Remembering the days of the 'board' of education

Published: Wednesday, October 23, 2013 at 17:14 PM.

It’s high school reunion season as evidenced by Facebook blurbs hitting my computer and newspaper stories unfolding on my breakfast table. Like most things, schools of the 1950s were light-years different than what they are today.

Some of the more surprising differences to me are changes in definitions of crime and punishment. I don’t mean through Dostoyevsky’s eyes but rather in what constituted in-school transgressions and what penalties were attached to them compared to the present.

One huge difference is that I grew up in the age of the paddle, sometimes called the “board” of education by cliché lovers. I was a terrible student by any measure and take misplaced pride remembering that I sampled just about every sanction the system had to offer short of expulsion.

Our school “crimes” were quite different from today’s definitions. Some routine things done back then would’ve brought SWAT teams and news trucks to campuses today.

For example, during hunting season, virtually every car in the Havelock High School parking lot contained guns. We were perpetually on the “hunt.”

I recall on our way to school Kelton and I jumping out of the car with guns in hand to chase down a rabbit we spotted in an open field. We ran and cut and pivoted and turned but these two humans were no match for the little critter.

Looking back I’m smiling, glad the bunny defeated us big lumbering monsters. Good job, rabbit.



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