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THE ALBANY STREET SCHOOL MEETING., Issue 7927, 7 June 1889
THE ALBANY STREET SCHOOL MEETING.
TO THE EDITOR.
Sir,- At the meeting of the Committee last night I endeavored to place before that body a written statement of the reasons why I protested against the action of the Education Board in declining to inquire, as asked, into the manner in which the proceedings at the annual meeting of householders had been conducted, and especially as to the mode in which the Committee had been returned. I had not proceeded with the reading of more than a sentence or two when I was interrupted by the chairman, who ruled that the subject matter did not concern the Committee, but was between myself and the Board only. The majority of the Committee supported the chairman’s ruling, and, finding it useless to argne the point with them, I handed in the resignations of Messrs Sinclair, Richmond, and self, and read a statement setting lorth the causes whbh induced us to take that step. In justice to myself and those who think with me I have to request that you will be kind enough to publish the statement ruled out by the chairman of the Committee, in order that the parents of the children attending the school and others interested may be able to judge for themselves as to our motives. If the parents and householders wish to have a fuller explanation of the causes which have led np to the present trouble I shall be glad to attend any meeting called for the purpose, and give the fullest information in my power, and I have little doubt that my colleagues will also attend,—l am, etc., Daniel Smith. Dunedin, June 7.
Gentlemen,—l now ask your indulgence for a few minutes in order that I may have an opportunity of referring to the protest that I laid before the Education Board at their last meeting, and the unfrir manner in which it has been dealt with by them. Some years ago the Board decided that the City should be divided into five separate school districts, defining the limits, and that only those living within those limits should be allowed to vote at any school committee election. The Board, by their decision, have put this matter in a false light when they say that the evidence before them does not show that, if the persons who had voted improperly had not voted, the election would have resulted differently. This is only, as it were, drawing a red herring over the facts of the case, in order that they may throw dust into the eyes of the public, who, I hope, will look into the true facta of this case. The number of votes is not the matter of dispute, but it is the manner in which they were obtained. Every candidate at the election was satisfied with the declaration of the poll given by the chairman of the meeting; consequently the Board have not been called on in any way to interfere in that respect. But let them deal with the facta brought before them- viz , that Mr Fredrio went outside of the boundary of this school district canvassing for votes and did receive them. That is the point for the Board to After ft tho election Mr George Morgan, not a householder in this district, told me frankly and freely that he had voted at the last election of the School Committee for Mr Fredric; and also stated that he had no children attending the school. Those statements were made to me in the presence of Mr Sinclair (a member oi Committee), and proofs thereof were sent to the Education Board. . . . The points, if the Board bad acted justly in this case, should have been: Does such an act on the part of Mr Fredric, and not the number of votes he received, make the election irrogular and illegal Tbai and tUat only WftS the question the Board were called on decide. I maintain that such an act is irregular and The next point that the Board should have answered was; Does that illegal act on the part of Mr Fredric upset tho whole election of the School Committee ? I say that it ought, I am astonished that gentlemep like Messrs Dick, Fulton, and Jago should have been parties to such a decision, or even have countenanced such an unfair and unjust one. They ate gentlemen who .from time preach temperance and justice from the public platform, and
strongly advocate the Bible in schools. In this instance, I think, I Cill weigh them in.their own balance as far as justice is concerned, and declare that they have beeu found wanting, I shall hail with joy the happy day when God’s Word shall be heard sounding m tins school; in fact in every school in New Zealand not only in the schools themselves, but in the errs and hearts of every child attending them. But in order to accomplish that noble end we must have administering an education system men who will never be ashanu d of their colors, and who will act justly and uprightly.
THE ALBANY STREET SCHOOL MEETING., Issue 7927, 7 June 1889
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