AUSTRALIA: School CP
Corpun file 16197
School punishment book extract
This is said to be from Kalgoorlie School, in the Australian outback, c.1900. Canings were mostly given on the hand, punishment "on the buttock" apparently being reserved for serious defiance.
BARBADOS: School CP
Corpun file 24824
Getting licks for lateness
October 2009: A student is being caned on the seat of his shorts for arriving late at St Leonard's Boys' School. This is a less tightly cropped version of one of the photos in this news item.
BOLIVIA: School CP
Corpun file 18525
Instituto Americano, La Paz
Picture said to be from 1972 at an American college in Bolivia. Even if (as I assume) this is meant in fun, it is quite intriguing that what is being acted out here is an English-style caning, rather than a US-style paddling.
BRAZIL: Slave CP
Corpun file 22285
Public whipping of a slave, 1830s
This contemporary engraving is captioned in French, "L'exécution de la punition du fouet" (Carrying out the punishment of whipping), but it is said to depict an event in Brazil. The slave's posterior has been bared for punishment. The instrument appears to be something akin to a cat-o'-five-tails. Other slaves, at left in chains and guarded by soldiers, are perhaps waiting their turn to be disciplined. In the background are the audience, presumably the bourgeoisie, in their hats and fine clothes.
Corpun file 22286
Whipping a Slave, Brazil, 1825
This is said to be from The Story of My Life by Mary Ashton Rice Livermore (Hartford CT, 1897). It is remarkably similar to the previous item as far as the modus operandi is concerned, the slave being tied to a post with his buttocks bared. Note the spare whips on top of the post.
CAMEROON: School CP
Corpun file 26119
A high-school whipping
Cameroon is a culturally mainly French country in West Africa. An unusual and rather cumbersome-looking modus operandi, apparently requiring the assistance of four students, is shown in this picture from a local website (now removed) in 2013.
CANADA: Illicit/"fun" CP
Corpun file 25711
Mayoral candidates with cricket bat
Rival Toronto 2014 mayoral candidates, Doug Ford and John Tory, "paddle" each other with a cricket bat.
CANADA: School CP
Corpun file 25432
School straps, Alberta
This collection of straps came from Edmonton public schools, which abolished CP in 1990. A caption on the Montreal Gazette website described them as leather straps but they are clearly the standard Canadian rubber/canvas mixture.
Corpun file 14782
School paddle in British Columbia
Recipients' names on a paddle. This one is interesting in that it comes from Canada, not generally known for school paddling, the strap being the usual instrument there, at any rate in public schools. It appeared on a web page about the demolition of Richmond High School in Vancouver, and was captioned "The crazy paddle they used in the 50s", though this was apparently as well as, rather than instead of, the strap.
Corpun file 20708
The school strap
A school punishment strap on display in the museum at Melfort, Saskatchewan. This looks as if it is probably made of leather, whereas more recent ones tended to be made of rubber and canvas, as in these pictures.
Corpun file 21946
Correction straps for sale
This newspaper advertisement, evidently for a stationers, shows that the "Regulation strap especially prepared for school requirements" in rubber and canvas was available in 1919 for 25 cents.
Corpun file 21876
Staged picture of a school strapping
Claiming to be from Alberta in 1978, this picture is obviously posed but it has had appended to it a few lines from a punishment book (five strappings in three days) which may or may not be genuine.
CHINA: School CP
Corpun file 23257
Punishment at a Shaolin martial arts academy, allegedly. For possible explanation see these video clips.
CUBA: Slave CP
Corpun file 17355
Punishment of a slave in Cuba
This appeared on a Unesco web page about slavery. The date given is 1868 and the picture is credited to Harper's Weekly in the US Library of Congress. It appears that the slave is being held down on a horizontal frame or ladder. It may be that his trousers have been pulled down ready for a whipping on his bare buttocks, but it looks as if he may already have been whipped on his upper back too.
FRANCE: Domestic CP
Corpun file 25539
"La Fessée" WW1
"La Fessée" means "The spanking". This is said to be a propaganda postcard from World War I representing England and France beating Germany.
FRANCE: School CP
Corpun file 24187
A classroom spanking
This, entitled by one picture agency "Illustration of a Teacher Spanking a Student", is claimed to date from 1886 (though one of my readers thinks 1850 is more likely) and to have appeared in a Paris magazine called La Jeunesse Illustrée. There are two problems with this: first, La Jeunesse Illustrée was not published until 1903, according to French Wikipedia; second, schools in France are supposed to have stopped using CP in the 1870s. Anyway, the modus operandi depicted is quite impractical. In reality the teacher would surely find it
much easier to sit down and spank the child over his knee. Note that another, older, boy and a girl have been ordered to face the wall. Perhaps they have already been spanked, or are about to be.
GERMANY: School CP
Corpun file 24204
Preparation for punishment
Painting called "In the Village School" by Hubert Salentin (1822-1910). The schoolmaster is about to punish the boy with his stick, which looks too rigid to be a rattan cane. The student has tried to conceal his slate up the back of his shirt, and not down the back of his trousers, which seems odd.
Corpun file 23450
The tables turned
This drawing from an 1867 article in American Educational Monthly supposedly represents the one day a year
when, by tradition, German schoolboys were permitted to get back at their schoolmasters with their own birches and
Corpun file 19427
School caning re-enacted in a play
Scene from a play, captioned "Prügel in der Schule" (corporal punishment at school). This is somewhat unrealistic. It is a common error, in modern re-enactments or drawings, to suppose that a caning could properly be administered with the culprit in an over-the-knee position. In reality, the person inflicting the punishment has to stand back from the target in order to have room for an effective swing of the cane.
Corpun file 12559
A schoolroom caning
This is from a "school museum" in Germany. Present-day kids visit it to see what school used to be like in the old days. The lucky ones get a chance to be caned!
Corpun file 17122
Another school museum scene
Another "school museum" -- or possibly the same one. This was on a website (now gone) for the Schlossbergschule in Landsberg (Bavaria). The caption said "You can see how the teacher hits a pupil with a stick on his back", but the stick is much too big and thick, and "back" seems likely to be a mistranslation or a euphemism: as far as I am aware, such classroom punishment was always delivered to the seat of the boy's trousers.
Corpun file 23690
Yet another school museum scene ...
This one is at Sulzbach-Rosenberg in Bavaria and is supposed to represent the situation in 1875, when a "hazel rod" was used for punishment, according to a 2008 newspaper article in German that is no longer on line. Of course, in 1875 the schoolmaster would not have had to contend with students wearing jeans not pulled up properly.
Corpun file 24185
... And another one
This is the Bauernhofmuseum in Illerbeuren, Bavaria. Here, neither the "teacher" nor the "student" seem to have quite got the hang of this corporal punishment business.
Corpun file 20853
A schoolroom strapping
A student is stretched across a bench for a strapping by the master in this old German print, which has been reproduced in numerous places.
Corpun file 22946
"Die Schule" 1957
This picture, presumably posed, purports to show punishment over a boy's trousers with a carpet-beater, here seen sideways on. Despite the title meaning "the school", such an implement would seem more appropriate to a domestic than to a school setting. In any event, the thing is surely too big to be able to be administered in the close-up manner shown, other than as a joke.
Corpun file 23289
Painting of guilty schoolboys
This painting looks to be from Germany between the wars -- it has a Weimar Republic look about it -- and shows a schoolmaster holding a whippy rattan behind his back as he lectures four naughty boys, who look sorry for themselves. Are they about to get the cane or have they just had it? The boy on the right is already holding his bottom. Contrary to popular myth, school corporal punishment was never abolished in Weimar Germany, as discussed here.
GERMANY: Other CP
Corpun file 14963
Though found on sale in Scotland, this instrument turns out to be probably a German "Peitsche", somewhat resembling the French martinet. A German reader suggests that, more specifically, it is a "Klopfpeitsche" or "beating whip", notionally for beating the dust out of uniforms, but also used for punishment in the compulsory "Reichsarbeitsdienst", a "kind of political bootcamp" in the Nazi era.
GHANA: School CP
Corpun file 18962
School canes in Ghana?
These are claimed to be canes for use in schools in Ghana. They do look as if they might be punishment canes: they seem to be the right sort of length, though perhaps a bit on the thick side. Whether it is really believable that a photographer would happen upon so many of them in one place is perhaps open to question.
Corpun file 26192
More bundles of school canes
Thanks to the An Africanist Perspective blog for this picture of bundles of school punishment canes found in a bookshop in Nkwanta in 2013.
Corpun file 11581
A present-day classroom caning in Ghana
This picture is from a junior secondary school in Ghana, and comes from a website in which pupils there were asked to document what they dislike about the school. It illustrates item 1 in their list -- "We don't like it when the teacher canes us". The student being disciplined in this case is a girl. Impossible to tell whether it is posed or "the real thing", but it looks authentic enough, and from the context it can be deduced that caning is a more or less daily occurrence. At least it is clear that the treatment here is being applied with care and a degree of precision across the offender's seat and only the seat, which is by no means always the case in Africa. CP in Ghanaian schools was banned in 2019, theoretically.
INDONESIA: Domestic CP
Corpun file 24085
"My Parents love to punish me: Guide to the punishment of children"
Cover of an Indonesian book for parents on how to punish their kids. The scene illustrated looks peculiarly draconian and formalised for parental CP, and indeed I'm told the text does not support the hard line implied by the cover but is actually rather "modern Western-style" in tone, with spanking somewhat frowned upon.
IRAN: Employee CP (?)
Corpun file 14766
Caning on the soles of the feet (Bastinado/Falaka)
From an online photo album about Persia (now Iran) between 1870 and 1930, this is captioned "Administering discipline by bastinado at the rashti-duzi workshop, needlework, Rasht ca. 1880". Rasht is the capital city of Gilan province. Caning the soles of the feet, rather than the safe place provided by nature, is in my view a very perverse, inhumane and dangerous punishment. It requires two helpers to hold the feet up with a bar, as shown here.
ISRAEL: Religious CP
Corpun file 20821
Religious Jews Prepare For Yom Kippur
Agency photo (2007) captioned: An ultra-orthodox Rabbi whips a Jewish boy with a leather strap as symbolic punishment for his sins during the traditional Malkot ceremony in Jerusalem.
JAPAN: School CP
Corpun file 23807
Punishment at Bicycle Racing School
A young man bending to receive discipline at the Japan Bicycle Racing School in Shuzenji. Note the appreciative audience. See also these video clips.
Corpun file 22995
A punishment at Mr Watanabe's crammer
This picture of punishment with the kendo sword is from the same establishment as that illustrated in this magazine article and this one as well as this picture. Those are all from the 1970s; we don't know whether this one is from the same era or a bit more recent, but it is known that the school closed quite a while ago when Mr Watanabe
Corpun file 22993
A similar punishment
Here we seem to be in a more ordinary kind of school than the above, but the use of a kendo sword is the same. However, the "hands on the wall" method is being used instead of the "bending over" position. The picture looks as if it may be more recent than those we know to be from Mr Watanabe's establishment. Formal CP seems to be very rare in ordinary schools in Japan these days, having been outlawed for more than 60 years, and it may be that this is a posed picture rather than "the real thing".
Corpun file 23847
Midas Table Tennis Academy
At this Tokyo sports school for youngsters, recalcitrant students are liable to receive "One Whack for Encouragement" administered, once again, with a kendo sword, according to this 2011 page in Japanese.
Corpun file 22994
Martial Arts punishment
The US flag notwithstanding, this is claimed to be a martial-arts lesson in Japan. We do not know whether this is a "real" punishment, or an initiation ceremony, or just a picture posed for fun.
Corpun file 22732
Japan is one of few countries outside the USA where baseball is very popular. I am not at all certain this picture has anything to do with CP. The main clue that it might do comes from the player at far left, who is clutching his buttocks as though he has just been whacked with the bat.
KENYA: School CP
Corpun file 22797
Jocular re-enactment of a school caning, with the student adopting the "hands on seat of chair" posture and the teacher embracing the task with undue enthusiasm. "Kiboko" means the cane in Swahili. In Kenya it was banned in 2001, in theory.
Corpun file 25761
Caning at the blackboard
A schoolgirl is caned at the blackboard as other students look on. This may be posed, or it could be the real thing.
LIBERIA: School CP
Corpun file 22563
Samuel caned for talking in class
From the Calvary Chapel Mission School in Liberia, this picture was taken in January 2010. The ad hoc nature of the modus operandi is typically African.
MALAYSIA: School CP
Corpun file 26515
A classroom caning
From an unknown secondary school in Malaysia comes this 2012 picture of a boy being caned across the seat of his trousers as he assumes the "hands on the wall" upright position.
Corpun file 24325
Caning upon late arrival
This 2013 picture was taken at St John's Institution, a well-known boys' secondary school in central Kuala Lumpur. Caning on the buttocks is a mainstay of the regime. Students line up to be disciplined upon arriving late for school in the morning. The fellows in dark suits are prefects; one of them is smiling at the photographer. The master holding the cane (in shirt sleeves with wristwatch) is partly obscured in this view by the boy who has just been caned (right foreground). The next recipient, on the left of the picture, is walking forward to receive his dose. See also these external links.
Corpun file 24206
Discipline master with cane
The sign says "Bilik disiplin" (discipline room). The jolly fellow on the right is the "guru disiplin" (discipline master) holding his cane, which has been taped at both ends. I think this is from a secondary school.
Corpun file 22992
Hands on the desk
A classic "hands on the desk" caning under way in a Malaysian secondary classroom in 2009. The teacher is taking careful aim at the boy's rear end.
Corpun file 23844
Hukuman Rotan (Caning punishment)
This drawing appeared on a Malaysian blog, but the original source is unknown. It shows a "hands on the desk" caning. The various captions in Malay appear to be quoting official rules, and translate as follows. Adult at left: "A witness to assist and to record the number of strokes". Bending student: "Position of the student: Both hands holding the table and body leaning forward". Adult at right: "Swing from shoulder level, apply cane to covered buttocks or palm of hand". The cane: "Dimensions of cane approx. 1 metre long, diameter 0.5 cm, and the end must not be split". Caption at lower right: "Only headmaster or principal or teacher with written authorisation may give a caning. The proposed caning shall be a learning experience, not just retribution". A cane only half a centimetre in diameter would be unusually thin, and this does not seem to tally with the pictures we have seen, e.g. the two previous items. Also, one official rule not mentioned here is that school caning in Malaysia is supposed to be limited to three strokes per occasion.
Corpun file 21330
A caning demo to warn new students
A Malaysian secondary school orientation class. This is not the real thing, as it appears at first glance, but a demonstration for new first-year students to show what will happen to them if they misbehave. The Powerpoint presentation projected on the wall gives, I think, the names of the seven teachers empowered to cane in 2009.
NEW ZEALAND: School CP
Corpun file 23684
"Bend over and touch your toes"
This posed newspaper photograph shows a young student touching his toes while a teacher wields a unfeasibly long cane. It appeared in the Wellington Evening Post on 2 March 1981 to illustrate, somewhat irrelevantly, a quite muddled "kids' page" article asking readers if they approved of judicial (not school) corporal punishment, headlined "Birching: where do you stand?".
Corpun file 25597
The strap was also used in New Zealand, especially in primary schools. This one, date unknown, is in a museum.
NIGERIA: School CP
Corpun file 26485
Caning of boys and girls under way at a school in Osogbo, supposedly for being late with their assignments. From African Eye magazine, July 2016.
Corpun file 24188
Caning in the schoolyard
A boy and a girl being caned at Ojora Memorial Senior Secondary School, Tolu Complex, Lagos, in 2010. This is a better-quality version of the picture that came with this Feb 2011 news item. The random and inefficient "lying flat on the ground" position is typically African.
ROMANIA: Religious/domestic CP
Corpun file 25136
Satan applying some over-the-knee discipline. Fresco on the church of the Brancoveanu Monastery at Sambata de Sus. Acknowledgements to A. Galan.
RUSSIA: Domestic CP
Corpun file 20554
A domestic birching in the 19th century
In what is clearly an upper-class home, two servants hold down a miscreant youth on the settee while his mother, or perhaps it is a governess, punishes him with the birch. Painting on show at the Kaluga Art Museum.
RUSSIA: Illicit CP
Corpun file 25476
Fun and games in the Russian Army
Strapping the bare buttocks with a belt seems to be a thing in the Russian military, usually as an initiation ceremony (see these video clips) but sometimes just for fun, as evidently here.
RUSSIA: Medical CP
Corpun file 20555
Medical treatment by corporal punishment
Picture from a Russian magazine, title and date unknown. I presume that it is meant to illustrate this March 2005 news story about a supposed discovery by Russian scientists that "a beating on the buttocks with a strong cane is the perfect way to cure everything from depression to alcoholism". However, the photo is clearly posed. Apart from anything else, the implement depicted here is some sort of birch, rather than a "strong cane". Furthermore, you can't use a birch over a person's trousers. So it's probably all a bit of tabloid nonsense.
SINGAPORE: School CP
Corpun file 24205a
Fuzzy mobile phone picture taken during the delivery of CP to three 15-year-olds for smoking at Hillgrove Secondary School in July 2008, which took place in front of the whole student body, and a computer-generated artist's impression of it which makes more clear what is to be seen in the photo. For other pictures from the same caning session, see the left-hand side of this article about Singapore schoolboy caning.
Corpun file 24205b
The above from other angles
Uses computer graphics software to view the same scene from different angles. Here the "bending over with hands on seat of chair" position is seen, as used by some Singapore schools; others require "hands on the desk" or "elbows on the desk", as seen in some of these video clips. Note: the clothing is not supposed to be correct. School uniform is compulsory in Singapore, and jeans are certainly not allowed.
Corpun file 19740
Caning outside the office
Caught on a student's surreptitious mobile phone in Sep 2007, this partly obscured view is from a neighbourhood secondary school. A student is receiving a caning on his backside from the Discipline Master as he bends over a bench in the corridor outside the school office. This kind of punishment (for boys only) is routine in many present-day Singapore schools.
Corpun file 18696
Another neighbourhood secondary school. At this one, "class caning" is the normal punishment -- where the student is disciplined in his own classroom in front of his classmates. This scene (Jan 2007) is a little blurred, but it looks as if the Discipline Master is getting the boy to bend lower across the desk before inflicting the strokes. This is a secondary 3 class (normally the year in which students turn 15). For more real Singapore school canings, see these video clips.
Corpun file 17822
School courtyard - scene of canings
A recently-left secondary school student revisits her old school and takes a picture of the courtyard. "This is where we used to stand and sing the national anthem, say the pledge, and watch bad boys get caned." Several Singapore schools hold their assemblies outdoors (indoors if wet) and conduct so-called public canings there.
SOUTH AFRICA: School CP
Corpun file 22070
A student in traditional school uniform bends over for a caning. Presumably this photograph is posed, but the positioning looks very authentic, unlike many attempts to reproduce such scenes (usually the master is placed much too close to the culprit).
SOUTH KOREA: School CP
Corpun file 22898
An example of the most common, though by no means universal, punishment position in South Korean schools.
Corpun file 22905
Two boys undergoing a caning at the front of their mixed class.
Corpun file 23140
Not sparing the rod
The rod being used in this Nov 2009 scene is too thick and rigid to be called a cane in the British sense. The teacher is wielding it with both hands, which would be both impractical and unnecessary with a flexible rattan cane.
Corpun file 23611
Mass punishment with baseball bat
Another example of the push-up position in use at a South Korean secondary school. It seems to have been common for several offenders to be made to take up this position in a line, sometimes outside in the school yard where passers-by can watch. Here, a staff member goes along the line disciplining each student across the seat of the grey uniform trousers with a baseball bat.
Corpun file 23465
Seoul High School
A senior student is being caned at the school gatehouse, so perhaps this was for arriving late. It looks as if the student walking away on the left of the picture has perhaps just been caned, while two others await their turn. The master wields a long stick with both hands. The photo comes from a website for alumni of Seoul High School, and dates from a time (1960s?) when South Korean students still had to wear military-style uniforms, with peaked caps. Note the position adopted by the recipient here is simply standing up straight, which seems to have been unusual in more recent times in South Korea.
The other pictures that were previously here have now been incorporated into the article South Korea: Corporal punishment in schools.
SPAIN: School CP
Corpun file 20892
Escena de escuela (School scene)
Painting c.1780 by Francisco de Goya y Lucientes, now on display at the museum in Zaragoza. A student is hoisted on the back of another for a pants-down whipping in the schoolroom. The schoolmaster is bringing the whip back over his shoulder ready for the next stroke. A third student holds up the offender's shirt to expose the bare buttocks to the whip. On the right, two other students who have already been punished are rearranging their clothes and weeping.
TAIWAN: School CP
Corpun file 25989
The results of a caning
"Tram-line" caning weals shown by a student at Hualien County High School. The teacher has accurately spaced out the strokes. From Apple Daily, 5 March 2015.
Corpun file 10902
The caption to this undated agency picture reads "Students lean their legs on the teacher's desk whilst reciting an academic lesson during a lesson [sic] in Taiwan". Why they should be doing so is not explained, but anyway the teacher seems to be threatening to beat them with his paddle.
Corpun file 22899
There was a culture of British-style caning across the backside in Taiwan (where school CP was theoretically banned in 2006), and -- as with Thailand and Vietnam -- we do not know how it got there. This fuzzy photograph looks as if it was snatched surreptitiously by a classmate as a boy adopts the "hands on the desk" posture for punishment while the lady teacher lifts the tail of his shirt a little clear of the seat of his trousers. A second student awaits his turn.
Corpun file 22989
Another classroom caning
Another "hands on the desk" caning under way in a Taiwanese classroom. Notice how far away from the recipient the administering teacher has to stand in real life to get a suitable swing, unlike the way canings are often portrayed in fictional films and posed pictures.
TANZANIA: School CP
Corpun file 18396
Teacher with cane
Girls line up for school assembly in Tanzania (2004). In the doorway stands a teacher with a cane. Corporal punishment is legal, and head teachers are empowered to administer up to four strokes at a time.
Corpun file 24480
A senior student bends over in "touch toes" mode for a caning from his lady teacher. Two views.
THAILAND: School CP
Corpun file 25083
A secondary boy receives punishment across the seat of his shorts at the front of the class. His lady teacher wields a flexible rattan.
Corpun file 20192
A student receives corporal punishment in the school office. The classic position for undergoing a school caning in Thailand is standing up straight, either with hands on the wall, as here, or with arms folded, as in some of these video clips. Either way, the punishment is applied to the seat of the shorts. The boy on the right may be waiting his turn, or perhaps he has already had it and is now holding his painful bottom. These rather baggy brown school shorts are quite a common sight in Bangkok.
Corpun file 22493
Mass caning of boy scouts
From a blog (July 2010) by a Western visiting teacher, who says that these members of the school scout troop were being punished for losing their scout hats. "Each boy came forward in turn, Wai'd [bowed to] the Scout Leader and prostrated himself on the ground and he was given one stroke of the cane; a few received two strokes. Punishment given, each boy got to his feet and Wai'd again in almost one swift movement and dashed off rubbing his bottom and, this being Thailand, smiling."
UGANDA: School CP
Corpun file 15559
"They beat you with a stick"
From a book, Schooling in Uganda Through Children's Eyes . It consists of photographs taken by school students in Kampala. This picture is entitled "Discipline" and subtitled "They beat you with a stick". Evidently the boys are queuing up for a caning on their bottoms, but some of them are not taking it terribly seriously.
Corpun file 22747
Prefect with switch
A school prefect stands in morning assembly, holding his switch behind his back ready for use on any recalcitrant juniors. Taken in 2009 at Kyamulinga.
UNITED KINGDOM: Folklore CP
Corpun file 22098
Beating the bounds
An ancient English tradition, once common but now more or less extinct, partly because of ludicrous "political correctness" -- see this Sep 2004 news item. The intention was to impress on youngsters where the parish boundaries lay, each generation thus passing this knowledge down to the next.
UPDATE: A correspondent kindly informs me that this is St Mary-of-the-Angels Song School in Addlestone, Surrey, c.1950. The smock uniform was worn by all the choristers.
Corpun file 25577
More beating the bounds
Another picture from the same place, in the 1950s. This time the headmaster himself is performing the caning ceremony, apparently known as "sealing".
Corpun file 25719
Beating the bounds, again
Beating the bounds was a Founders Day tradition at Emanuel School in Battersea, South London, a boys' school also noted for plenty of caning and slippering in earnest into the late 1970s. The date of this picture is unknown. See also this hour-long TV discussion from 1973 featuring the then caning headmaster of the school
and two of his students.
UNITED KINGDOM: Military CP
The information and the picture that were here have been transferred to the Corporal punishment in the British Army page.
UNITED KINGDOM: School CP
Corpun file 19637
Permission to give corporal punishment
From a secondary boys' school in central London, a chit dated October 1947, signed by the Headmaster, giving permission to Mr A.G. Redston "to administer Slight Corporal Punishment".
Corpun file 26333
The Walsall tawse
Walsall is a town in the English West Midlands that was unusual in that part of the country for using the tawse instead of the cane, supposedly in order to support the local leather industry. Unlike in some other places, in Walsall the tawse was administered to the clothed seat for boys, but to the hands for girls. This one is now in a local museum, which says that the school from which it came in 1988 "had to sign to say that no tawses or canes remained at the school". See also these June 1975 news items.
Corpun file 25857
Price list of school straps
Scottish school CP enters the modern European age with the introduction of Value Added Tax in 1973. But why has the "extra heavyweight" strap been withdrawn?
Corpun file 26033
Caning at Lord Wandsworth College
John Merriman (Master of School House) administering a caning in c.1970 at this boys' boarding school in Hampshire where "The cane or the slipper ruled", according to a reminiscence on the
alumni website. The photo is presumably posed, but no doubt gives an authentic impression of the modus operandi except that the implement is not a proper rattan cane. An interesting detail is the lifting of the rear flap of the bending miscreant's double-vent jacket to facilitate access by the cane to the seat of the trousers without the boy having to take his jacket off in order to receive punishment, as with single-vent jackets or, as at my own school, with school-uniform blazers that had no vent at all ("ventless blazers").
Corpun file 25438
Prefect's caning at Repton
Repton is a private (so-called "public") boarding school for boys in the English Midlands. It used to have quite a reputation for CP, somewhat magnified by the writings of Roald Dahl, who was educated there. Here a prefect is disciplining a boy in his pyjamas. This is in line with much anecdotal evidence that many boarding schools used to administer corporal punishment at bedtime. The picture is said to date from the 1960s and is very likely staged, but since it comes from the school's official archives we can probably assume it to be an authentic representation of the modus operandi. The cane appears unduly thick and rigid compared with the typical school rattan.
Corpun file 25911
Strap from St Joseph's College, Blackpool
An Irish-style thick multi-ply strap applied to the students' hands at this English Catholic boys' grammar school.
Corpun file 25910
Christian Brother wielding strap at St Joseph's College, Blackpool
Known all over the world for their cruelty, the Christian Brothers were an originally Irish Catholic order whose speciality was brutal and random beatings of the hands with a heavy leather strap.
Corpun file 25289
Poster advertising the 1960 British comedy film "Bottoms Up!", starring "Professor" Jimmy Edwards as the crooked, cane-wielding headmaster of a tenth-rate boarding school for boys. The title is a double entendre, referring both to the position adopted by the students when bending over for posterial punishment, and to a phrase sometimes said as a toast when people are drinking together (Edwards's character is portrayed as frequently drunk). See the trailer here.
Corpun file 24406
Pictures (c.1979) from open day at Sheldon School, then as now a large comprehensive in Chippenham, Wiltshire. To raise money for charity, students offered to receive a caning, presumably with sponsors agreeing to pay up a given amount per stroke received. It is not known whether the school was still using CP in real life at this point.
Corpun file 23774
Photo on the cover of the June 1937 issue of Play Pictorial shows Frederick Leister as Donkin (master) and Tony Wickham as Bimbo Faringdon (boy) in the caning scene from Ian Hay's play, "Housemaster". Hay's stage directions precisely describe this somewhat unusual modus operandi whereby two chairs are placed back to back. The beneficiary kneels on one of them (on a book if necessary, as here) and reaches over to place his hands on the seat of the other chair. This position was also accurately reproduced when the play was made into a film in 1938 . Hay himself had been educated at Fettes College in Edinburgh in the early 1890s, but his model for the school in "Housemaster" is said to have been Durham School, where he taught from about 1902 to 1906. In this picture, as so often in imagined or posed caning scenes, the master is standing too close to the boy and much too far forward.
Corpun file 24064
"Misery", an etching by John Augustus Adamson, 1807, illustrates the technique of "horsing", where the student to be punished is hauled up on the back of another person. For a 20th-century version of the method, see this artist's impression.
Corpun file 23691
Punishment at school in the Tudor age
Gouache for the children's educational magazine Look and Learn (1968) by Peter Jackson. A 16th-century schoolboy bends over a stool to be birched. As usual, the illustration is inaccurate: in reality, he would have had to bare his posterior.
Corpun file 24298
Schoolroom birching -- woodcut
A probably more realistic view of mediaeval or maybe Tudor schoolroom CP comes in this (contemporary?) woodcut. A birching is under way at left, with the culprit being held down over a bench, his nether garments lowered to expose the buttocks. His hands are being held out of the way. The other schoolmaster, at right, is also holding a birch, and there is yet a third birch on the floor behind his chair.
Corpun file 23692
Another Look and Learn artist's impression; I am not sure what period of history this is supposed to represent. Once again, we have the nonsense of the birch shown as being applied over trousers, giving a quite false impression.
Corpun file 23693
Shakespeare being disciplined as a boy
Also from Look and Learn. Illustrator C.L. Doughty imagines William Shakespeare being ordered by his schoolmaster to bend over for a birching. We know that the teenage Shakespeare attended his local grammar school in Stratford-on-Avon in the late 1570s, but I do not think we really know whether he was birched there, nor do we have much idea what he looked like as a boy.
Corpun file 20879
Prefect with cane at Winchester College
Photograph for LIFE magazine in 1951 by Cornell Capa. Winchester is one of England's ancient elite private boys' boarding schools. The original caption reads: "Senior Roger James, standing in hall with a bamboo stick waiting to beat Junior". This is a very common misconception: in reality, bamboo is much stiff and brittle for this purpose. Punishment canes have usually been made of rattan or something similarly flexible. There used to be a tradition at Winchester that the canes were made from branches of the ash tree and were applied, bizarrely, to the small of the back rather than the buttocks, but I don't think that was still the case in 1951.
Corpun file 21995
Cane supplied by the Bognor Cane Co.
Allegedly found at a grammar school in Kent, this punishment cane is 33 inches long. The label (see close-up) shows that it comes from Felpham Bazaar in Bognor Regis, a.k.a. the Bognor Cane Company, prop. Eric Huntingdon -- see this April 1981 news item.
Corpun file 3903
Birch at Westminster School
This birch sticking out of a drawer is said to be at Westminster School in London. A reader who attended there in the 1950s now kindly informs me that this table was still in situ then, but the birches had been removed a few years earlier. By his time, only the cane was used. See also this Oct 1801 news item.
Corpun file 20734
The Eton birching block, with birches
Picture taken at the Eton College museum. The block lived in the Library, to which miscreants were summoned for a birching by the Head Master. The boy knelt on the step of the block, took his trousers down and reached over to the other side, with two "helpers" to hold up his shirt-tails, who could also hold the boy down if it proved necessary. Some observers claim that this block is a replica, and not the real thing, thought to be lost. Birching at Eton ended in about 1964.
Corpun file 22312
The same exhibit at the Eton museum, somewhat reorganised. Unfortunately the caption is not legible in either view.
Corpun file 21825
Older pictures of Eton birching blocks
Early 20th-century postcards of, respectively, the Lower School with its own birching block, where younger boys would be birched by the Lower Master, and the Head Master's Room, a.k.a. Library, with the main birching block, for older students.
Corpun file 22924
A slightly more recent photo of Eton lower schoolroom
Taken from almost the same vantage point as the picture above left, in this one we can see that electric lights have been installed. Everything else is exactly the same except that the birching block has a birch standing ready for use.
Corpun file 22583
The Eton birching block in the 19th century
Picture of the Head Master's Room, thought to be taken between 1860 and 1880. The birch appears quite different in design from the ones shown in the present-day museum.
Corpun file 20877
The Eton block in 1939
Photographs taken at Eton by Margaret Bourke-White for LIFE magazine at the beginning of World War 2. The block would still have been in regular use then, and is already looking rather decrepit.
Corpun file 21009
The Eton Lower School block in 1948
The Lower School birching block at Eton, photographed for Time-Life by John Phillips in 1948.
Corpun file 21462
More from the Eton College museum
Possibly from the 1940s or 1950s, this shows the "library" of a particular House at Eton, not to be confused with the Head Master's "library" (see previous items). Senior boys of the House, here shown reading and working, had the power to summon offending members to this room for a ceremonial caning over trousers, usually known at Eton as a "beating". Note copious supply of canes hanging on the wall.
Corpun file 20012
This is a page from the punishment book of a school in Staffordshire, c.1920s. "Robbing graves - 6 strokes" is certainly an unusual entry!
Corpun file 12160
"Well well Tomo getting whacked again"
Picture taken in a classroom at a boys' secondary school in South London, c.1970, and submitted to Friends Reunited by the "culprit" himself, though he evidently has no recollection of the incident, and says he cannot even remember who the teacher is. While there was no lack of real CP at the school in question at the time, this particular event looks to me more jocular than serious. Firstly, if this was a real punishment the teacher would need to fold the boy's blazer back above his backside and get the boy to bend a bit tighter. Secondly, the teacher is wielding only a thin 12-inch ruler, which would not have much effect on a trousered bottom. Indeed, it would probably break on impact if you attempted to apply it with any vigour through the arm's-length arc shown. Thirdly, if a real whacking were under way, all eyes would be riveted to the action, but the only other boy in the picture is watching the cameraman! One reader suggests the photo was taken secretly, but I think the picture quality is too good for a hidden camera in that era. On balance I think it is most likely an end-of-term jape that the teacher was in on.
UNITED STATES: College CP (or fraternity hazing)
Corpun file 26436
A House Mother's Duty
Five boys getting a jocular over-the-knee paddling from their fraternity housemother. Said to be from Alabama in 1949. I doubt if administering corporal punishment is normally part of the job description of these redoubtable ladies, but I could be wrong. Note that the next two customers in line are already clutching their backsides in anticipation.
Corpun file 26357
Fraternity hazing or initiation
"Pants down" in this relatively modern college fraternity scene, source unknown.
Corpun file 26289
Fraternity ritual at Pomona College, Calif.
From the Nu Alpha Phi fraternity, c.1940. The backhanded paddling technique seems unlikely to be very effective.
Corpun file 26069
Paddling at Wake Forest University, N. Carolina
This picture is dated 1943, found in Forsyth County Public Library, Winston-Salem, NC.
Corpun file 23755
A fraternity paddling
The source and date of this small picture are unknown. From the clothing it looks as if it could be 1920s or 1930s. The fraternity is Alpha Sigma Delta, according to the Greek letters on the bungalow. The recipient is being held in a bent-over posture by two colleagues.
Corpun file 24314
Paddling at Simmons College
A student is held bending over the porch railings while two others wield wooden planks, and a third some other implement the nature of which is unclear. I think this is probably posed for a joke. It seems unlikely that such huge "paddles" would be used seriously. From Simmons College in Abilene, Texas, which dates the picture to 1892-1925 (it is now Hardin-Simmons University).
Corpun file 25299
"Assume the Angle"
Another vintage college paddling picture, source unknown.
Corpun file 25271
A mass paddling
More fun with paddles, date and place unknown.
Corpun file 12244
A "corps of cadets" paddling in Texas
A junior at Texas A & M in 1982 forces a resigned grin as he obeys the order to "assume the position" for a bruising posterial encounter with an ax handle wielded by a 4th-year senior. There is an appreciative audience, apparently including casual passers-by and even their young children. Notice the young spectator at far left clutching his own backside, as though in sympathy, or maybe he's just had it, or perhaps he's next (cf. schoolboys in Japan unconsciously holding their bottoms as they queue up for a caning).
This procedure is described by my informant as "the traditional method of discipline at the university until the mid-1980s".
Corpun file 21053
More from Texas A & M
Another picture of Texas A & M punishment (see previous item), but this one is said to date from 1919. The implement is much smaller.
Corpun file 20731
Freshman paddle, The Citadel
A museum display at The Citadel, a famous military academy in Charleston, South Carolina. The caption says "Freshmen were called Rats. The 'Palmetto Paddle' was used by the upperclassmen on the Rats to make them conform to The Citadel ways". It does not say when this went out of use.
UNITED STATES: Domestic CP
Corpun file 23833
Punished for wrecking the fence
Old photo, surely posed for amusement, showing a small boy bending over for maternal retribution by means of a short stick (rather ineffectual, I should have thought), while the bigger lad at left appears to have had his punishment already.
Corpun file 24422
"Spare the rod and spoil John"
Mom, sis and big brother (wielding broom) are all grinning at the camera while young John gets his spanking, in this obviously posed jokey photo from perhaps 1920.
Corpun file 24189
The Southern Baptist view
Sign outside the First Free Will Baptist Church in Northport, Alabama, c.2011.
Corpun file 22839a
It is not certain that this is a domestic rather than a school paddle, but the jocular inscription "Attitude Adjuster" suggests that it was not really intended for serious educational punishment.
Corpun file 21799
A parent's paddle
This paddle comes from Midlothian, Virginia. I'm told it was specially made for family rather than school use.
Corpun file 23074
Another domestic punishment paddle. This one is probably for joke purposes only. It comes with its own special display stand, and bears the message "Don't get behind with homework".
Corpun file 20996
Emerging from a whacking
Old cartoon shows crying boy holding his behind as he emerges from a room where he has evidently just been spanked.
Corpun file 19056
"The Line's Busy"
A cartoon showing what appears to be a multiple domestic whipping, source and date unknown.
Corpun file 19384
Double photograph meant for use in a stereoscopic viewer to give a 3-D effect. It is captioned "He protests vigorously" and dated 1902.
Corpun file 18763
Picture agency photo of a son's over-the-knee spanking. The agency caption is "Father punishing a child" and the date is estimated at 1915 to 1930. Obviously posed for jocular purposes.
Corpun file 21813
Mom and dad spank junior
A domestic scene, plainly staged for jocular purposes, probably c.1930s. It looks rather like a still from a mainstream movie. Does anyone know which one?
Corpun file 16621
Boy Getting Spanked by Mother
Agency picture dated "circa 1896" - presumably in America, though that is not stated. The stick the mother is using looks too small to be very effective.
Corpun file 6645
"A father uses the shingle on his son, c.1897"
A US picture presumably posed for the purposes of the photograph. I first thought this an unusual technique, with the boy in the "enhanced push-up" position. However, several other pictures showing the recipient in this posture have now turned up (see next item but one). (It is also, by the way, the position that modern-day students have often been required to assume for school CP in South Korea.) The "shingle", which Webster defines as "a small thin piece of building material", appears to be for all practical purposes a makeshift paddle. The same picture has also appeared, with an 1897 copyright, as a stereoscopic double image for 3-D viewing, with the jokey title "Meeting of the board of education".
Corpun file 6644
"A mother does the same, c.1897"
Companion piece to the previous item, but this one is an over-the-knee paddling.
Corpun file 17035
Another "push-up position" paddling
The earlier item prompted a reader to send me this, just to show that such a position might not have been as unusual as I thought. The source and date are unknown, but from the look of it, I would say it predates colour photography, so the colour was probably added artificially. There also seems to be something a bit wrong with the perspective, but that might be because it was originally part of a stereoscopic double image for use in a 3-D viewer.
Corpun file 17775
And another one
Another picture remarkably similar to the previous one. This one is captioned "A special meeting of the board of education" and dated 1902.
Corpun file 19136
A young boy is enthusiastically spanked by, presumably, his father. Possibly USA in the 1960s, to judge from the boy's clothes. This looks as if it could be a still from a film.
Corpun file 18963
Small boy paddled
Date and provenance unknown. The boy looks happy, perhaps because he visibly has some protection stuffed down the back of his shorts. The implement appears to be a table-tennis bat.
Corpun file 18948
"Yours with all my sole"
This postcard dates from 1906. A cartoon of a domestic slippering, with typical punning title. I do not know what the significance of the black cat is. It is not an advertisement for Black Cat cigarettes, because they did not exist in 1906.
Corpun file 8724
A small boy gets an over-the-knee spanking, date unknown.
UNITED STATES: Judicial CP
Corpun file 16620
"Mother spanking Tom Bradley"
This intriguing agency photo, taken on 25 May 1938, was captioned "By Order of the Court. New York: Tom Bradley, 16, of 100 West 96th Street, pulled an emergency cord in a subway train; here's what the court told his mother to do as punishment -- and she did". Is this a re-enactment, perhaps posed at a pressman's request, or did the court really require a newspaper photographer to attend the punishment, in what looks like Mrs Bradley's own Manhattan home? It is rather mysterious. There is nothing about this case in The New York Times, the only NY paper whose archive I can currently access from here. Have we any readers in New York who can track this down? Please let me know.
UNITED STATES: Reformatory CP
Corpun file 14369
Denver reform school straps, 1941
This came with a caption reading "Denver reform school scandal, straps used in flogging, 1941". I don't know what scandal is alluded to here -- can anyone throw any light on this?
UNITED STATES: School CP
Corpun file 25887
His last paddling
A senior at Valley View High School in Arkansas getting posterial discipline from Dean Huggins's paddle in c.2007, two weeks before graduation. Or so he says. At any rate it is a fair demonstration of the "hands on the desk" position.
Corpun file 26437
School paddle with names
From a school in Colorado Springs, date unknown.
Corpun file 26220
School principal with paddle
Evidently taken in relatively recent years (note modern digital phone), this shows the principal or assistant principal in the office of an unidentified junior high school in Texas.
Corpun file 26215
A posed photograph from an unknown high-school yearbook. Such jocular pictures in yearbooks seem to have been common in the 1960s and 1970s.
Corpun file 25775
Pleasant Valley School Museum, Oklahoma
Young visitors to this school museum can grab their ankles and pretend to get paddled. This might give the impression that there is no longer any paddling today in real-life Oklahoma schools, but that would be incorrect.
Corpun file 24739
Antique School Paddle
This paddle is said to be from Springfield High School, Ohio, in the early 1930s. It is 22 inches long and two-and-a-half inches wide.
Corpun file 24815
Columbus, Georgia 1968
From the 1968 yearbook of Hardaway High School. "Mr. Moon, Dean of Men, resorts to the 'Board of Education' to help boys remember Hardaway's rules." Jocular staged pictures of paddlings, being demonstrated by the teachers who administered them for real, quite commonly got printed in high-school yearbooks in those days.
Corpun file 25776
Another yearbook photo
Another staged paddling picture from a high-school yearbook, date and source unknown.
Corpun file 24728
1965 sixth-grade paddling demonstration
A mock simulation by a real teacher who did use the paddle in earnest at that period. "Students loved him, even if they had been on the receiving end of his board of education."
Corpun file 24186
An unusual position
A still from the formal paddling scene in the 1989 fictional film Dead Poets Society, set in an elite 1950s boys' boarding school in New England. In the film, this scene (which you can see on YouTube here or here ) is very poorly lit; this brightened-up screen grab enables us to see what is happening. The student (Gale Hansen), on being invited by the principal (Norman Lloyd) to "assume the position", stands far back from the desk, feet well apart, with his arms outstretched and his hands on the edge of the desk. This is quite different from the usual version of "hands on the desk", giving a tighter bend and a better presentation of the target area for punishment. It would be interesting to know where the film director (the Australian Peter Weir) got this concept from, and whether such a method was ever adopted in reality.
Corpun file 22950
Magdalina Sara Jungck as a School Teacher
This is posed, not the real thing. Ms Jungck was a student at Menomonie High School, Wisconsin, in 1905, and this photo appeared in the yearbook, imagining her future career as a schoolteacher. A boy bends over the back of a chair; she holds down his neck with her left hand and is about to discipline him across the buttocks with the cane or switch in her right hand. In reality, she would need to stand back somewhat from that position to get a proper swing.
Corpun file 24217
Board of Applied Psychology
"Caroline Tolbert of Anderson holds a paddle used for corporal punishment when her father, Carroll F. 'Frog' Reames, was principal of Boys High School in Anderson, South Carolina". See this Sep 2011 news item.
Corpun file 24304
Paddle in red oak
Made to be hung on the classroom wall as an Awful Warning to students, this is from Alabama. Not that there isn't still plenty of real CP in some Alabama schools, but I don't think they usually allow paddles with holes nowadays.
Corpun file 22429
Very old paddle with names
A paddle that was for sale on eBay. The seller thought it was at least 50 years old. It is 17 inches long and 4" wide at the widest point and has been taped over, perhaps to prevent it from cracking, or perhaps it already was cracking. The recipients' names are hard to see in this picture.
Corpun file 21061
School paddle inscribed with numbers
This paddle turned up in a charity shop. My informant writes: "It would appear the big number represents the total number of swats -- for a year? a semester? -- administered altogether. The paddle itself is serially numbered. It seems the pupil counts from the last signature the number of swats administered to him and signs by the appropriate number. In this way, the last name on the list also indicated the total number of swats administered by all paddles in the series." So in a way the paddle incorporates its own punishment book. It has been photographed against a boot to give an idea of its size.
Corpun file 23075
A better view of the above
Here I have enlarged the picture, rotated it and turned up the brightness to make it easier to see the names and numbers. One student in this list got six swats, quite a few received only one, and the rest fall between those two extremes.
Corpun file 22471
Joke giant school paddle
At least, I hope it is a joke. From the yearbook of a high school in Ohio, 1970.
Corpun file 22893
Staged paddling from school yearbook
This looks a lot more realistic, but still presumably not "the real thing" -- from Chattooga High School (Georgia) yearbook in 1965.
Corpun file 22996
Another yearbook photo
I think we can guess from the happy look on this boy's face that this "hands on the desk" scene was staged for the camera and that he was not being punished in real life; at least not on this particular occasion. From the 1982 yearbook of an unidentified US school.
Corpun file 22427
"Board of correction"
Two different versions of a pine paddle, 18 inches long, 3 in. wide, half an inch thick, vintage unknown. It comes from Tahquamenon Falls, Michigan, and is inscribed "Board of Correction for managing monsters, corralling cowboys, and walloping wolves". There is a small picture of a little boy and girl bent over for a swat. This probably originated as an advertising souvenir.
Corpun file 20717
A punishment paddle in an Oklahoma classroom, date unknown. Some names of recipients have been written on it.
Corpun file 14801
Described as "a twelve-holed paddle used to spank school children", this undated item came from the webpage of a museum in Alaska that now seems to have gone.
Corpun file 3855
Jocular school paddle
This maybe should have gone in my "CP in advertising" section, but in this case the paddle is itself the advertisement -- for the Chicago school furniture company named on it, who presumably distributed samples of this jokey "Board of education" free to schools. I am not sure whether it was of the right dimensions for serious CP use or whether it was just a sort of novelty toy item. My hunch would be the latter. The graphic design has a 1960s look about it.
Corpun file 19057
"The Board of Education"
An over-the-knee paddling, source and date unknown.
Corpun file 19058
"Father Fozenlogen's Board of Education"
Said to be from a Catholic school - evidently in the chemistry lab. The holes are to reduce air resistance during the paddle's swing. Allegedly, "students that had a meeting with the 'board of education' three times in a semester got to sign the paddle", and indeed a number of signatures can be glimpsed if you look closely.
Corpun file 19797
Scene from a play
Scene captioned "Master Crane dealing with the tardy Mr. Hans" from a play called Icabod at the Brewster Theater Company in New York State. I infer from the costumes that the play is set in the 19th century, before the paddle superseded the cane or switch in American schools.
Corpun file 17114
American school paddle
This American paddle is said to be from a school in Washington State around 1930. It is a rather unusual shape, crafted from a light springy wood, about 18 inches long and just under 4 inches wide at the broadest point, says the reader who possesses it. Some of its recipients have signed it - unusually, at least as many girls as boys. The names that can be deciphered include Kit Williams, Martha Bodine, Roy Satchwell, Bud Frolin, Esther Schumacher and Elden Cutler.
Corpun file 17366
1940s school paddle
Another school paddle on which recipients have written their names. It comes from Mount Pleasant School in North Carolina, and dates from the 1940s or 1950s. What is interesting about this paddle, when you look at the picture of two fellows holding it up, is how small it is -- surely too small to have much effect. Several instances of the surname "Eller" can be seen, and the picture comes from a page that was on an Eller family website.
Corpun file 8727
A classroom caning
The writing on the blackboard is in English and the clothes have an American look. They, and the sepia tones, perhaps suggest the early 20th century. Of course, it could be a clever reconstruction, possibly for a film.
Corpun file 8726
A US schoolroom punishment
The owner of an original of this picture tells me that it is a postcard, definitely American, with the words UNION CENTER SCHOOL written on the back. (Unfortunately there are dozens of schools with this name in different US States.) He dates it from 1907 to 1915. The presence of three adults and two spectating students on the stage seems to indicate that this is not an ordinary classroom scene but rather an assembly of some sort. The implement being used looks like a stick, and too small to have much effect. The facial expressions don't convey any sense of a very sombre or serious occasion -- maybe this is a "birthday spanking"? My correspondent agrees that this is a likely explanation, but anyway he is sure the picture was taken in a real school and not on a film set.
Corpun file 16916
"Walk softly and carry a big stick"
This, dated 2005, is from Concord High School in Arkansas. Neither the school district's CP policy nor the school's student handbook was on line at the time, so whether the school really used this paddle we do not know; obviously the picture was posed as a joke.
Corpun file 12523
A school paddling in Texas, 1977
This picture (larger size not available) is said to be from the 1977 Year Book of Calallen High School, Corpus Christi, Texas. In the 1960s and 1970s it was not unknown for photographs of apparent paddlings to appear in US school yearbooks. However, all the others I have seen were clearly posed for jocular purposes. This one seems quite different and has a definite look of being "the real thing", perhaps furtively snatched sur le vif by a student who happened to be passing with a camera for some other purpose. Hence perhaps, among other things, the murky quality of the image. If I am right about this, we have here an extremely rare, possibly even unique, document of enormous historical value. Note the staff member acting as witness, who I think has possibly just spotted the intruder with the camera and is not quite sure what to do about it. The half-leaning, half-bending, hands-on-the-wall posture of the boy being punished ties in exactly with myriad anecdotal accounts of modern-day southern US school paddling. Doing it in the corridor seems to have been typical of the era, whereas nowadays these things, where they happen at all, are more often confined to the privacy of an office. The boy, in his very 1970s flares, looks as if he has just been given the traditional instruction to put his feet apart and stick his rear end out a bit -- or maybe he was a "regular customer" and didn't need to be told. It would be interesting to know what "discussions" took place later with the photographer, and how comfortable the school authorities were with the idea of including the picture
in the yearbook.
Corpun file 6275
A school paddling out of doors
This is allegedly from a Kansas school in 1915, but we have no way of checking that. Note students peeking round the corner of the schoolhouse, giggling nervously, in a scene clearly posed for fun. The teacher is looking straight at the camera, holding the paddle still in the air. I don't think the boy is seriously being punished, though he is putting on quite a good wriggling act.
Corpun file 15973
"Student takeover day 1971"
The Class of 1971 from Lafayette High School, Lexington, Kentucky. On "student takeover day", this is Kenny Gullette getting a paddling from Luanne Azevedo.
And here is a front view of Kenny round about the same time, with an unidentified friend.
Corpun file 15718
"Teacher Spanking Boy in Classroom"
Picture in the Corbis collection dated 1906. Presumably from the USA. This is clearly posed for jocular effect.
UNITED STATES: Slave CP
Corpun file 24394
Slave with paddle in 1863
"Branded slave Wilson Chinn in irons", from the Library of Congress. A deeply shameful and shocking state of affairs. What is interesting for our purposes here is the paddle (with holes in it) on the floor at left.
UNITED STATES: Miscellaneous CP
Corpun file 25063
Paddle at summer camp
Picture captioned "Boys' counsellors at Camp de Sales, Brooklyn, Michigan, 1950s". This was, and apparently still is, a Roman Catholic summer youth camp. One of the counsellors holds a big paddle while one of the boys obligingly touches his toes as if to receive it. Obviously posed for fun, but the paddle looks real enough, and we believe corporal punishment was not unknown at some summer camps in the past.
Corpun file 19404
Probably from a sports team of some kind, this is an illustration of a spanking tunnel, sometimes confusingly called a "spanking machine". The person to be punished crawls along the "tunnel" made by the legs of the other members, and is spanked by each of them as he or she passes through.
Corpun file 3121
Hunting camp spanking
A stereoview card that was for sale on eBay. The seller titled it "Camp discipline? What kind of deal is this?". The man being paddled looks as if he could be much younger than the others, though it's hard to be sure. Presumably the picture is American, from the late 19th century (it has an "early days of photography" look about it) -- a reader suggests 1890s. Another reader, who claims personal experience of US hunting camps, suggests this sort of thing was not uncommon in the 1920s and not entirely unknown even more recently, though this picture is clearly much earlier. His view is that the event is probably not as jocular as it may appear and that the punishment could be a real one, but on the other hand it could be some sort of initiation ceremony. Either way, I haven't yet found any other corroboration of this tradition, if it is a tradition.
Corpun file 21808
Paddling at a car club in Los Angeles
From Lowrider Magazine, this shows the Bachelors LTD Car Club in East Los Angeles, apparently a mainly Latino organisation, administering disciplinary paddling according to the club's rules (1970s). "Fines and swats were given to members when they ran afoul of the rules of the club. The wooden paddle could be used for a variety of reasons, such as letting a girlfriend drive a club car with the plaque displayed, or for acting irresponsibly at a party. [...] the wooden paddle became a very effective tool for keeping order".
Cf. this Feb 1952 news item, also from California, which mentions that some "hot rod" clubs -- organized groups of young car enthusiasts -- had a system of paddling for breaking traffic rules.
COUNTRY UNKNOWN: School CP
Corpun file 22380
Pretend caning at a school museum
At a school museum, location unknown, a small boy is bending over to pretend to be caned in front of the class by the "teacher".
Corpun file 25249
Another school museum
Another pretend caning at another unidentified school museum.
Corpun file 19610
Muslim boys with paddles
From an unspecified Muslim country in North Africa. This appeared on an evangelist website devoted to converting the Third World to Christianity. So, clearly not an unbiased observer. The caption, for whose accuracy I cannot vouch, claimed: "These Muslim boys memorize the verses from the Koran written on their paddles. If they don't measure up they are spanked with the paddles."
Corpun file 14927
A little boy gets spanked by his lady teacher in front of the class. This appeared in the Vienna paper Der Standard (2 Nov 2001) to illustrate a news item about the Liverpool Christian school that was trying to get the UK school CP ban overturned. However, my feeling is that the picture is not from Britain. Then again, nor are such things supposed to go on in Austria. The picture has also appeared on some Russian websites about CP so it might be from there.
Corpun file 17473
"Teacher angry punishment violence"
This picture of a female student supposedly being rulered over the knuckles comes from a photography website (you can buy it for $195). It definitely looks posed rather than real.