Carrie is a scholarship girl at the prestigious local girls’ school, is extremely studious and a real high flyer. She is due to sit ‘A’ Levels in a few weeks, and is predicted excellent results and a place at Cambridge. However, for the last few weeks she has been in behavioural melt-down, being aggressive towards other pupils, swearing at members of staff, and has started drinking and smoking, although she has never been caught so doing – it is rumoured she has got the wherewithal to do this through activities with the sixth form boys at the parallel establishment.
The Headmaster has just come from a Board of Governors’ meeting where Carrie was the sole topic of conversation. He tells her that he had to argue very strongly for Carrie to remain at the school for the final few weeks to her exams rather than be expelled, but the board insists she be very severely punished. Corporal punishment has been almost completely phased out at the school but is to be used on Carrie. The Headmaster tells Carrie that some members of the world wanted unheard-of levels punishment to be administered, but the Head, and a former pupil co-opted onto the board (no stranger to the cane herself when the Head was first appointed) persuaded them to something severe but not unreasonable – the Headmaster will have some discretion over punishment, although the board has made various stipulations.
Carrie will receive five separate dozens, at least three of them using a cane. The Chair of the Board has insisted that one dozen will be a ‘traditional headmaster’s punishment’, i.e. using the old-fashioned crook-handled cane with Carrie touching her toes. At the insistence of the former pupil (and to the relief of the Headmaster) Carrie will be thoroughly warmed up by hand over the knee, then receive the slipper and/or hairbrush. The Board has asked to be sent a photograph of the results and have made it very clear that the Headmaster will be answerable if they consider he has been too lenient, and he will have to do it again the next day.
Carrie is very sorry, has already apologised to the staff members she has insulted, and is ashamed of her behaviour. For this reason, and to ensure that the Board is satisfied, prepares herself to ask for extra punishment at the end.