Sixth Grade at Franklin Elementary School was taught by Mrs. Oswalt and Miss White.
Mrs. Oswalt’s specialty was Math, Miss White’s English.
They both specialized in paddling.
I understand that kids this age are difficult to control – they’re mouthy, resentful of authority, and so distracted by budding hormones it’s a wonder anyone teaches them anything. And, back in the 60’s, corporal discipline was a staple of the teacher’s control arsenal.
But even with those disclaimers, my recollection is that these two were over the top. It wasn’t unusual for the toughest boy in class to return from a hallway paddling session wiping tears from his eyes. One time they paddled Danny Brumley so hard his pants split and he had to tie Terri Wikoff’s sweater around his waist so his undies wouldn’t show.
Other people from my age group have similar recollections. My first husband (aka Clueless Young Husband) used to talk about sitting in his classroom with a bunch of his friends one day, waiting for school to start, when his teacher came charging into the room, grabbed him by the neck and slammed him up against a wall. The teacher started screaming at him about something he’d done. Another kid was finally able to convince the teacher that CYH wasn’t the right target. The teacher dropped CYH and went storming off in search of the new suspect.
And Tom (of Tim and Tom fame) went to a three-story school elementary school with an open space in the center. Once, a teacher held him backwards by the throat over that thirty-foot drop. “I could feel my weight shifting toward my shoulders,” he said. “I would have confessed to anything.”
Note: To this day I bless Miss White for instilling the fundamentals of good grammar in my head. I can still recite the helping verbs (is, are, was, were, am, be, been…) and pick out the object of the complex sentence in the world.
But then, I never got paddled.