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To the Editor. Sir, —After carefully perusing the report of the School Committee meeting, which appeared in last evening's issue of thb'Gidmiid'R, It' seemed doubtful to me whether we were living in the midst of a Christian community or'whether vvp had suddenly ygWp»s4 % state of gemibarbarism, The eager and indecent haste to get rid of the schoolmaster, displayed by several of the Committee, manifested a spirit of ono-aidedness and injustice which is at once disgraceful to a New Zealand comtr'-aity and a sufficient proof that not qualified to discharge those duties which they have been called upon to discharge by a too confiding public. It is a true saying that “extremes meet,” and they did meet on Tuesday night with a vengeance. One member supports a motion with the view of taking immediate steps towards “ changing the schoolmaster,” urging as a reason that if three months are allowed to expire, the present master may be retained. Could anything sound more malicious, or better betray a iqofe utter disregard of. justice 1 or fair play ? If at the end of throe iuont}|a he should prove himself competent' td 'djacharge Ins duties properly, why, I ask, should he not be retained j While another

member (the chairman tohoot)seom3 either to have parted with his senses or imagined himself to bo the “ concentrated essence of the School Committee. ” If he sees that he has a strong case in favor of the schoolmaster, why not rather invite discussion, and have the matter thoroughly sifted, instead of trying to smother the subject by attempting to follow a course which is most arbitrary in its nature, and I think almost unprecedented since the introduction of a free press and a free platform ? By some cause or combination of causes, which certain members of the Committee do not understand or do not care to understand, the Inspector’s last report was not so favorable as its predecessors, and the result of this match on the inflammable matter around us, is the hue and cry for dismissal without even the slightest pretence to justice, fair play, or ordinary manliness. Now, sir, if the Committee wish to prove themselves gentlemen in the true sense of the word and not mere partisans, they will make a careful and impartial inquiry into the causes which have brought about the present unhappy state of affairs, and, if I am not mistaken, the chief charge they will be able to bring against the master will be, that he did not complain earlier of the fearful disadvantages under which he has labored during the last twelve months. In regard to the master’s literary qualifications as a teacher, even his bitterest enemies are compelled to admit that he stands high. What is required, then, for the school, sir, is not a change in the management at all, but more accommodation for the constantly increasing number of pupils, and a more efficient staff of sub-teachers.

Permit me to say, in conclusion, that I admire the manly attitude which was taken by Messrs, liobertson and St. Hill at the meeting on Tuesday night; and in dealing with this question I trust that their colleagues will endeavor to suppress those feelings and impulses which are worthy only of the savage breast, and, so far as a civilised community is concerned, ought to have been buried with the past ages. Hoping you will insert this in the interests of common justice. —I am, &0., Neutral. Ashburton, Feb. 10. To the Editor. Sib, —I observe that two of the members of the late Committee have voted for sitting in judgement on the efficiency of the head master at a special meeting to be held on Tuesday next. This appears to me to be inconsistent, if not vindictive, on their part, as when the Inspector’s report came before them in November last it was resolved to leave the matter entirely in the hands of the Board of Education, and wait the result of the next report from the Inspector of Schools. But now they think it necessary to express their opinions. Why did they not do so before, at the proper time ? lam no champion of the master’s, at the same time I do not believe in unfairness or unnecessary persecution. Does it not seem strange that up to the present time not a single complaint has been submitted to the School Committee in writing by any parent relative to the master’s inefficiency ? As to street talk, that goes for pothing. I sincerly hope, sir, that the present Committee will be guided purely by a desire to advance our large and important school, w'hich up to the present time (let the cauqe be what it may) has not been a success. —I am, A 0., Householder.

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Bibliographic details

THE ASHBURTON SCHOOL SQUABBLE., Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 266, 11 February 1881

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THE ASHBURTON SCHOOL SQUABBLE. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 266, 11 February 1881

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