Yes, we like to fantasize about a naughty 18 year old girl getting in trouble at school and having to bend over and grab her ankles for a good paddling, but how often does this really take place? Today we are going to look at only high schools, from three different states, in three different school districts (note all information comes from the US Dept. of Education, Civil Rights Data Collection office).
The first is a very large school district in Mississippi in which there are a total of 28,455 students in the district. Only looking at students in the 9th-12th grades, there were a total of 1731 paddlings administered during the 2013-14 school year. Of those 1731 paddlings, 225 of them were administered to girls. The average amount of days nationwide that students are required to be at school is 180. This does not count “conference” days of “teacher in service days”. So that means, on the average there were 1.25 paddlings administered to a female high school student’s bottom a day.
Let’s do the same math for a much smaller district in Alabama with 6036 total high school students. Of those 6036 high school aged students, 1037 of them were paddled during the same school year. Of those 1037 paddled, 260 of them were girls. Based on the same amount of school days that is 1.4 female butts a day receiving the paddle.
Finally, a day in the life of a school district in Texas, in a district of 4921 students, at the high school level there were a total 569 paddlings, 189 applied to a female bottom. This means that there was a female high school student paddled 1.05 times a day. If we put the math together for three different states, 3 different districts, we average 3.7 high school aged girls receiving school corporal punishment each and every day of the school year.
This is looking at only three school districts, in the 19 states that still allow corporal punishment. I did not pull these figures because these schools have the highest statistics; I simply looked at several random schools that still utilized corporal punishment. All of these high schools combined equal 549 paddlings of females, but you have to wonder what the real number really is. These 549 girls that were paddled represent the instances in which corporal punishment was used, fully within the school guidelines, documented at the local level, those stats passed onto the district, and then reported to the US Dept. of Education. Do you think in the backwoods or Alabama, small town Mississippi, and the panhandle of Texas that every paddling is “official” and on the books? In one of those districts teachers are also allowed to paddle students in the hall. Do you think every high school girl that is marched into the hall, bent over with her hands on the locker, for a little private paddling from a teacher, has her punishment documented? What about the athletic coaches who have always managed to handle their own disciplinary issues in the locker room? Does that coach fill out all of the forms and make sure that they move up the chain to the Federal government?
I would be willing to bet that the number 549 represents less than half of the paddlings that took place in those high schools during that school year. We are not talking about schools in which parents get all bent out of shape when they find out that their daughter received a paddling. In so very many of these cases, the girls actually elect to be paddled, as that is an option their parents might not find out about. It is much harder to hide a suspension, or even having to stay after school, than it is to hide a paddling. They take the paddling at school because they know that the number of swats will be limited, which is far different from the whuppin they would get if their parents found out they were in trouble at school.
Even if we take these numbers at face value, which means that in five total high schools, on any given day, there were at least four total paddlings take place. Now if we look at the rest of the high schools, in the other 19 states, we are talking about an awful lot of sore bottoms. Yes, there are certainly those schools in which a paddling is not such an ordeal. The girl goes to the office, is told she is going to be paddled, and receives a couple of “pops” to her bottom. They sting quite a bit, but in the grand scope of things are not that big of a deal. But even if just 1 in 5 of those principals from those reporting schools takes corporal punishment really seriously, we are still talking about 110 paddlings that are being administered in a very serious manner.
These are the principals and administrators that believe corporal punishment serves a very real purpose. Their goal each and every time is to paddle so hard that the young lady will never come back to his office. They remember the days in the woodshed with their own dad, at a time when corporal punishment was a very real event. It was not “a couple of pops” to their bottom; it was their father teaching them exactly what is and is not allowed in this world. They want the paddlings that they administer to be legendary, as it just makes their job easier. If each and every girl that is sent before him already knows that a trip to his office means a bruised bottom and tears, then he has already won half the battle. That reputation alone is going to have half the student population on their very best behavior. Yes, some girls deal with being spanked better than others, but for the most part, the threat of bending over and grabbing your ankles, to be paddled until your crying, is a very real deterrent to bad behavior. And from the statistics we just looked at, we know it is an everyday occurrence throughout the South. An 18 year old girl, getting sent to the principal to have her bottom paddled, is not fiction or fantasy, it happens 100’s of times every day in this country and there are a lot of bruised bottoms to prove it.