Buckle up for a hard lesson

WHILE many of our readers yearn for the “good ol’ days”, there’s one long-lost tradition most  are happy to see banished to the past.

Among those who remember the horrible days of corporal punishment in schools is Paulyne Pogorelske, who recalls it was always the boys and never the girls who were strapped.

“As goody two shoes, most girls were models of polite decorum, sitting attentively to the teacher’s knowledge and wisdom,” says Paulyne, from East Melbourne.

“Some boys, perhaps bored by the repetitive recitations, appeared to revel in creating disturbance,  throwing paper missiles across the room, talking incessantly and interrupting the flow of academic information we were supposed to acquire.

“For these misdemeanours, they fronted the class for punishment, often several straps across the palm of their hands with a heavy piece of leather.”

As for the girls, those who talked disruptively were chastised, or held back in detention to write “I must not talk in class” 50 times, but were never strapped.

“Our punishment was so benign and painless compared to the boys”, Paulyne says.

“The male teachers seemed sadistic while slashing the boys, as I watched horrified and so glad to be a girl and escape that punitive pain.

“Good riddance to the brutality of the bash!”

What are your memories of corporal punishment?

(I add: Following the above publication, there were several readers who responded with their own painful recollections, including some women who were punished by a cane over the back of their legs and across their knuckles by female teachers. They too were referred to as sadistic as were other male teachers, sometimes priests in Catholic schools).