Tonya Gets Paddled at School
This incident took place at Hazard High School, in Perry County,
Kentucky, in the late spring of 1997:
It was in the late spring, maybe late May or early June, and we were
outside, next to the gym. At our school, we were allowed to go
outside for lunch, even in the winter, but nobody ever actually did
until it got warm outside. Anyhow, there was this grassy area in
front of the gym where a bunch of us wwent, and sat, and smoked
cigarettes (and other things, wink, wink), and talked--I'm sure that
there has to be a similar group on the campus of almost every high
school in the nation.
I had come very (often VERY) close to getting caught smoking out
there at lunch a nuber of times, and while I had been caught in the
girl's room, and also just outside the doors during class changes,
there were always so many people smoking next to the gym at lunch,
that it didn't seem that the chance existed for me to actually get
I was sitting in the grass, next to my boyfriend at the time (his
name was Mark), and we were both smoking cigarettes (I was smoking
Camel lights at the time). It was a beautiful day; I remember that
Our school had a small security staff; two security guards, two vice
principals, and the principal, all of whom patroled school grounds
looking for students smoking, using drugs, trying to leave campus,
They seemed to pop up like ghosts; I normally tryed to sit behind a
couple of other kids in case one popped up.
This one afternoon, though, the vice principal appeared outside the
gym, and I know (to this day) that he haden't seen me.
Unfortunately, he saw the smoke from the cigarette that I had tossed
behind me, and told Mark and I to stand up. He picked up the
cigarette, and said that it was mine (it was, although I fervently
denied it; he knew me from prior incidents). What really bothered me
was that Mark didn't say a word, and furthermore, that he had also
been smoking, but that somehow the vice principal (I actually have
forgotten the guy's name) hadn't noticed him, considering that Mark
was closer to him. What especially bothered me wa the fact that he
(Mark) had always made a big deal baout how getting paddled didn't
bother him; I had been in classes with him where the teacher had
taken him out into the hall, with her paddle, and had heard him
paddled at least three or four times, and he had always told me that
it "was nothing" to him. But here he let me alone take the
punishment, not even aknowlegeing that he might have been in any way
involved. That still somehow bothers me today. But perhaps I expect
too much from men. (lol)
The vice principal told me and a girl that I knew named Julia, who
had definately been caught smoking in the open (she actually hadn't
seen the vice principal come out), to come with him to the office.
I walked to the office behind the vice principal come out), to come
with him to the office. I was shaking visibly from that point on.
I'd been this route before, but the initial fear never left me. I
remember a number of times throughout high school talking with my
friends about how we weren't afraid of the paddle; I realized fully
that we all were lying.I remember that I couldn't stop trembling.
I grabbed my bookbag and followed him; I don't recall if
I was behind Julia or if she was behind me, but I do remember that we
did not walk side by side. We were taken in, past the secerateries,
and told to wait while the vice principal went into his office.
Although I can't speak for Julia, I knew standing against that white
ciderblock wall very well; I still know the feeling of that paint on
my arms behind my back (a thing that I do when I'm nervous is put my
arms behind my back, and hold my right wrist with my left hand; I
actually still do it today; the paint was very smooth). The vice
principal had paperwork to fill out on us; he called each of us into
his office for our names and student ID numbers, and then sent us
back into the hall, where we stood against the wall, again. It was
actually a little easier than I was used to, in that I was used to
there being close to ten students ahead of me against that wall.
We were each called in again, first Julia and then me, to sign The
Form. It was a triplicate form, the top copy white, the middle copy
yellow, and the third copy pink. I got to keep the white copy (I'm
not sure what happened to the other two). It was a form that we had
to sign to acknowledge that we were going to be paddled. The one
time that I actually refused to sign it, the vice principal just
wrote "refused to sign" on the line, and everything went on as though
I had actually signed the form. So this time, like almost every
other, I scrawled something vaguely resembling my signiture on the
line, and went out into the hall while Julia was called in to sign
We were then sent to the classes that we would have normally already
begun after lunch, with instructions to report to the health room
at the sixth hour (final class of the day) bell (see my prior post).
In my case that was English; I remember sulking through it, and being
really pissed. I had been hoping to get through my entire senior
year without getting paddled (I had only been three times my junior
year, in contrast to how frequently I had been my first two years of
high school), and hadn't been in probably almost a year. I sulked
through most of my next class, algebra-II, as well. I sat next to
one of my best girlfriends in that class, a cool chick named
Melissa. I told her about what had happened, and about what was
going to happen in about forty-five minutes or so. She said, as I
remember (and I knew Melissa well enough to assure that this is
pretty much ver batim): "Damn, that sucks." She actually asked me
if I was nervous, and I mumbled something to the effect of "duh"--I
guess it WAS a stupid question, but, thinking about it now, I guess
that anyone would ask thesame. She told me that she had been paddled
about five or six times, only once her junior year, and none (yet)
that year. (I say "yet", because she ended up getting paddled during
the last week of school.)
She tried to make me feel better, and told me that I was more than
welcome to call her or come over to her house after school if I
wanted to, even offering to have her brother buy beer. I thanked
her, but remained sullen and didn't talk much for the rest of class.
I remember an intense twisting sensation in my stomach, something
which I had experienced throughout high school, and, to a lesser
extent, prior (it wasn't until high school that I had to wait until
the end of the day o get paddled). I also recall a sensation in my
lower chest, above my stomach, that was twitching and unpleasant, and
my heart beating much faster that normal, like I'd had to much
coffee. I also believe that I shook, perhaps visibly.
My stomach jumped when the bell ending algebra rang. I went strait
to the girl's room, bummed a cigarette and a light (the vice
principal had made me empty my pockets and bookbag and taked mine)
and smoked it in a stall. I desperately needed it.
After flushing the butt, I walked down the hall, up the stairs, and
down another hall, to the health room. I had had experience with
The vice principal was standing outside the (closed) door, with a
girl who I didn't recognize. Neither the vice principal (I can't
believe that I don't remember his name) or I said anything; I took my
place against that wall behind the girl.
I remember vaguely what she looked like; even today. She had short
(above her shoulders) dark brown hair, dark clothing, and black hose.
I stood there, leaning against my bookbag against the wall. Eternity
passed. Julia showed up, mumbled something to the vice principal
(I'm pretty certain that wasn't his actual title, but I don't recall
his title proper; he was some kind of assistant principal), and took
her place behind me in queue.
The vice principal eventually went into the health room, and some
time later, stuck his head out and called the first girl in. I was
struggling to keep tears out of my eyes. This was a very nervous
time in my life in general, and this incident really brought me to
the brink. I was startled to consciousness when I heard the first
swat hit her. I knew where I was, why I was there, and--most
cognizent to me--what I about to go through again. Moments later,
the second blast hit her, and I heard her make a very deep and primal
sound. I had no idea who this girl was, but I felt very deeply for
her; knowing that I would very soon be where she was. I was made
very uncomfortable hearing her suffer.
Four more swats; her letting out the most painful and physically
disturbing noises. There was a long pause (I knew that papers were
being filled out and signed). The door opened, albeit slowly, and
the girl came out. Her face was very red, and she put her hands over
it as she turned, and walked down the hall, away from me. Seeing her
only made me feel more nervous and upset. Now it was my turn.
The vice principal called out, "Next!"
I walked in, trying (very hard) to look confident. He recognized me,
and made some small talk, asking trivial questions to which I
couldn't pay attention at all, and just nodded or shook my head in
Then he pointed to the counter, and said, "Take your turn," with an
exhalation strongly impling boredom. The health teacher, a big, ugly
woman was standing up next to The Counter, still holding the paddle.
I put my hands on the edge of it, and backed my feet up until I was
in the required position (I remember how difficult this often was
wearing sandals). I spread out my legs, which I still don't
understand why we had to do (why?--isn't paddling just as effective
with your legs together?--couldn't you really injure someone like
that?), and took a deep breath.
There was what seemed to me like a VERY long pause--as there always
was, and then I either felt or heard (or both) the swing being taken,
and then it came: my knees weakening, the paddle connecting, the
enormous BLAST of sound, the sting, the realization that I was living
in the moment, the attempt to direct thought elewhere obsoleted in a
moment for at least the dozenth time, the pain, my teeth wrenching
together, the PAIN, the STING. A pause, as I breathed. And there it
was again, instantly; the noise and the pain simoultaneous; I must
have yelped. The only thoughts in my brain the Moment and the pain
and how angry I was, how upset I was, how weak my knees were, how I
wanted to pee. Again, it came, this time I clearly heard the paddle
comeing, and bit down hard. I know for a fact that I yelled here;
I remember crying out against it all, my hear involuntarily swinging
back, and my yell. I Was given another, and strongly recall
repressing the tears that burned my eyes. There was a very intense
throbbing in my butt already. The health teacher said lodly, "one
more", and I bit down on my lower lip hard. That stroke really
killed me. In spite of my best attemptes, in spite of having been
paddled in school countless times before, I could not stop the tears.
I had to sign something, I scribbled an incomprehensible line in the
box. I was given a hall pass and told to go to my sixth-hour class
(child development). I slipped out a door, stumbled dizzied through
the parking lot, and sat and cried to myself in a small park.
Two hours later I was lying on my stomach in Melissa's bedroom, about
eight beers into a case.
I never talked to Mark again.
Tonya in '97
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