MAYFIELD SCHOOL TROUBLES.
COMMISSION OF ENQUIRY.
Tbat' quiet and orderly dlstrlot Mayfield woke np to extreme activity last Thursday, when a pnblio meeting was held having been oonvenod for the purpose of considering some charges that wero laid against the looal sohoolmaster, Mr Fmlth, The sohoolroom was well filled and abont 7.30 p.m. Mr J. Dellow, Ohalrman of Sohool Committee, Introduced the Commissioner Mr 0. J. Oolborne Veel, M.A , Seoretary of the Board of Education for North Osnterbnrf, who Immediately prooeeded to Investigate the o.a-gea. These were laid by Messrs Ooskerle and Ohrlstensen, and the principal three were ! —
I.— Sending ohlldren home instead of tesohlng them .when attendance wai small*
2.*— lrregularity ln time of opening sohool.
3.— Discharging fireirma m (he sohool grounds to the danger of tbe ohlldren. Me and Mrs Ohrlstensen stated that about two, years ago their ohlldren had been sent b*ok from school more tban onoe when the •ttendanoe 'was small, and that at last the ohlldren had refused to go on damp mornings, on the plea that they would be ieq v hrine again. They did not know er«et elites. Me Christens- u did not rapirt the matter to Mr Smith at the time, as be did not thlpk it worth while. Mr Ooskerl. stated that when be was Chairman of Oommlttee Mr Smith had oloied tho school without permission, onoe on a Friday (-ft'd by Mr Ooakerle to be Oqt tbor sth, 1888. but whloh tamed out to be October 12th) and also for % fortnight at New Year timeIn reply to these charges, Mr Smith denied having sent the ohlldren home m the manner stated by Mr and Mrs Ohrhtennen, but sad that Mc Ooskerle h\d Instructed him to oloee the sohool whon the attendance was email, but he hpd not done bo. He explained that the qhlldron of Mr K*Uahan bai oome later than half-an-ihour after the time of opening, and had been sent home again as he bad olosed -obooJ. fAfr Eellabau said 'hat this statement was oorreot ; the quildren did not go to sohool till after regulation opaning time.] With regard to oloßlng sohool on October 12, Mr Smith admitted tbe oharge, but explained that be went to Ashburton to get a damaged limb and bruised head doctored, and that these Injuries had been Inflated on him by a gentleman present Messrs Oorbett and Kellahao, members of the Sohool Committee, said tbey had sanctioned the holidays. I The charge of opening the sohool at Irregular hours was next considered, Mr Ohrlstensen oharged Mr Smith with opening sohool at irregular hours. Onoe at abont 10 a,m. Inatead of 9 s.m,« and once not till nearly Ham, There was no corroboration, oxoept that of Mr Ooskerle, Mr i^ellahsn : "Yon were on the Oom<mK. eB ' ftl the t,me Me Oh«»tensen, "Why did you not bring the matterbefore tbe Oommlttee ." Mr Ohrißtensen did not reply . With reference to tho charge of dfsoharg'ng firearms. Mr Ohrietensen asked Mr Smith " Did you not fire at a buildiog m the sohool ground. There are lots of bullet holes In the ground where you havo been firing ? "
Mr Ooskerle : " Was you practising to shoot one of the Committee ?" Mr Fmith admitted firing a revolver m oompany with Mr W. Dellow and Mr Haase m the sohool ground one evening about two years ago, about 6 pm. He denied ever having hid a revolver m the play ground during school hours, and was not m tbe habit of praotißing m the sohool ground. .
James Ohrlstensen (son cf Mr Christen sen), a lad of about fourteen, staled : He saw Mr Smith and Mr W. Dellow with . revolver m the play ground between 12 noon and 1 p.m., and saw both Dellow and Smith shooting. Did not know where the bullet i ßtruok ; did not remember what »? r children were at the sohool that day. Mr W. Dellow said that the boy was labormg under a mistake. He bad only onoe ha. died a revolver m the school ground, and this was one evening about 6 o olook when he was living m the sohool house with Mr Smith. Also that it was not Mr Fmith but he (Mr Dellow) who fired at the oloset and made the bullet hole there. He had never seen Mr r?mlth with a revolver m his hand during sohool hours. When he fired at the oloset the bullet was fired through the open door an i r o Smsth and Mr Haasewere present. Mr Smith and Mr Haase corroborated the remarks of Mr Dellow. Mass's Obrlstenson aod Ooskerle both stated thai Mr Smith bad kept a revolver £ *■" "nool.'or the purpose of shooting Mr Kellahan's plge, Mr Smith denied keeping tbe revolver m the sohool, Mr Kellahan -t.ted tbat Mr Smith bad complained of the pigs destroying his garden and he gave him permission to fire at them. Mr Veel ; '* Jfou are a very acoommodatlng neighbour.} M» Kellahsn." This ended the business of the evenW. and the Commissioner having thanked the meeting for Its orderly oondnot a vote o thanks to Mr Veel conoludedthe proceed ings. * Good order prevailed throughout th* proceedings, and when any expression o dissent was made by any of lha audience a wt }nl restored qulotnoss. Breedom from the larrikin. element was conspicuous at a meeting where much fun was Bntlolpated. Probably the faot that tho obarges laid were about grievances of long standing-— moat of them having ooourred between oue and two years ago—tended to promote this non-disturbing" Ts ft''V,%,
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