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BY MRS. H. E. G. AREY.
Let me stand here,
RESPONSIBILITY OF THE TEACHER FOR THE HABITS OF
BY C. L. POWERS, MUKWONAGO. How far is the teacher responsible for the habits of pupils? Some will contend that he is responsible for all the bad habits that his pupils contract, but the writer would beg leave to differ. The teacher is certainly responsible, as far as his example goes, as he as is, perhaps, imi
tated by them, more than any other person, unless it may be the parent. Then if the daily life of the teacher before the school is unexceptionable, he certainly should not be blamed for the habits contracted from the example of others, and, as is very often the case, from members of the same family.
It is to be expected that the teacher will always be gentlemanly in language and deportment. Should he be given to the common vice of profanity, and indulge in this habit in presence of his pupils, they will follow nis example, and he then becomes responsible for it. Do we wonder that the pupils use profane language if the teacher himself does the same? Certainly not. But pupils seldom learn this disgusting vice in this manner, for our teachers certainly are not noted for its indulgence. Where do they obtain their first lessons? By association with older persons in every walk of life. It is very often the complaint of parents, “I do not know where my children learned to swear; they never use such language in my presence, but I am told that they do sometimes in the presence of others."
Others will assert that, if their children use profane language, they learn it at school. This may be very true; but do they never learn it at home? Parents are not always as guarded in their choice of language in the presence of their children as they should be. Profanity is an awful vice, wheresoever it is found; whether in the saloon, on the street, or in their own homes in the presence of children, if men take the name of their Maker in vain, it is the same disgusting and inexcusable vice. It may be different in its effects, but it is the same.
It is an alarming fact, that profanity is yearly and daily gaining ground, and our study should be how to remedy the evil. A few years ago we would not think of hearing any but boys and men using profane language, but in this progressive age, it is by no means confined to them. We occasionally find girls, and I am sorry to say, young ladies, (in age, at least,) that are almost as proficient in the art as their fathers and brothers. Where do they learn it? Certainly not in the saloon and public places of the town, for they are not frequenters of such places. Do they learn it at school? Sometimes the faculty finds opportunity to develop itself there, but more often it finds its birth at home, in the bosom of the family. Who ever heard of a child's being addicted to this habit, if the male meribers of the family are exemplary in that respect? It cannot be denied that there are pupils in every
school that are given to the habit, more or less, but it is very seldom that one will use such language in the presence of the teacher. Should the teacher hear oaths used by his pupils, he will of course reprove, and may punish
the delinquent for the offense; but how far does the effect extend? In most of cases, only within range of his hearing. It renders the pupil guarded in his presence, but do they use such language any the less when out of sight and hearing? It is very seldom the case that a correction by the teacher, cures a pupil of this habit, perhaps never. If the head of the family, or the older children, indulge in profanity, it is not to be wondered at that the younger ones follow in their footsteps. The same argument applies with equal force to other injurious habits that pupils fall into, but I have enlarged upon this one habit, as it is by far the most common.- Waukesha Democrat.
Q. In case of the proposed alteration of a joint district, lying in three or more towns, must a majority of each town board be present and concur, or will it be sufficient to obtain the consent of the majority of one or more boards afterwards, in writing ?
A. An order for the formation or alteration of a joint district must be made at a joint meeting of all the boards, and have the consent of a majority of each board.
Q. Is it the duty of a town treasurer to pay over the whole of a district tax to the district treasurer ?
A. Section 56 (2d) requires that the town treasurer shall "pay over to the district treasurer on demand, all school taxes raised in each district, and collected by him.” He is entitled of course to his percentage for collection.
Q. If after the equalization of taxes in a joint district, lying in two counties, a dog tax” is ordered in one county and not in the other, is the dog-tax paying portion of the district entitled to an equivalent remission of other taxes, on that account ?
A. Hardly. The taxing of their dogs may have a good moral effect upon the canines in the other part of the district, though it must be confessed that badly disposed curs will not, for this reason, probably pay much regard to county lines.
Q. Can a town adopt the town system, although embracing more or less than one township of land?
A. Certainly;“ town” does not mean township, in the act of 1869, although in the title, as printed in the code, it reads, “township system of school government.” Ordinarily, each town embraces one“ township" of land.
Q. Can the district clerk, at a district meeting, after a vote is taken, throw out such votes as he thinks illegal?
A. No; he like any other voter, has a right to challenge any one's vote, but he has no right, nor has the chairman, to throw out any vote, if the voter takes the oath, on being challenged.
Q. Can a district officer resign?
A. Yes; so soon at least as any legal action establishes the fact of his insanity. An insane man is non compos mentis, and as such cannot hold office.
Q. If I buy a farm which embraces a school-house site, of which no conveyance has been made to the district, though promised, does not the land belong to me?
A. If you bought the farm knowing that such conveyance had been promised, it is your duty to execute a conveyance, when called
Q. Can the chairman of a town board condemn a school-house?
A. The fourth provision of section 92 of the school law authorizes the county superintendent, “in concurrence with the chairman ” of the town board, to order such condemnation, if judged necessary.
Q. Can the voters of a district remove an obnoxious and unfit member of the school board from office?
A. They cannot. The county judge, can remove, on petition, for neglect of duty (see section 124). Conviction of an infamous crime creates a vacancy.
Q. If school is taught on a legal holiday, is it right to have it count as an additional day?
A. It is not, for it would make two days out of one, which the law certainly does 110t contemplate.
Q. If two members of a district board discharge a teacher, without calling a meeting of the board on the subject, is the discharge legal?
A. It is not; the action of the majority of the district board is not legal, unless a meeting is called, as provided in section 46.
Q. Is it lawful to teach German instead of English part of the time, if part of the parents desire it?
A. Only to the extent of one hour each day. (See p. 85, Sch. Code.)
Q. It a pupil is suspended, until “apology is made before the school,” for his misconduct, is he entitled to re-admission at the beginning of a new term, or a change of teachers, without apology?
A. The new term or new teacher does not alter the case essentially. The apology is still due “ before the school.”
Q. After a contract has been made, with no provision for teaching on Saturdays, is it lawful to alter the contract so as to allow some time lost by sickness to be made up on Saturdays?
A. It would be lawful. The parties to a contract, by mutual consent, may alter its terms.
Q. Our teacher agreed to teach four months, of twenty days each, and taught but nineteen, excluding legal holidays. Has the district board a legal right to pay the full amount of wages, nothing having been stated in the agreement about legal holidays?
A. All legal holidays occurring while the school was in progress, on school days, count as school days, although no school be taught.
Q. In case a county superintendent grants a certificate, on private examination, to an old and experienced teacher, ought he to require another examination in less than a year ?
A. Section 94 of the School Code provides that such a certificato “shall remain in force until the next regular meeting for the examination of teachers in the inspection district in which such teacher is engaged in teaching ;" hence the superintendent has no discretion in the matter. The policy of the law is regular examinations.
Q. When a county contains two superintendent districts, is not a certificate issued in either district good for the whole county ?
A. Certainly not ; superintendent districts are entirely independent of each oiher, in this matter, and care should be taken that the certifcates issued by a district superintendent are properly worded, so as net to mislead teachers and scnool boards.
Q. Is a certificate, given last fall, for one year, good under the new superintendent ?
A. A change in the superintendent does not make any difference. A certificate is always good until it expires, if not annulled. But under section 105, a superintendent “ may require a re-examination of any teacher,” if he thinks it necessary.
Q. Can a county superintendent, under section 105, require a re-examination of all the teachers in the county?
A. As he has the power to require it of “any teacher,” he must be held to have the technical power to require it of all; but it would be some extraordinary state of things only that would justify such procedure. In a certain case (in another state), the teachers themselves asked a re-examination of a new superintendent, on the ground, that the old one had granted certificates of a high grade indiscriminately, without
proper examination. Q. Ought candidates for certificates to be limited in time, in writing out their answers?