks, but the couple of times I saw that in class, the kids in question were tearful for over an hour after and the rest of us well-behaved for at least two days!
Amazing! as well as the same vintage and on the other side of the world, I can confirm that the smacked leg with visible finger marks was the normal result of bad behaviour in my N London junior school. Mr C. who is still alive and smacking was a veritable master of the art. Boys or girls got equal stinging slaps.
Smacking the legs was the favourite form of punishment of my second year teacher in infants school and it really hurt. In the first year our teacher was a real sweetie and we all loved her. If we were ever naughty she just gave us a light slap on the back of our hands but it didn’t really hurt even though we were so ashamed to let her down.
But when we moved up to the next class, the teacher Mrs White was greatly feared and with much reason. If she disapproved of your behaviour you were called out to the front of the class to stand by her desk. Then she would lift your skirt if you were a girl or pull up the legs of your shorts if you were a boy and deliver really hard slaps on the back or side of your bare thigh as high up as she could reach. Usually it was one sharp smack on each leg, but sometimes more.
I remember the time she smacked me she had left the room for a short while to go to the next classroom and told us all to be quiet and get on with some work. I can’t remember exactly what terrible crime I committed but whatever it was she saw me doing it through the classroom window as she was coming back. I was immediately called out to her desk and received two real stingers on my bare legs that left the red marks of her fingers on my skin for several minutes. I was so shocked that I howled and burst into tears. (I was only 6).
Considering my age and how hard she smacked I think in relative terms it was the worst corporal punishment I received at school. When I was slippered or caned at ages 12-15 I’m sure the prefects and headmaster whacked me harder but I was tougher at those ages and more able to bear it. And of course, we didn’t get the slipper or cane on our bare skin, unlike Mrs White’s leathery hands which always smacked on the bare legs.
Mrs White was friends with my Mum and we would occasionally meet her in town when I was shopping with my Mum many years after the time Mrs White smacked my legs. It was always very embarrassing for me to stand there while she chatted with Mum as I remembered the time that this witch had pulled up my shorts and smacked me so hard.
Infants school (in the sixties) was my one and only experience of being on the receiving end. My friend and I had been misbehaving during a play break and we were made to wait in front of the class while the other kids cleared up.
Once they had and were quietely sat back in their places the teacher dealt with us. I remember her rolling up the right leg of my short trousers and then smacking me on the side and back of the leg from the new short line to just above my knee. Then she worked her way back up again. I thought it was over but she did an encore on the other leg before sending me back to my place to sit on a pair of very red and stinging thighs. The thing that really got me about that episode was watching the others in the class watching me while I was getting it
Hi, I went to an all boys boarding school in the 60’s and the punishment for naughty boys was simple but very effective. Our school uniform was grey shorts, etc. and the teacher would have a naughty boy either stand on a chair, bend the boy forward or put the offending boy across his knee.
then, the teacher would lift the shorts right up on the boys right leg and proceed to smack the boys bare thigh, usually three times, occasionally four or even six times.
I experienced this form of punishment on many occasions from the age of 10 to 13 and I can honestly say, my leg was very sore afterwards.
Having my legs smacked at school was my first taste of corporal punishment.
I must have been very young because we were learning how to write the numbers from 1 to 10. I was having difficulty with the number 8 so I drew one small circle on top of the other. It didn’t fool the female teacher who decided to punish me for my lack of effort. The legs of my short trouser were raised and I was smacked on my exposed thighs in front of the class.
The fact that I remember the punishment so vividly many years later, no doubt means that it was an important event in my young life. Even at that early age, CP must have had a special place in my makeup.
That juvenile leg smacking may have made a considerable impression on me, as indeed similar punishments seem to have done on others in this thread. However it wasn’t the only SCP I received. A few years later I was careless enough to get myself slippered. Unlike the leg smacking, of which I can still recall every painful and undignified detail, the actual slipper impacts (or was it just one impact – I really can’t remember for sure) were totally non-memorable. I’ve since been told by doctors that I have a ridiculously high pain threshold so that may have something to do with it.
However I do recall what seemed like every eye in the class on me during that long trudge from the back row where our teacher seated the academically inclined and well behaved like me to the front of the class to await my turn to bend over a vacated front row desk to be whacked. And I also remember the glee of a never successful but always aspiring academic rival as he eagerly proffered his gym shoe when the teacher called for a slipper. Thereafter, until we parted company to go to different secondary schools, the slipper provider used to remind me that I’d been whacked with his gym shoe when embittered at his latest failure to unseat me from my position at the top of the academic charts.
My first school punishment was slapped legs from the headmistress. I was only 6 at the time and was throwing a ball around in the playground. It slipped and hit one of the teachers. Before I knew it I was dragged to the headmistress by my ear.
After a lecture, the headmistress told me to get over her knee. She then pulled my short trousers up out of the way and gave me several hard slaps across the back of my thighs. I was soon wriggling and screaming with pain. I am not sure how many times she slapped me but it was very effective.
I was very pleased to leave that school the next year even though my new school used the cane.
I’m female and aged 71. I went to school in rural Hampshire UK. At my primary school, the teachers (all female I think) could slap the backs of legs. I was caught passing notes in class, and three of us had to stay behind after the class. Miss Browne made 2 of us face the wall so we could not see and then slapped no1 girl about 6 times just above the knees. Then it was my turn…..ooh it hurt, really hurt…I was 9. When she had slapped no 3 we went out into the playground and cried together. The older girls made fun of us.
I too know how much-smacked legs hurt. I was so glad to leave the junior school and move to my primary school even though they used the cane. Mind you I changed my mind after one visit for the cane on the hands. I was even more pleased to go to grammar school and get the cane on my bottom. Sadly I was a repeat offender and got it several times.
Did you ever get canned or any other punishment at school?
No, it was slapped legs only at primary school. At my girls-only secondary school the punishments were writing out lines (100 times I must not talk in class), detentions after school, or even standing in the corner. One teacher did this – you had to stand in the corner and pay attention to the class because the teacher would ask you a question. If you got it right you went back to your desk, if wrong you stayed for another undefined time. For a self-conscious, always embarrassed 13 year old this was extreme humiliation. The headmistress caned really naughty girls, but that was very rare. It was done in private.
My elder brothers went to boarding school and had their share of canings. They seemed to think it was normal and only got caned for genuine rule-breaking. Although some of the rules were very petty, everybody knew them. I saw the bruises when they came home, but then they were keen on rugby and always had bruises everywhere. They had a low opinion of anyone who cried after a caning, the victim went into the toilets and cried alone!
I don’t think anyone has mentioned it here, but for an adolescent girl, the humiliation of standing in the corner was worse than the primary school slapping. My father told me that when he was at school (1920s) they had to say “please” and “thank you” after each stroke of the cane or the strap. He said that was as bad as the caning itself.
You were obviously better behaved than me.
Humiliation was always part of the punishment at my school. Waiting in line outside the door waiting for my canings was so embarrassing. Everyone who went past knew what you were going to get and they frequently giggled.
It was normal to be caned at my school, for both boys & girls. Some of the rules were petty but as you say I knew them and I knew the consequences. Luckily crying was not viewed the same way. Most pupils cried especially when caned by the headmaster or senior mistress. I do recall going into the toilets and crying after a caning.
Regarding the comment about your father, I can recall having to say thank you at the end of a caning. That was strange, thanking someone for inflicting pain on me. I also had to apologise to the teacher for disrupting the lesson. I can quite imagine that is was humiliating for you standing in the corner, I always found it embarrassing and worrying. The worry was an expectation of a possible caning at the end of the lesson. I got caught standing outside the classroom door one day by the senior mistress during one of her patrols. I was sent to wait outside her office and got 6 of her very best.
I attended a school between the age of five and six where leg smacking was commonplace. At that age and in that era boys wore short (almost knee length) grey trousers and ankle socks and girls wore grey pinafore dresses and white ankle socks. More than one of the teachers used to smack legs. Contrary to most of the others responding to this thread it was the lower half of the legs that they went for – usually they would grab the victim’s arm to hold them in place, then bend down a let loose with a number of smacks to each leg. This was quite a noisy process so, if for example it happened in the school playground during a break time, everyone else would stop what they were doing to watch. If that wasn’t bad enough, the red fingermarks would last for some time for everyone to see. You certainly wouldn’t want to get it late in the day where the marks would still be showing unmistakably what had happened at the time you went home. We had a pair of twins – brother and sister – in my class and once they were talking in class after being told not to and they were both dragged up out of their seat by the teachers and given a good hard smacking on their legs in the usual fashion. Even at that age I remember spending much of the next break time managing to be around where the girl was so that I could see the marks on her legs. My impression was that the smacks were quite hard and would probably have stung a lot. However, my Dad’s job took us to another town after a relatively short time there and I never experienced it myself.
Years later I had a summer job working in a department store and one lunchtime I was sitting with a girl who was also there on a summer job who told me about one lad who had been shopping in the store that day and had been misbehaving until his mother finally snapped and, in her words, “gave hime a really good whizzing around the backs of his legs” – I’ve never heard that expression used before or since but it stuck with me as being an excellent way of describing the leg smacking process.
I well recall smacked legs from my primary school days. My Headmistress was an Irish lady in her 40’s who believed in smacking the backs of the thighs with her cane when naughty children were sent to her for punishment.
I was sent to her twice. On both occasions. She always asked me for my version and considered the facts but the end result was the cane on both occasions. The first time was when I was 9 and I kept speaking in class. The teacher sent me to the Headmistress who decided to give me 4 strokes of the cane. I remember the terrible fear I felt as she walked to the cupboard and removed the cane. It was not long but it was swishy. I was told to drop my shorts and stand upright. I was warned not to move or I would get extra strokes. Boy did those strokes hurt!!! I was warned that future visits would result in 6 strokes and dismissed. I cried all the way to the toilets where I ran cold water down my legs as best as I could. The pain was awful and I could not sit still for the rest of the day.
The second time I got the cane from her was in my last year and I was 11 at the time. I got in an argument with a girl and we both got sent to her. I felt sorry for the girl involved and said it was all my fault. Sadly she did not believe me fully and said that I would get 6 strokes and the girl involved would get 2 strokes. I was sent outside the door and heard 2 strokes of the cane followed by cries of pain. Shortly after the girl came out and I was summoned in. I was told to drop my shorts and stand upright. The Headmistress then gave me 6 hard strokes which soon had me crying. I was then told to stand up and given a lecture. As soon as I was dismissed I hurried to the toilets and tried to cool my burning thighs but to no avail.
On both occasions my mum noticed when I got home and I was given a sound spanking over her knees as well.
I left the school and was sent to a local independent school where I received the cane twice more.
The cane on the back of my thighs was so painful but very effective.