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NAME: Adam Lines  Adam LinesThen & Now

DATE: 06 February 2009


Reading a recent report in our local paper (teacher suspended for "clipping" a pupil's ear), I recalled the discipline and punishment regime in place at QE during my tenure.  Clipping of an ear or a whack on the back of the head were of course commonplace at the time as was the expertly aimed piece of chalk and the occasional flying blackboard rubber as a means of getting a boy's attention during lessons.

More formal proceedings were initiated by the issue of reports by both teachers and prefects - a "D" for minor shortcomings up to an "A" for the most serious lapses such as flicking a pellet or being late for gym.  I seemed to get, probably with some justification, more A reports than most with the result that my preparations for handing it in to Tiger were well rehearsed knowing that it would result in an invitation to "follow me boy" to the punishment room.

"Padding up" with several pairs of woollen swimming trunks reduced the sting of 3 or 6 strokes of the birch to almost bearable levels although over exuberance by the deliverer could result in a low strike to the back of the thigh - best avoided.

Thankfully I was spared the Hoskisson method although I did witness it - a cane brought down with full force across the palm of an outstretched hand - resulting in a deep blood blistered wield that would take weeks to heal.  I wonder if its too late for the recipient (and I know who it was) to seek retribution?

Did corporal punishment work? Of course not - far better to identify the positives in a child's character and improve on them than try and beat the negatives out with a stick.


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