The Evening Star FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 17, 1897.
We have been famished with particulars of what, on the face of the "Wanted, An facts presented, seems to be a ■Kxtilamtion. case of a public school teacher having been treated with undue harshness, if not with positive injustice. On ■ihe staff of the Port ■Chalmers District High School appears the name of Miss Bott as female assistant, she having latterly had charge of a portion of the infant department. She holds a certificate of competency, ajjd for teaching ability has been placed in the aeeoud highest grade. She is said to be of an amiable disposition and to be much respected by all classes of people in the town where she lived, while the children who have passed through her hands are much attached to her. Afterarecent examination the Committee of the school, at their ■ordinary monthly meeting, discussed the inspectors'" report on the state of the school, and, if our information is correct, a letter from the rector on the same subject was also considered. The outcome of she Committee's deliberations was that rone Visiting Committee and the chairman were directed to interview Miss Iftorr. We have no desire at this juncture to refer to what transpired ■;xt that interview, but we believe Tre are correct in saying that when >bhe young woman was called before the sub-committee she heard for the.first time that complaint was madVof the way she
managed her classes, and was told, without a word of previous warning, that it was desirable that she should forward her resignation, less more serious consequences might happen to her. It can readily be imagined how the suddenness of the shock would affect a gentle, sensitive nature such as hers. She felt disgraced. But she went on with her ordinary duties for some days, till at last insomnia and mental overstrain did their work and she is now dangerously ill. It is hardly probable that she will teach a°-ain. Could a more lamentable case be imagined ? Blame—serious blame—is attachable to somebody for this young woman's mental breakdown. We have studied the records | of her career at the school, which she has served as pupil-teacher and assistant for over fourteen years, and the questions that atonce suggested themselvesarethesej: If she were inefficient as a teacher, why was she allowed to remain in this school teaching for so many years? How did she manage to secure sufficient marks to entitle her to the second highest grade for teaching ability > Suppose that the upper or the lower departments of this school were weak, was it the wisest or the kindliest way of remedying the defect to dispense with the services of one junior teacher ? We have a very firm conviction that school committees ought to interfere as little as possible with the internal management and organisation of their schools. If they are dissatisfied with the report of an inspector they are fully justified in calling upon the head-master for an explanation, and, if they consider the explanation to be unsatisfactory, they should ask the Education Board to hold an inquiry. But in taking upon themselves to ask any individual teacher to resign this Committee, in our opinion, exceeded their legal powers. This matter cannot be allowed to rest where it is. If committees are to be permitted to do this kind of thing no teachers position will be secure. It is not a difficult matter in many districts to sometimes obtain a bare majority of a school committee who would like a chan«e of teacher, and if committees were able to bring about teachers' resignations without reference to the Board, it is easy to see that unscrupulous men would have placed in their hands the power to worry and persecute a teacher. In this special case a poor girl's career has been blighted, and her life, it may be, endangered. An explanation of what led up to such deplorable results is absolutely needed, and we suspend judgment till it is forthcoming. But if it be not satisfactory, when it is made, then the Board have a clear duty to perform, not only in the interests of the young woman herself, but to the whole of the teachers in their service and to the public at large. AVe shall watch developments.
To-day again the Supreme Court has been engaged with the Taieri problem of Smith versm the Presbyterian Church Board. At four o'clock there seemed to be no chance of the case finishing this evening. A most enjoyable social was held in St. Paul's Schoolroom last night under the auspices of Messrs Fyfe and Cuming's employes. About forty-five couples engaged in dancing until early this morning. Songs, etc., were rendered by several ladies and gentlemen during the evening. Mr Leau catered, and the music was supplied by Mr Yates. Mr M'Kay acted as M.C.
The Committee of the Liberty League held a special meeting yesterday afternoon, when Mr C. R. Chapman was appointed to the presidency in succession to the late Dr Jetfcoat, and Mr A. Gillies was made vicepresident. The secretary was instructed to write a letter of condolence to the widow of the late president. The Committee also made fresh and what promise to be satisfactory arrangements for carrying on the work of the League. At the Distrct Court at Timaru on Wednesday J. Yonng, lately storekeeper at Fairlie, applied for his discharge, but on the results of a public examination it was suspended for twelve months. The DeputyAssignee applied for directions as to making certain payments to two Dunedin creditors for legal expenses, which had been approved by resolution at a creditors' meeting. Judge Ward said that such payments would be illegal, and the Assignee must disregard the resolution.
I In connection with the Jubilee address Received by the Queen from the Grand Lodges in tlY°- Australasian colonies, including New Zealand, the Secretary of State for the Colonies writes:—"l have received Her Majesty's commands to return her grateful thanks to the various Grand Lodges for this united manifestation of the affection and devotion with which the Freemasons of Australasia regard her Throne and person, and to express her appreciation of the sentiments contained in their address." The following notice of motion for next month's meeting of the Education Board was given at the close of yesterday's proceedings by Mr P. B. Fraser :—"That it be an instruction to the secretary that in future all instructions given to the other officers of the Board be in writing, and that a copy of such instructions should be recorded" for reference : and, further, chat all officers of the Board (other than the clerks) keep a diary of their movements or work done, an abstract of which Bhall be laid on the Board's table every month." The sitting of the Magistrate's Court this morning, although not important by reason of the nature of the cases set down for hearing, was renderedvimportant constitutionally by the fact that for the first time in Australasia a lady lawyer appeared as counsel. Miss Ethel Benjamin, who a short time ago was admitted as a barrister and solicitor of the Supreme Court of New Zealand, made her first public professional appearance, and was on the winning side in an action for the recovery of a debt. The monthly meeting of the North-east Valley School Committee was held last night, Mr Thomson presiding. The headmaster reported that the number on the roll was: Boys 256, girls 253; total, 509. The average attendance for the month had been : Boys 227, girls 207; total, 434. The attendance had been low owing to sickness and bad weather. The Committee expressed their satisfaction with Mr J. A. Fitzgerald's management of the school during the time that Mr Murray had been on sick leave. The Visiting Committee reported that the school was going on satisfactorily, and expressed their pleasure that the head-master had returned to hj3 duty with renewed health. A sale of work in connection with ,the North-east Valley Band was opened in Perguslie Hall, near the tram terminus at the Gardens, this afternoon. There was a large attendance, and the stallholders appeared to be doing a fair amount of business. The ladie3 taking part in the affair are Mesdames Goble, Cook, Fraser, and Brough, Misses Begg, Fulton, Watt, Peddie, M. Smith, Watkins (2), E. Smith, and Bland. Tim flftle of work will be open again this evening ;.nd to-morrow. A good musical programme tits Jjeen arranged for both evenings, and it ia to be hoped that the friends of the band will rally round them in their endeavor to clear the remaining debt on their instruments. The monthly meeting of the Dunedin -Photographic Society was held in the society's .rooms on Wednesday evening, there being a very fair number of members present; the pi-eoident (Mr W. Williams) in the chair. After business matters had been dispensed with, Mr ft. A. Ewing gave an interesting demonstration of " how to make enlarged negatives from transparencies or lantern slides," after which the society's lantern wta brought into use, and a number of new slides p£ Lake Wakatipu made by Mr A. J. Barth wens shown on the screen, and were greatly admired by those present. The society intend to give a musical and lantern entertainment in November peyt, when a large number of entirely new slidea will be shown the public.
The Union Company announce that they will i88?e this coming parliamentary session as usual return tickets at single fares to members and their families travelling to and from "Wellington on private business during the session. The attention of licensed drivers is directed to a Corporation notice in this issue.
Ladies or gentlemen suffering from weak or falling hair should consult A. M,. Hendy, hairdresser, etc., trinces street (opposite Bank of New Zealand). Nine years' London experience. —[A DVT. J
A notice to members of the Hiram Lodge appears in this issue.
Cheapest, ami best tailoring in the City. New goods to hand for summer wear. AV. and R. Scott.—[Aovr.] At the Oariabrook Ground to-morrow afternoon the interprovincial football match Canterbury v. Otago will be played. AVe are indebted to the ' Daily Times' for a report of the Ward banquet at Invercargill. AVorth your notice.—The goods we have just opened comprise latest designs colorings and fabiics. J. Hendry and Son, tailors, George street.—[Advt.]
The Bcope of the special meeting of the Otago Rugby Football Union, to be held on October 2, has been enlarged, the secretary of the Union having received a requisition from five delegates for a meating for the consideration of a proposal for the severance of the connection of the O.R.F.U. with the New Zealand Union.
The enterprising firm of Simon Bros., George street, intimate the opening up of a large and very choice assortment of boots and shoes ex Ruahine. Inspection invited.—[Advt.] Ladies who are joining the Choral Society, and who have not yet passed the test, are requested to meet the conductor to-morrow evening.
For to-morrow T. Ross will make a special show of entirely new spring goods, comprising ladies' reliable kid gloves from 2s 6d, good umbrellas from 2s lid, perfect-fitting C.B. corsets from 4s 6d, and well-finished cashmere stockings from Is. At T. Ross's, direct importer.— [Alvt.J .
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The Evening Star FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 17, 1897., Evening Star, Issue 10422, 17 September 1897
The Evening Star FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 17, 1897. Evening Star, Issue 10422, 17 September 1897
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