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Murrayburn Primary School – Corporal Punishment in the1950s and 1960s


Teachers at the time usually had their own ways of class discipline.
It should also be mentioned that ,with few exceptions, their actions were readily accepted by the Pupils’ Parents.

The mildest form consisted of being made to stand in the corner until the end of the lesson. Sometimes you could be made to wait until the rest of the school had got out to go home or get extra homework.

Instant punishment came with the odd piece of Chalk hitting you behind the ear or a scuff on the top of the head, usually for not paying attention or talking in Class. This caused great hilarity amongst the rest of the Class.

More serious punishment was meted out using the “Tawse” or “Belt”, a piece of thin, black or brown, leather usually split at one end into two “tongues”

This was either one stroke on one hand or sometimes the double hander where one hand was put on top of the other for the first stroke then hands were swapped over for the second.

Some teachers had two “Belts”, one thin and one heavier and thicker for the really serious misdemeanour.
Accidents did happen and children did get hurt but it was very rare.

The worse thing to happen was if you were sent to see the Headmaster who in addition to giving you a lecture usually gave you a letter for your Parents telling them what you had done.
This often resulted in further punishment from embarrassed Parents.

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Stuart Laidlaw Added by Stuart Laidlaw

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