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Miscellaneous corporal punishment pictures

With comments by C. Farrell

This page features photographs or drawings that are too interesting not to show, but for which we don't have the usual standard of verification or details of sources that normally apply on this website, or which currently don't quite fit anywhere else on the site, or which belong with an article that hasn't yet been written.

Readers should bear in mind that we cannot always be certain that pictures like this are what they claim or appear to be. Any help with identifying them would be appreciated.

Click on the thumbnail image to see the full picture in each case. The picture will open in a new window.

blob Thank you to the readers who kindly supplied some of these items.

Australia |Barbados |Bolivia |Brazil |Cameroon |Canada |China |Cuba |France |Germany |Ghana |Indonesia |Iran |Israel |Japan |Kenya |Liberia |Malaysia |New Zealand |Nigeria |Romania |Russia |Singapore |South Africa |South Korea |Spain |Taiwan |Tanzania |Thailand |Uganda |United Kingdom |United States |Country unknown

Australia flag AUSTRALIA: School CP

Corpun file 16197
School punishment book extract
Old Australian punishment book: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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 flag BARBADOS: School CP

Corpun file 24824
Getting licks for lateness
Tardy schoolboy caned: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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 flag BOLIVIA: School CP

Corpun file 18525
Instituto Americano, La Paz
American college in Bolivia: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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 flag BRAZIL: Slave CP

Corpun file 22285
Public whipping of a slave, 1830s
Whipping of slave in Brazil: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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
Slave whipped in Brazil 1825: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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 flag CAMEROON: School CP

Corpun file 26119
A high-school whipping
School whipping in Cameroon: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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 flag CANADA: Illicit/"fun" CP

Corpun file 25711
Mayoral candidates with cricket bat
Mayoral candidates with cricket bats 2: CLICK TO ENLARGEMayoral candidates with cricket bats 1: CLICK TO ENLARGE

Rival Toronto 2014 mayoral candidates, Doug Ford and John Tory, "paddle" each other with a cricket bat.

Canada flag CANADA: School CP

Corpun file 25432
School straps, Alberta
Canadian school straps: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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
Canadian school paddle: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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
Canadian school strap: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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
School straps on sale in Canada: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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
Posed picture of student being punished: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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 flag CHINA: School CP

Corpun file 23257
Shaolin caning 1: CLICK TO ENLARGEShaolin caning 2: CLICK TO ENLARGE

Punishment at a Shaolin martial arts academy, allegedly. For possible explanation see these video clips.

Cuba flag CUBA: Slave CP

Corpun file 17355
Punishment of a slave in Cuba
Punishment of slave in Cuba: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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 flag 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 flag FRANCE: School CP

Corpun file 24187
A classroom spanking
Classroom spanking: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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 flag GERMANY: School CP

Corpun file 24204
Preparation for punishment
Preparation for punishment: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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
Schoolboys get their own back: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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 switches.

Corpun file 19427
School caning re-enacted in a play
Caning re-enacted: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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
Schoolroom caning in Germany: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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
Re-enactment of supposed classroom punishment: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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 ...
German school museum, re-enactment of caning: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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
Another school museum, re-enactment of caning: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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
German schoolroom strapping: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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
Punishment with carpet-beater: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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
Schoolmaster with cane and schoolboys: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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 flag GERMANY: Other CP

Corpun file 14963
Wooden-handled Peitsche
Wooden-handled Peitsche: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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 flag GHANA: School CP

Corpun file 18962
School canes in Ghana?
School canes in Ghana?: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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
Bundles of canes in Ghana: CLICK TO ENLARGE

Thanks to the An Africanist Perspective blog EXTERNAL LINK: opens in new window 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
Classroom caning in Ghana: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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 flag INDONESIA: Domestic CP

Corpun file 24085
"My Parents love to punish me: Guide to the punishment of children"
Guide to the punishment of children: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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 flag IRAN: Employee CP (?)

Corpun file 14766
Caning on the soles of the feet (Bastinado/Falaka)
Bastinado in Persia: CLICK TO ENLARGE

From an online photo album about Persia EXTERNAL LINK: opens in new window (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 flag ISRAEL: Religious CP

Corpun file 20821
Religious Jews Prepare For Yom Kippur
Symbolic punishment of Jewish boy: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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 flag JAPAN: School CP

Corpun file 23807
Punishment at Bicycle Racing School
Getting spanked at the cycling school: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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
Japanese crammer punishment: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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 died.

Corpun file 22993
A similar punishment
Kendo sword whacking: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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
One whack for encouragement: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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.EXTERNAL LINK: opens in new window

Corpun file 22994
Martial Arts punishment
Bending over to be whacked: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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
Baseball practice
Punishment at baseball, possibly: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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 flag 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
Caned at the blackboard: CLICK TO ENLARGE

A schoolgirl is caned at the blackboard as other students look on. This may be posed, or it could be the real thing.

Liberia flag LIBERIA: School CP

Corpun file 22563
Samuel caned for talking in class
Punishment at Liberian school: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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 flag MALAYSIA: School CP

Corpun file 26515
A classroom caning
Classroom caning: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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
Tardy boys caned: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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
'Guru disiplin' with rotan: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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
Classroom caning: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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)
Hukuman rotan drawing: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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
Caning demonstration: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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.

NZ flag NEW ZEALAND: School CP

Corpun file 23684
"Bend over and touch your toes"
Touching toes - Posed photograph: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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
School strap
School strap: CLICK TO ENLARGE

The strap was also used in New Zealand, especially in primary schools. This one, date unknown, is in a museum.

Nigeria flag NIGERIA: School CP

Corpun file 26485
Mass punishment

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
Schoolyard caning: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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 flag ROMANIA: Religious/domestic CP

Corpun file 25136
Devil Spanking
Devil spanking: CLICK TO ENLARGE

Satan applying some over-the-knee discipline. Fresco on the church of the Brancoveanu Monastery at Sambata de Sus. Acknowledgements to A. Galan.

Russia flag RUSSIA: Domestic CP

Corpun file 20554
A domestic birching in the 19th century
Russian birching: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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 flag RUSSIA: Illicit CP

Corpun file 25476
Fun and games in the Russian Army
Russian army lads: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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 flag RUSSIA: Medical CP

Corpun file 20555
Medical treatment by corporal punishment
Medical spanking: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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 flag SINGAPORE: School CP

Corpun file 24205a
"Public caning"
Public caning 1: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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
Public caning 3: CLICK TO ENLARGE
Public caning 2: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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
Schoolboy being caned: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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
Class caning
Singapore classroom caning: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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
Singapore school courtyard: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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.

S. Africa flag SOUTH AFRICA: School CP

Corpun file 22070
Schoolboy caning
Schoolboy punishment: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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).

S. Korea flag SOUTH KOREA: School CP

Corpun file 22898
Push-up position
Korean punishment position: CLICK TO ENLARGE

An example of the most common, though by no means universal, punishment position in South Korean schools.

Corpun file 22905
Classroom canings
Classroom caning 2: CLICK TO ENLARGEClassroom caning 1: CLICK TO ENLARGE

Two boys undergoing a caning at the front of their mixed class.

Corpun file 23140
Not sparing the rod
Classroom punishment under way: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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
Korean mass punishment 2: CLICK TO ENLARGEKorean mass punishment 1: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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
Caning of schoolboys: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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.

blob The other pictures that were previously here have now been incorporated into the article South Korea: Corporal punishment in schools.

Spain flag SPAIN: School CP

Corpun file 20892
Escena de escuela (School scene)
Bare-bottom whipping: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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 flag TAIWAN: School CP

Corpun file 25989
The results of a caning
Caned high-school boy's posterior: CLICK TO ENLARGE

"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
Taiwan lesson
Taiwan lesson: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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
Classroom caning
Classroom caning in Taiwan: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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
Classroom caning in Taiwan - hands on the desk: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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 flag TANZANIA: School CP

Corpun file 18396
Teacher with cane
School assembly in Tanzania: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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
Classroom caning
Class room caning in Tanzania: CLICK TO ENLARGEClass room caning in Tanzania: CLICK TO ENLARGE

A senior student bends over in "touch toes" mode for a caning from his lady teacher. Two views.

Thailand flag THAILAND: School CP

Corpun file 25083
Classroom caning
Classroom caning: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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
School caning
Boys being caned in the office: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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
Boys scouts caned in Thailand: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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 flag UGANDA: School CP

Corpun file 15559
"They beat you with a stick"
Boys caned in Uganda: CLICK TO ENLARGE

From a book, Schooling in Uganda Through Children's Eyes EXTERNAL LINK: opens in new window. 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
Prefect with switch at the ready: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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.


Corpun file 22098
Beating the bounds
Beating the bounds 1: CLICK TO ENLARGEBeating the bounds 2: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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
Beating the bounds 3: CLICK TO ENLARGEAnother 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 4: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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. EXTERNAL LINK: opens in new window 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.


The information and the picture that were here have been transferred to the Corporal punishment in the British Army page.


Corpun file 19637
Permission to give corporal punishment CP permission slip: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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
School tawse: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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
Price list of school straps: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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
Caning at Lord Wandsworth College: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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.EXTERNAL LINK: opens in new window 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"). EXTERNAL LINK: opens in new window

Corpun file 25438
Prefect's caning at Repton
Prefect administering a caning: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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
Christian Brothers strap: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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
Christian Brother wielding strap: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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
Bottoms Up!
Movie poster: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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.EXTERNAL LINK: opens in new window

Corpun file 24406
Sponsored canings
'Sponsored caning' at Sheldon School (1): CLICK TO ENLARGE'Sponsored caning' at Sheldon School (1): CLICK TO ENLARGE

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
Scene from 'Housemaster': CLICK TO ENLARGE

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 External link. 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
Schoolroom birching
'Misery' by J.A. Adamson: CLICK TO ENLARGE

"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
Schoolboy bending over for punishment: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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
Contemporary? woodcut, Middle Ages, school birching: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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 birching
A schoolroom birching inaccurately portrayed: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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
Ordered to bend over for a birching: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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
Winchester prefect with cane: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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 too rigid 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.
Close-up of label on cane: CLICK TO ENLARGEBognor cane: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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
School birch sticking out of drawer: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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
Birching block with birches: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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
Another view
Birching block with birches: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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
Eton Head Master's Room: CLICK TO ENLARGEEton Lower School: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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
Eton Lower Schoolroom: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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
Eton Head Master's Room: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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
Eton birching block (1939) 1: CLICK TO ENLARGEEton birching block (1939) 2: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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
Eton Lower School punishment block 1948: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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
Eton prefects with stock of punishment canes: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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
Punishment book
Page from punishment book: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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"
Tomo getting whacked again: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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.

US flag UNITED STATES: College CP (or fraternity hazing)

Corpun file 26436
A House Mother's Duty
Housemother paddling: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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
Bare-bottom paddling: CLICK TO ENLARGE

"Pants down" in this relatively modern college fraternity scene, source unknown.

Corpun file 26289
Fraternity ritual at Pomona College, Calif.
Paddling at Pomona College: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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
Paddling at Wake Forest: CLICK TO ENLARGE

This picture is dated 1943, found in Forsyth County Public Library, Winston-Salem, NC.

Corpun file 23755
A fraternity paddling
Fraternity paddling: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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
Paddling at Simmons College: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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
Mass paddling: CLICK TO ENLARGE

More fun with paddles, date and place unknown.

Corpun file 12244
A "corps of cadets" paddling in Texas
College paddling in Texas: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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
Texas A & M punishment: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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
Citadel paddle: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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.

US flag UNITED STATES: Domestic CP

Corpun file 23833
Punished for wrecking the fence
Parental punishment (probably posed): CLICK TO ENLARGE

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"
Family spanking (probably posed): CLICK TO ENLARGE

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
Church signboard: CLICK TO ENLARGE

Sign outside the First Free Will Baptist Church in Northport, Alabama, c.2011.

Corpun file 22839a
"Attitude Adjuster"
1965 school yearbook picture: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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
Parental paddle: CLICK TO ENLARGE

This paddle comes from Midlothian, Virginia. I'm told it was specially made for family rather than school use.

Corpun file 23074
Joke paddle

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
Over-the-knee spanking
3-D spanking: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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
Domestic spanking
Domestic spanking: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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
Parental spanking: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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
Boy getting spanked by mother: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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 father uses the shingle on his son: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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"
A mother uses the shingle on her son: CLICK TO ENLARGE

Companion piece to the previous item, but this one is an over-the-knee paddling.

Corpun file 17035
Another "push-up position" paddling
Another paddling in push-up position: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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
A special meeting of the board of education: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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
Over-the-knee spanking
Over-the-knee spanking: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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
Small boy paddled: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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"
Black cat boy being spanked: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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 spanking
Over-the-knee spanking: CLICK TO ENLARGE

A small boy gets an over-the-knee spanking, date unknown.

flag UNITED STATES: Judicial CP

Corpun file 16620
"Mother spanking Tom Bradley"
Mother spanking Tom Bradley, 1938: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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.

US flag UNITED STATES: Reformatory CP

Corpun file 27157
Corporal Correction slips, Heritage Boys' Academy New!
Corporal correction slips: CLICK TO ENLARGE

Punishment records for 2009 and 2010 from this fundamentalist Christian boarding school in Florida, which was shut down by the authorities amid allegations of abuse, even though it claimed to have parental consent for the whippings -- see this June 2010 news item. The typical punishment was "five licks to the rear with a switch", administered in the office for a wide range of offences.

Corpun file 14369
Denver reform school straps, 1941
Denver reform school, flogging straps: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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?


Corpun file 25887
His last paddling
Arkansas school paddling: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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
School paddle with names: CLICK TO ENLARGE

From a school in Colorado Springs, date unknown.

Corpun file 26220
School principal with paddle
School principal with paddle: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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
School paddling
Posed picture of school paddling: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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
Posed picture of schoolroom switching: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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
Antique school paddle 2: CLICK TO ENLARGEAntique school paddle 1: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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
Posed high-school paddling: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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
Staged paddling pic: CLICK TO ENLARGE

Another staged paddling picture from a high-school yearbook, date and source unknown.

Corpun file 24728
1965 sixth-grade paddling demonstration
Staged 6th-grade paddling: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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
Bending over for a paddling: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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 EXTERNAL LINK: opens in new window or here EXTERNAL LINK: opens in new window) 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
Posed picture of schoolroom switching: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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
Board of applied psychology: CLICK TO ENLARGE

"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
Paddle in red oak: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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
Old paddle with names: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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
Calibrated paddle: CLICK TO ENLARGE
Calibrated paddle: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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
School paddle with names: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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
Giant school paddle in Ohio: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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
1965 school yearbook picture: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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
1965 school yearbook picture: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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"
Old School Paddle Board of Correction 1: CLICK TO ENLARGEOld School Paddle Board of Correction 1: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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
Oklahoma paddle
Oklahoma school paddle: CLICK TO ENLARGE

A punishment paddle in an Oklahoma classroom, date unknown. Some names of recipients have been written on it.

Corpun file 14801
Alaska paddle
Alaska school paddle: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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
Jokey 'Board of education' paddle: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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"
Over-the-knee paddling: CLICK TO ENLARGE

An over-the-knee paddling, source and date unknown.

Corpun file 19058
"Father Fozenlogen's Board of Education"
Paddle with aerodynamic holes: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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
School switching enacted: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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
Unusual US school paddle: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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
1940s school paddle close-up: CLICK TO ENLARGE
1940s school paddle: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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
Classroom caning: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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
US schoolroom punishment: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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"
'Walk softly and carry a big stick': CLICK TO ENLARGE

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
Texas school paddling, 1977: No larger picture available

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
Outdoor paddling: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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"
Kenny gets paddled on student takeover day: CLICK TO ENLARGE

The Class of 1971 from Lafayette High School, Lexington, Kentucky. On "student takeover day", this is Kenny Gullette getting a paddling from Luanne Azevedo.
Kenny and friend: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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"
Teacher spanking boy in classroom: CLICK TO ENLARGE

Picture in the Corbis collection dated 1906. Presumably from the USA. This is clearly posed for jocular effect.


Corpun file 24394
Slave with paddle in 1863
Slave with paddle in 1863: CLICK TO ENLARGE

"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.

US flag UNITED STATES: Miscellaneous CP

Corpun file 25063
Paddle at summer camp
Paddle at summer camp: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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
Spanking tunnel
Spanking tunnel: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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
Hunting camp spanking: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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
Car club punishment: CLICK TO ENLARGE Members of car club: CLICK TO ENLARGE

From Lowrider Magazine, this shows the Bachelors LTD Car Club in East Los AngelesEXTERNAL LINK: opens in new window, 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.


Corpun file 27156
Schoolboy caned in front of class New!
Classroom caning CLICK TO ENLARGE- Opens in a new window

A student in "hands on the desk" stance being caned by lady teacher. The pic might be posed, but there is a marked absence of jocularity so it could well be "the real thing".

Corpun file 22380
Pretend caning at a school museum
School museum caning: CLICK TO ENLARGE- Opens in a new window

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
Pretend caning at museum: CLICK TO ENLARGE- Opens in a new window

Another pretend caning at another unidentified school museum.

Corpun file 19610
Muslim boys with paddles
Students with paddles: CLICK TO ENLARGE- Opens in a new window

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
Classroom spanking
Classroom spanking: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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"
Posed rulering of girl student on knuckles: CLICK TO ENLARGE

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.

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