Today we have some barking mad woman--one who has never had children, or never had to wait at a bus-stop where there's a bunch of hooligans who have smashed all the glass in it, and who insult all and sundry before going off to throw bricks at cars--telling us that we're too hard in our schools, and that giving children lines and detentions is cruel.
Get a grip, you batty old bugger, and smell the coffee!
Myself, MP William Haigh and a number of others attended Wath Grammar School at a time when discipline meant something, and when we respected our elders because of it.
When I was seven I told my uncle to "Fuck off!" He marched me to the policeman who always stood outside the pub, and I got a clip about the ear. I never made the same mistake again.
At school, Derek Kirby--the Scripture master--had eyes in the back of his head. Chatter, and he would flick a piece of chalk and always get you smack between the eyes. If Derek was in a really bad mood, he used the blackboard rubber.
Miss Clegg, the headmistress, had a four-foot bendy cane. One lad got six of the best, boasted that it hadn't hurt--so she sent him to the headmaster, who gave him twelve of the best with a non-bendy cane.
Philip Staines, the PE master--he's the one we watched on the school trip to Spain, through a key-hole, giving the PE mistress a right royal seeing to--preferred a running-shoe to the rump, though not a spiked one.
I had three detentions for not handing in my homework on time. During the first, OB (Old Bastard, my father) marched in and took me home--telling the teacher to hit me, give me any amount of homework, but that Saturdays were there for me to work for HIM. The next day I got the ruler, side-edge over the knuckles.
I cheated on the cross-country run. It was sub-zero, two feet of snow, and we had to pass our farm. My mother was at the gate and asked us all in for tea and scones. I got the lot for this! Eddie Fisher, the games master, made five of us bare our bottoms in front of the whole class. We got the "wet pump", then we had to run around the quadrangle, in the snow, barefoot and bare-chested. It didn't do us any lasting harm, and learned us not to cheat again.
And did I bear any grudges against these teachers? No, sir! I even went out on a date with one of them, two years after leaving school!
So long as they keep sparing the rod, this country--and others--will get worse with each new generation.