Johann Häberle

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Langenhäuser Schuldisciplin (1795) - a boy is punished by being seated on a wooden pony wearing a donkey cap.


Johann Häberle (or Häuberle?) was a German (Swabian) teacher who died in 1782. He kept an exact list of all school corporal punishment he had personally given to his students in 51 (or 52?) years of working as a teacher. This account is as follows:

  • 911,527 Stockschläge (strokes with a stick), 800,000 of which were for unlearned Latin vocabulary.
  • 124,010 Rutenhiebe (strokes with a birch), 36,000 (or 76,000) of which were for unlearned bible and songbook verses.
  • 20,989 Klapse and Pfötchen (slaps given with the hand or a ruler to the student's hand)
  • 136,715 Handschmisse (slaps with the open hand. It is unsure to which body part, but probably neither to the student's hand nor to the student's face, so this category may count hand-spanks to the student's buttocks).
  • 10,235 Maulschellen (slapping the face).
  • 7905 Ohrfeigen (boxing the ears).
  • 1,115,800 Kopfnüsse (hitting the side or the rear of the head with one's knuckles).
  • 22,763 Notabenes mit Bibel, Katechismus, Gesangbuch und Grammatik (slaps given with a book).
  • 777 times a student had to kneel on peas.
  • 613 times a student had to kneel on a triangular log of wood.
  • 5001 times a student had to wear a donkey cap.
  • 1707 times a student had to hold up the birch.


Someone calculated that Häberle has, on statistical average, given one corporal punishment every two minutes in his lessons. Assuming that there were 280 days of school per year (14,280 school days in 51 years), on an average day Häberle gave:

  • 64 strokes with the stick
  • 9 strokes with the birch
  • 1 slap on a student's hand
  • 10 hand-spanks
  • 1 face-slapping
  • 78 Kopfnüsse
  • 1 to 2 Notabenes
  • and the other punishments occured about once per week or once per month.

And he also found the time to keep track and write down all of these punishments in his punishment book.


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