Discipline By John Walker

How children were punished in the Seventies and what they were punished for?

Lulu, punished for signing

Robert, punishments and misunderstandings

Transcript for 'Lulu, punished for signing':

LF - When I was in my second year, it was led by a teacher who was particularly horrible to us. When we signed to each other and we were caught, we got told off. It really took me for six. I thought I was allowed to sign. Perhaps, it was allowed in the earlier years but it was a sudden switch to being punished for signing.

You know the small paper bag, often used to contain sweets. It was used to wrap up our hands; they were tied together, as well. We were sent to the corner with our hands tied together and covered by this small paper bag. I remember feeling shocked and I was only 7 or 8 years old at the time.

I stood there with my hands tied without any understanding of why. No one attempted to explain to me and I was left clueless.

Transcript for 'Robert, punishments and misunderstandings':

RC - That is what it was like in those days. If I was in a fight or argument, I would be called in to see the Head Teacher, Mr. Jensen, for being naughty. He would tell me off sternly and ask me to bend down. I was told to lower my trousers and he brought out the cane and hit me on the buttocks.

PL - Actually on bare skin?

RC - You don't see anything like this today but then, you could be caned on your hand as well..

PL - And you remember that?

RC - Yes, … on my hand or buttocks. It would leave a red mark on my hand. But then my Mother was told what happened and she threw a fit. She called up the school, no mobile phones or minicoms in those days; she used the proper dial up telephone. She had words with the Head Teacher and she came back asking why I was naughty. 'Why I was fighting with other children'. I told her to mind her own business as I had a reason to fight. The other [hearing] children were using strange signs that I didn't understand, they were not using the sign language I used at school, and they were taking the mick. Really, we just couldn't understand each other and it caused this situation.

This page was added on 26/09/2012.

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