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THE RIGHTS OF CHILDHOOD

An Open Letter to the Acting-Premier and Hon. Minister of Educate

In the morning hours of the twentieth Ceutury .we witness human life in out* vast, structure. There functions within the social' life the, <iiuld, the League. the Association, the Syndicate, the Truvl, •the Co-operative, the Trades Union, the Municipality, the Boftrd, the Federation, the Confederation, the Society, etc.. and •ihe State, all bearing evidence tLat the members of the Human Race nre developing into a social organism: That the individual is evolving into a social being." No longer does the individual make pro-gi-eas as a unit; advancement only possible through ?ome form 01 cunibmed effort With Lia itilows, especially wuh those iii the particular branch of industry from which he derives lur; daily bread. It has long been c-rfab- i lished that collectively we move alony. in two distinct classes: One clas3 own- , mg the means whereby the people ; and tha> otiier class constitute the many j r,'ho are dependent upon, the few loi aj livelihood: and altogether we form the Gociai organism termed tne State. j STATE A3 SGCIAL-PAPiEXT [ The otate har, developed man? j marked functions, and has assumed responsibilities which tho' individual no can Carry out for j various reasons —chUfly amongst ii.os« j are efficiency and economy—-and the in- j dividual has social obligation; v.-iucii can best—nay, can only—be carried out socially. Thus we iind in the Sodai | Order under which we live that die most sieniEcant department or subdivision leading- ultimately to centralisation, is the one that undertakes the and education of the children' j the development of the future man, and j woman in the child. Thus the Stats 1 has become the Social-Parent. The home j i=, but the unit of the State and the parent takes his children and placer. thorn under the care of the Parent THE SOCIAL-rAEENT A3 a pereut belonging to the common laboring folk, 1 write J you as Minister of Education with- ; in the State } and you as Acting- Prime 1 Minister of the State, upon the serious-! and deplorable overcrowded condition of j the Auckland Public Sehocte. Belonging j t 0 the class which suffers from under j and arrested development, which class, i when thinking at all. evolves thonghi'a, ' conclusions, aud id'eao but <=lowl>, aiii! Jni:'ULi> L Jmv?"V.^!S > turned 'away, and tho~o i'nnm? i'oliow- ! citizens Ijehind the school den>k are hcided together in a. wretched and deplorable , I fashion,' as if the Social-Parent u> u.ji'y ; has set out to crush all the il r l iitini>; ■ chance which the growth and develop- ! ment of the man and woman has within : thoae tender buds of humanity. Yon \ will- make special note thai those most ; affected are the infant classes. A* I ' beheld the little tots sitting- behind the j tiny dc?ta,' I thought of But- j bank, of America, and how he demon- j etrated that • the fruit will evolve trom j the wildest state to tiie highest 'stage j of cultivation and perfection within •» { few generations. GIVEIn j SOIL'aITD SUEEOUKpIXGS, a!sD_ IF i aFTEETv AED3 TJiAx ! SAME PEUIT WILL DETEEIOEaTE ! INTO IT3 WED STATE FEGIvM ■\VHICH IT GEKVV. j When the Hcme-Par-cnt neglects ihf- 1 child, the Social Law a penalty; j whe-n. the State-Parent the child. | there ia ,1 heavier penalty inflicted by the relentless law of Biology: the child suffers as a defenceless victim, and the State suffers the infliction of an inferior !' mentality. As a Home-Parent., I protest; against the wretched conditions undtr which the Teacher and the Child ar*" forced to live. Ever remember that

what is true auont plant life .is also line anent. human' life. I demand tbit Lho~e ijuwortliy conditions be immediately removed, and that education facili" iies be provided without delay for all children turned away. The children.are Ving robbed of their rights. The laboring men /and women hare more than onough injustices to bear apart from s»iii?; our children, and tile onea of lender year:* .at that, being- victimised and penalised by an -inefficient Educational Department. The people who have plenty and an abundance of the good Things of life, those wlio gathered in the jortuiifrs out of tli* .sufferings or the vast masses of toiling men and v.omen, can well provide private cchooling lor Mieh- children. 11: k-s tht> common jxopl* v.-Jio have <?ver borne the brunt

of tins ligiii: lor progress. Your Department oi Kducatiou, which should function. ..j ..cci..l-Paieiu'j., l,a_, failed the. ciiiUrezi—indasd, lias been guilty vi iiaartte;- negiecl. Even some 3,000 years ago—or at least 400 B.C.—the education of the children wa 3 of the greatest concern to all; we know from Research that tiiers ivere ii ia .uy "scholarly ATTEMPTED • Eememberin?- that consolidated effort is necessary ' nowadays to secure. rsHiita that will be titdctive in any causa, 1 strsi?iit-,vay rsroivcd to tniist the co-operation 'oi my" werting mates., the Water=idci.i, in the cause of the vhiiditn. Ho'J held a -largely-attended lapstui? of jay mute-- on tU« watej front ou tiie liitb insi., and addressed them upon the situntiou. 'Trades Unions exist to protect their membership trom sweat" <.-d renditions, and tlw* cliildren beinj defeiifPie.?-,, their oause wag leadily ehampion-eil. T'iir* foJloTvfti.? resolution k :ii carried unanimously :—- ---I'hut this iin-'etin;;- ot Waterside Workers vjWs with alarm the inadequate grants made by the Government for lii o ■ftiucation «i" our children, and we demand tlint" )>etter provision , ? be made. Furthermore, we insi?r that the overcrowded state of the srhoois, v.TiiCii acts thn physical rind menial v;oll-bpin« of our children, be attended to without, delay. Also, that l'nll educational fa-cilitie? be immedjateir provided childi'en who liavr> been turned away from their District Hijliool?,. nr.d ihafc all and iir ,:> d3 bf. met in '\Jift fif-it 'inti-ref.t of lonelier and ohild. trj; iMAjrm oj? childhood Oin.' <»t 'the most .striking- satires i know oi' 'is that the Hon. i\lini-tt?r oi Public Health is • striving U> assure the people that lie has provided for cheap funerals shonid another epidemic visit Hie shores o!' "Uod's O»vu Country," while the Department cv Edrical i.:i i-5 making- germ-IR-eediiig-i-liaiuljci- t.i tlitf Public Schools. W« li"-, t» heard much abou.L the ■'■'Divine i-aghts ot' Iwiuv-s/' iliCiw luay be- thau tan be no .iloufct about the DiviUfc-. Eighti ot th& Fa op !»ud .-Uj ■>•..- all iiw in tho unfiverse iuuiids i.Uc call of the Divine .'Fiieht;oi «JL ddUiod tor Ciuld.ht.od. To 'this J n.-.v-* resolved tv icach. -every centra in Auckiaiid, And seek i-eiutoice->.aciit-j to defend th e>Cans*? of Chiidhood, 'Tiie ivholf aim is to denu-iua that the litijf chiklreit -shall iiav<? their liyJU-. aye, plenty oi' buildings which could be utilised until something Ik* done to bnikl ■modern schools. :»nd jjive teacher and child a cliance io at'hit\-f the l>p*t result?. indeed no better jschool grounds could be prepared than at Government House, •md no better use could possibly be uiada of anfih excellent buildings.

.ill movements being human, it is in-" «vitable in the. process of things "thaj these undergo a frequent revision. Th» iiule has corn© to revise the EduVationaJ Movement , . I hold tbat the Soclsl Democracy lies around the feet of children—some call it *'tli e Kingdom; of God."- , .!. look iorward to /'Th«t Bights of Childhood Campaign." wtiicij will, in the last analysis, be a tion of the Parents, the Trades Unions,, Educational Associations, and all >Social Bodies interested in the cause of securing! the Eights of Childhood for ChildhpodJ I also trust you, < r is Acting Prime Mm* isler and as Minister of .Education, will be able to attend the final Conference, the date of which you will be dalj] notified. My whole aim is to enlist a defence and protection for the Childhood, and to ensure that they will not-rr-Jiot one of them—be starred in. any form,; nor be penalised, nor victimised: thaij serving the needs of rhe children be the first consideration within, ova Social life, thus doing our part the development of a. race which, v> - ill be free from th,» \veakness j due mainly; through under and arrested develop-; meut. by which oar day and generation, uuflVu'. If a revision oi t*L.e Educational System which will result in moulding the Department to serve the requirements of the children and envision the elory of a. better race than we can ever Lojjo to be, will be- th» outcome of tiris activity, then my efforts, reinforced by the co-op€r?.tjon of my and woman, will hare been worth ■vjrhiie. Yours for the Rights of Childhood; E, EUNTEB.

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Bibliographic details

THE RIGHTS OF CHILDHOOD, Maoriland Worker, Volume 10, Issue 418, 12 March 1919

Word Count
1,415

THE RIGHTS OF CHILDHOOD Maoriland Worker, Volume 10, Issue 418, 12 March 1919

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