Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Punishments That Were Considered Completely Routine and Utterly Unremarkable In My Hometown School System, Back When I Was In It, From Sixth Grade Onward

--D-hall, aka detention. Required you to sit in some off-season coach's classroom for I think 30 mins after school. You weren't supposed to do homework or read, just meditate upon your crime.

--Sentences. Assigned in increments of fifty. You'd go to the office, get a slip of paper with the week's sentence on it (usually some sort of moral), and write that on a sheet of looseleaf the required number of times and turn it in at the office.

--Wall sits. The week's group of miscreants (or an ad hoc group, in the moment) would have to put their backs against a wall and scooch down till their thighs were parallel to the floor -- sitting without a chair, basically -- and stay there till whatever insane meathead was in charge told them they could stop. Usually 1-5 minutes in total.

--Licks, aka getting your ass beat with a paddle by some kinky-minded sociopath with rage issues. The number of "licks" depended on the severity of your offense and was stipulated by the teacher or official who sentenced you. The ones who enjoyed performing this duty -- all men, grown-ass adult men, whaling away on teen and preteen boys and girls -- had their own special paddles, with stuff carved into and written on them, and would lovingly caress them in class, name them, use them as pointers, hold them above your head mock-(real)-threateningly, etc.

Dunno if they still do any of this -- for the record, I only ever did sentences or D-hall, although there were plenty of kids who'd choose the licks to get out of writing, say, 200 sentences. Also you could sign a paddle if you got beaten enough times with it. People are crazy.

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Blogger Sarah Brown said...

Jesus Christ. I remember all of this. We also had a "referral" which was more serious than detention but less serious than suspension. Like 3 referrals = suspension. One time in sixth grade a substitute teacher gave me one by mistake (she didn't know the name of the kid who'd smarted off and wrote down the next name on the roll chart) and I cried like a baby until the assistant principal was like, "Sarah, relax, I know you didn't do this." Thank god my lame rep preceded me.

3:55 PM  
Blogger Panda!!!! said...

In elementary school we had a merit/demerit system where we were awarded merits for good behavior and demerits for bad. I forget what happened to all those merits and demerits except you probably got some sort of photocopied (or dittoed!) certificate. The most heinous crimes would result in 10 demerits, or "going up for 10" and the offender would have to visit the principal to receive the 10 marks next to his or her name.

I "went up for 10" only a few times: once for running in the halls and another for beating a kid up. I love how both offenses resulted in the same "punishment," since running in the halls is just as bad as punching a jerk in the face.

In comparing my CA experience to your TX one, I think I may have attended a hippie school.

10:09 AM  
Blogger Guinness74 said...

We had everything but wall sits. We also had demerits (tallies) in 6th grade math for just about everything. You couldn't gain them back, you just lost them. Anyway, by unfortunate coincidence, I was responsible for the girl behind me getting her only tally one grading period (mostly cause I had a crush on her) and through the virtues of Facebook (is there such a thing?) I was able to contact my old teacher and 25 years later have her restore the young lady's good name by rewarding her the lost demerit.

I'm such a nerd...but she remembered it as well and was overjoyed.

12:23 PM  
Blogger Twist said...

In high school, they started a program to reward good behavior. Since our school mascot was a beaver, they gave out slips for random acts of kindness called "beaver achievers".

4:28 PM  
Blogger Gleemonex said...

I'm a Beaver Achiever! [brain hemorrhage from laughter]

3:58 PM  

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