One of my favorite instruments of corporal punishment for use in an academic environment is the wooden paddle. To me, no other implement can match the paddle for its ease of use, durability, and of course the sharp penetrating sting which it imparts. The loud crisp WHACK that the paddle makes as it lands across a perfectly positioned bottom is also most gratifying to the ears.
I would now like to address what I feel are some very important points to consider when one is planning to administer a formal paddling such as would be administered in a school or private institution of learning.
Chossing the right paddle
First there is the choice of paddle. Paddles of course come in a variety of shapes and sizes and are constructed of different materials. This article will address only wooden paddles since I feel they are most appropriate for use in an educational setting and have a long history in this regard.
First of all: don’t use crap paddles. Just see this video (around 0:40 ) and tell me.
I prefer a wooden paddle constructed of a hardwood such as maple or birch that is approximately 18 – 22 inches in length and about 3 1/2 – 4 inches wide. The thickness should be about 3/8 of an inch. Paddles of this thickness, especially if constructed from a dense hardwood are perfect for paddling. Not too thin as not to be properly felt, nor too thick as to be damagingly clumsy. Paddles that are too thick will land with a thud across the bottom rather than with the crisp whack that a thinner paddle will impart. I have found from experience both as a recipient of many paddlings as a boy both in school and at home, and in my position as Headmaster where I have administered numerous paddlings, that a paddle made of hardwood about 3/8 of an inch thick stings the most and does not cause the bruising that a heavier paddle might.
I have designed a new school paddle that is now available from the Academy workshop that has become my favorite for paddling the bottoms of my naughty pupils. The paddle is 20 inches long, 4 inches wide and 3/8 of an inch thick, made of hardrock maple with a long, black taped handle for a better grip. Believe me, this paddle imparts a sting that is not forgotten in a hurry, I can assure you. This is the paddle that I used on our new student Michelle last term to correct her for some inappropriate classroom behavior requiring corporal punishment. She was the first one to feel it’s sting and from her reactions I can definitely say the paddle passed it’s first test with flying if not “blazing” colors.
Positioning the paddle the right way
Besides having a paddle of the appropriate dimensions, another point to consider in order to ensure the paddling will be a proper one, is positioning…. both of the the culprit and the administrator. When a pupil is sent to me and a paddling is ordered, I will require them to bend over my desk near the left corner since I am right handed. This will allow me to stand slightly forward at the side of my desk while applying the paddle. Standing in this position will ensure the paddle lands squarely across both buttocks at the same time. If the person being paddled is bending over at the center of the desk, it is more difficult if not impossible to land the paddle squarely across the bottom. One wants to make sure the paddle lands squarely across the bottom so that both cheeks feel the the sting equally and one cheek is not punished more than the other as can happen with improper positioning. Also, the sound the paddle makes as it lands squarely across both bottom cheeks will be a loud, crisp WHACK similar to a rifle shot. There should be no muffled or half-hearted swats. Each and every swat should be applied with full force making sure the paddle lands squarely across both buttocks simultaneously. The sting imparted by each swat will be intense and the paddling will be most effective and not forgotten in a hurry. If the person administering the paddling is left-handed, then the positioning should be reversed, with the culprit bending over near the right corner of the desk and the administrator standing slightly forward at the right side.
Another point to consider is the number of swats to be administered. For first time offenses, I generally administer 5 swats with full force across the bottom. I feel that 5 swats is just about right to make sure a lesson is learned and the behavior that earned the paddling is not repeated. Usually just one good paddling is enough to keep a pupil in line, but sometimes additional paddlings are needed before the message gets through. Students leave my study after a paddling knowing that the number of swats double for repeat offenses. After feeling 5, they will not want to return for 10. Although 5 swats is the usual number for a first time offence, if the offence is a serious one or the pupil is being defiant or not displaying an appropriate attitude, then additional swats my be awarded.
Now for the matter of clothing. I will generally administer a paddling across the underpants for a first time offense. I will usually have the pupil lift their skirt or lower their pants before bending over my desk for their paddling. A well-made paddle such as the one I described, applied with full force, will make light of any clothing and will imart a very intense sting upon impact. For serious or repeated misbehavior, a paddling will be admisistered across the bare bottom. 5 or 10 swats across the bare bottom is a very severe paddling that will be long remembered. The humiliation of having to bare their bottom also adds to the effectiveness of such a paddling.
The attitude following the paddling
One last point, and that is attitude and behavior following the paddling. After the specified number of swats have been administered, I will ask the culprit if they have learned a lesson, to which most often the answer is an emphatic YES. I will then give them permission to stand up and adjust their clothing. Before leaving my study, I require the just-paddled pupil to apologize for the infraction they committed and promise they will never do it again. Then, they must thank me for paddling them. This final humiliation often brings additional to tears to those already flowing from the paddling. They are then dismissed with a warning to be good or face another paddling across my desk. This is also when they are reminded that the number of swats double for repeat offenses. It is a very contrite and well-punished pupil leaving my study who in all probability will think twice before getting into trouble again, especially for the same offense.
I hope this article on paddles and paddling will be useful to you. I know that everyone has their own individual style of paddling, but I have pointed out those things that I feel are important to any paddling and will make for a most effective and satisfying discipine session. If anyone would like to comment and add anything they feel is important, I would love hearing from you.