The Punishment Book

Matthew Evans


I. – Every School must have:-
(e) A Punishment Book in which all cases of corporal punishment must be recorded.

I have the Punishment Book for our school. It resides, along with other archive documents, in my office; a reminder that we are mere custodians of the school’s heritage.

It begins on 1st November 1922 and ends on 16th December 1980. 58 years of state-approved administration of pain in the pursuit of proper conduct and good character.

The first entry, on 17th November 1922, records a deferred punishment for “hitting _______ violently in the face”.

On 2nd December the same year, one stroke of the cane is had for the lesser offence of “Eating in school after repeated warnings”.

And so the book records each stroke…

Disobedience and untruthfulness feature frequently. Inattention leads to one stroke. Playing in the lavatory: one stroke. And so on…

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