Spare the rod, spoil the child. Was that the Golden Rule in schools about a generation or more ago?
The rod was not spared in catholic schools. My maternal grandmother as well as her two daughters attended St. Leonard's Catholic School located in the Bushwick section of Brooklyn, NY. My father attended St. Stanislaus Kostka (est. 1896) in the Greenpoint section of Brooklyn. I had heard stories about the harsh treatment of the students in catholic schools so I asked my parents to confirm this. My mother said that the boys were treated worse. Their hands were slapped with double rulers and heads banged against the wall. My aunt said that a boy in her class had his head shoved in a closet and struck a coat hook. My mother had her hair pulled a few times and chewing gum put in her curls in the center of her forehead (her bangs). One day my mother forgot her cap and had to walk home to get it. She was not allowed to stay in school with an incomplete uniform.
When St. Leonard's first opened, the parishioners were primarily German immigrants. By the time the church closed its doors in 1973 (or might be '78, still trying to find out the exact year), the Germans had moved out and were replaced by Italians and then Hispanics.
St. Leonard's Church was demolished in 2001 and that area is now occupied by St. Leonard's Scalabrini Apartments.
St. Barbara's still stands as the tallest most beautiful of all churches is Brooklyn.