Anyone else remember very strict discipline at school?
I grew up in a small town in New England. The main street, on which we lived, was composed of two and three family homes primarily, many of which were owned and occupied by families related to one another. The homes were built fairly close to each other. One home’s family “business” easily became every other home’s family “business”, especially graphic for kids overhearing lickings being administered to neighboring kids.
The school I attended was staffed by Catholic sisters, imports from French-Canada, and they were no-nonsense educators. Our days at school there were frequently punctuated by kids, buddies, being sent to Sister Principal’s office for a lecture about some infraction, and probably a solid dose of the Canadian School Strap, a serious bad-boy persuader.
The Canadian School Strap looked very much like the sturdy wooden paddles some parents used at home for spanking purposes. It was about 18-20 inches long, 2 inches wide, with a handle cut out at one end and square cut on the receiving end, the significant difference being that the School Strap was close to ½ inch thick and made totally of leather instead of wood. It was barely flexible due to its thickness. It was dark brown/black and shiny. The sisters applied the strap only to a boy’s clothed bottom, usually 8-10 licks, but it still produced plenty of cries and howls. That type of punishment was frequent and approved of by parents. Not many boys escaped the strap during grade school years. Somehow I did.
Most parents who learned that their son had been strapped at school, finished what the sisters started with an application of the wooden paddle, or more commonly the razor strap, at home that evening.
Our main street also had a small business district, including a barbershop. More on that later.