Nuns devise a kneecap torture

9th June 2006 at 01:00
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.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now