Who Remembers School Spankings?

South San Francisco, CA  October 27, 2014

School spankings, who remembers them? While today there are only 19 states that still allow school spankings with parental permission only one school in California still allows this practice per our search. Bethel Christian Academy, a K-12 grade private school in El Sobrante, states information on the ‘Swats’ in their handbook.

Swats generally proceed from the discipline process in the classroom. In the classroom, when a child disobeys, he moves up one discipline level. After two disobediences in a day, a student receives a conduct slip. If a student disobeys three times in a day, he is sent to the office for swats. If a student disobeys twice, receiving a conduct slip, on three different occasions in a grading period, he is sent to the office for swats on the third conduct slip. Some disobediences may bring automatic swats, such as lying, stealing, cheating, fighting, and blatant disrespect toward a teacher.

When the child comes to the office, the principal or acting principal reviews the conduct slip with the child. Should he decide that swats are in order, he will telephone the child’s home to inform the parents of the incident. When giving swats the principal or acting principal will spank the boys and one of the lady staff members will spank the girls. All swats are given in the office with a witness present. The precedence is to give the child three swats with a paddle on the bottom.

After the spanking, the principal reviews the disobediences with the child, gives the child a copy of the conduct slip, reassures him of his love for him, and then sends him back to class. The parent signs the conduct slip and returns it the next day to his child’s teacher.

The seventh – twelfth graders primarily receive detentions for disobediences, although if the disobedience persists, students may receive conduct slips and swats, both of which would follow the above procedures.


California public schools allowed school spankings for decades and finally outlawed the practice in 1986 with a narrow vote of 42-33. Forty one affirmative votes were needed for this to pass and CALIFORNIA EDUCATION LAW Section 49000-49001 reads as follows:

49000.  The Legislature finds and declares that the protection
against corporal punishment, which extends to other citizens in other
walks of life, should include children while they are under the
control of the public schools. Children of school age are at the most
vulnerable and impressionable period of their lives and it is wholly
reasonable that the safeguards to the integrity and sanctity of
their bodies should be, at this tender age, at least equal to that
afforded to other citizens.

49001.  (a) For the purposes of this section "corporal punishment"
means the willful infliction of, or willfully causing the infliction
of, physical pain on a pupil. An amount of force that is reasonable
and necessary for a person employed by or engaged in a public school
to quell a disturbance threatening physical injury to persons or
damage to property, for purposes of self-defense, or to obtain
possession of weapons or other dangerous objects within the control
of the pupil, is not and shall not be construed to be corporal
punishment within the meaning and intent of this section. Physical
pain or discomfort caused by athletic competition or other such
recreational activity, voluntarily engaged in by the pupil, is not
and shall not be construed to be corporal punishment within the
meaning and intent of this section.
   (b) No person employed by or engaged in a public school shall
inflict, or cause to be inflicted corporal punishment upon a pupil.
Every resolution, bylaw, rule, ordinance, or other act or authority
permitting or authorizing the infliction of corporal punishment upon
a pupil attending a public school is void and unenforceable.



This subject came up on our social media last Thursday as we posted #TBT Who remembers the days of spankings administered by South San Francisco School (Vice) Principals? There were some interesting memories shared by our neighbors when we asked who remembered school spankings in South City. Below are some of the comments. Please feel free to share your own.

Anna I would have hit them back

Brian Yup! Swats from Mr. McNutt at Spruce.

Keri Mr Braschi had a paddle and the kid he used it on deserved it…hahaha…still remember the screaming . But damn straight I’d never let a clown like him paddle MY kid….!

Wendy Mr. Braschi paddle my butt too!!!

Pat I was never “paddled” but remember my brother getting it at Junipero Serra or Southwood…

Gina Mr. Miyahara at Junipero Serra!


Tony Mr. Cricket at Ponderosa!!

Eddie DeMonte at Los Cerritos

Diane Not personally although threatened once at Alta Loma jr. High

Tim Sunshine Gardens… Parkway….

Dino By or To?

Muriel The parents had to ok it though. Boy how things change.

Sergio Mr.McNutt, Spruce School

Carla Dr. Jacobson at Ponderosa elementary school, she put the smack down!!!

Gina For real?

Anna Oh yeah but we never got the paddle.

George Yep!! Mr. McNutt at Spruce, during the mid to late 70s!!

Linda That’s terrible

William There was a time when the village raised a child when the parents didn’t have the fortitude, ability, or will to. Today no one is allowed to do anything, even parents are frowned upon for disciplining their own children. How’s that working out?

German Really good actually!! Inmates getting free tablets in jail!!! (Sarcasm)

Joseph Yep Mr DeMonte at Los Cerritos with that wooden paddle with the holes

Angel Mr. Satero Serra Vista

Frank Mr. Damonte (1951) , and Mr. Diprado. I always laughed when they spanked me.

Rich Mr. DeMonte for sure ! Twice, if i remember correctly.

Janina I went to Highlands and got paddled once, in 2nd grade, by the pastor’s wife. WHAT. My dad is still pissed about it 30-something years later!

Ellen I don’t remember hitting, but I do remember at least two alcoholics!

Fredy They should bring the spanking back. Many of these kids need a good one! Set them straight. Haha.

William I wasn’t afraid of the police or teachers, I was afraid of what would be waiting for me at home if I ever got in trouble. Even for fights at school, getting busted for fighting by the teacher and then sitting there as they called my parents….. that was the scary part.

Sandra Mr McNutt and the four ft wooden ruler.


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Jim Nelson
Jim Nelson
1 year ago

A hot sting across the fanny sometimes does the trick!!

2 years ago

Paddling was used in school when I went in the 80s. It was very effective and the very last thing i wanted to go through. I avoided getting a paddling until i became rebellious in 7th grade. The principal paddled me twice my 7th grade year. In 9th grade I acted up repeatedly in one of my classes. After refusing to go to to the principal’s office after being ordered to, my teacher took me into an adjoining room and paddled me. The 8 or 9 students in the class could hear even with the door shut. It was very loud. I was so embarrassed and my behavior radically changed after that day. But at the time I hated it.

2 years ago

I liked it. Who wouldn’t want to be over a pretty lady’s lap, pants around your ankles and get undecided attention . I still enjoy thinking about it. I find it to be a powerful climax.

6 years ago

I remember Mr. Mc Nutt from Spruce School. He had a bog o’l boat that he drove and his suits and full mustache. what a guy.

Michael Murray
Michael Murray
7 years ago

I got paddled by Mr. Myahara (sic) at Junipero Serra
Mr Sexton and Schirra at Westborough.
As well as Mr. Goins at Westborough

7 years ago

I was born in 1971, and I never was I hit at school by personnel in Novato. I remember 45’s and 8-tracks though! Does that count?