Nuns devise a kneecap torture

Tes Editorial

A tale of near-medieval cruelty comes to us from an assistant headteacher recalling her schooldays. Yes, it's those Catholic nuns again. "Whoever claims to be the 'evil inventor' of the punishment - oops, behaviour management strategy - of gum scraping (see Diary of March 17) is an imposter and a plagiarist," she writes. "Long ago, in the 1960s, it was a favourite 'strategy' employed by the nuns in my Catholic grammar school.

Normally reserved for those of us caught smoking in the toilets, it involved scraping gum from the floor with a rusty penknife and depositing it in a shared receptacle, thus requiring us to shuffle about a lot on our knees. I still have the scars. I still haven't managed to stop smoking, either, but have an enduring horror of chewing gum."

She doesn't say how this activity affected her attitude to prayer.

Register to continue reading for free

It only takes a moment and you'll get access to more news, plus courses, jobs and teaching resources tailored to you

Tes Editorial

Latest stories

Covid in schools, GCSEs 2021, teacher safety: LIVE

Coronavirus and schools: LIVE 3/3

A one-stop shop for teachers who want to know what impact the ongoing pandemic will have on their working lives.
Tes Reporter 3 Mar 2021