corpunWorld Corporal Punishment Research
RULER   :   Picture index   :   Picture Parade

This page is just one of this website's 5,000 pages of factual documentation and resources on corporal punishment around the world. Have a look at the site's front page or go to the explanatory page, About this website.

Note: you can search within certain pages of this website, including this one, for items that are new at the latest update. Just type New! into your web browser's search box.


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 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

flag 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.

flag BARBADOS: School CP

    Corpun file 24824
    Getting licks for lateness

    October 2009: A student gets the cane 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.

flag 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.

flag 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.

flag 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.

flag 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.

flag 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.

flag CHINA: School CP

flag CUBA: Slave CP

    Corpun file 17355
    Punishment of 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.

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.

flag 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.

flag 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 switches.

    Corpun file 19427
    School caning re-enacted in a play

    Scene from a play, captioned "Prügel in der Schule" (corporal punishment in 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.

flag GERMANY: Other CP

    Corpun file 14963
    Wooden-handled Peitsche

    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.

flag 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 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

    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 caned 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. Contrary to some reports, CP is still legal in Ghanaian schools.

flag 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.

flag IRAN: Employee CP (?)

    Corpun file 14766
    Caning on the soles of the feet (Bastinado/Falaka)

    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.

flag 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.

flag 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 this video clip.

    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 died.

    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 page in Japanese.EXTERNAL LINK: opens in new window

    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
    Baseball practice

    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.

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 several African countries. 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.

flag 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.

flag 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 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 centimeter 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.

flag 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
    School strap

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

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

    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.

flag ROMANIA: Religious/domestic CP

    Corpun file 25136
    Devil Spanking

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

flag 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.

flag 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.

flag 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 supposed 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.

flag SINGAPORE: School CP

    Corpun file 24205a
    "Public caning"

    Fuzzy mobile phone picture taking 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 Singapore schools.

    Corpun file 18696
    Class caning

    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 and conduct so-called public canings there.

flag SOUTH AFRICA: School CP

    Corpun file 22070
    Schoolboy caning

    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).

flag SOUTH KOREA: School CP

    Corpun file 22898
    Push-up position

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

    Corpun file 22905
    Classroom canings

    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 be 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.

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

flag 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 crying.

flag 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
    Taiwan lesson

    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

    There was a culture of British-style caning across the backside in Taiwan (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.

flag 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
    Classroom caning

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

flag THAILAND: School CP

    Corpun file 25083
    Classroom caning

    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

    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 this video clip. 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."

flag UGANDA: School CP

    Corpun file 15559
    "They beat you with a stick"

    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

    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.

flag 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

    This parish clearly borders on a mainline railway. Straw boater hats are or were an item of the uniform at a few boys' schools.
    UPDATE: Now discovered to be 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

flag UNITED KINGDOM: Military CP


    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. Unlike in some other places, in Walsall it 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.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

    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
    Bottoms Up!

    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

    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 recipient 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
    Schoolroom birching

    "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 birching

    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 any 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 too 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, aka 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
    Another view

    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, aka 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 photographed at Eton 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
    Punishment book

    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 F.R. 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.

flag 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.

    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.

    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, the 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.

flag 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
    "Attitude Adjuster"

    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
    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

    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

    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
    Over-the-knee spanking

    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 spanking

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

flag 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.

flag 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 do not know what scandal is alluded to here -- can anyone throw any light on this?


    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 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

    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 US boys' boarding school. 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

    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
    Oklahoma paddle

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

    Corpun file 14801
    Alaska paddle

    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 (USA) 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. Clearly posed for jocular effect.


    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.

flag UNITED STATES: Miscellaneous CP

    Corpun file 25063
    Paddle at summer camp

    Picture captioned "Boys' counsellors at Camp de Sales, Brooklyn, Michigan, 1950s". One of the counsellors holds a big paddle while one of the boys obligingly bends over 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

    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 AngelesEXTERNAL LINK: opens in new window, apparently a mainly Latino organisation, carrying out disciplinary swats 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 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
    Classroom spanking

    A little boy gets spanked by his lady teacher in front of the class. This appeared in the Vienna paper Der Standard (2 November 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.

Country files
Picture index

blob Not clear what all this is for? Please read the About this website page

blob JCP pictures

blob Search

site search by freefind advanced  Main menu page

Copyright © C. Farrell 2002-2018
Page updated March 2018