網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

school, or on his way to or from the same, such rude, vulgar, or profane language, and exhibits such a degree of moral depravity generally, as to render his association with other scholars dangerous to the latter, or whenever he manifests such violent insubordination as to render the maintenance of discipline and order in the school impracticable or extremely difficult. It is also the duty as well as the legal right of the local directors to see that the general character, usefulness, and prosperity of the school are not impaired by allowing those to remain in it whose whole influence, conduct, and bad character have forfeited all claim to the enjoyment of its privileges.. (H. H. Barney, Commissioner of Com. Schools, 1855.)

We would remark here that the teacher, in legal effect, does stand in loco parentis; but he is clothed with his authority by law and not by any particular parent or parents. This evident from the fa that the teacher has precisely the same authority over his scholar, whether the parents be living or not. The child, by entering the school, is at once under the jurisdiction of the teacher, and the only difficulty the law has upon the point. is to determine definitely just where that jurisdiction ought in justice to all parties to terminate. There is no necessity for any delegated authority from the parent; the law implies that, and even grants it, whether the parent consents or not. The only way for the parent to limit the legal jurisdiction of the teacher is to take his child out of school. The board of education, however, being clothed with sufficient power by law, may define the jurisdiction of the teacher, and, unless they transcend their power, he must submit to their ruling. There is no privity of contract between the parents of pupils to be sent to school and the school-master. The latter is employed and paid by the town, and to them only is he responsible on his contract. (23 Peck, 224; 14 Barb. 225; 38 Maine, 376.)

SEC. 7. The Universal Custom in New-England Schools.--The following opinion will hardly be questioned by any good lawyer, as it is well known in the profession that the court which delivered it is one of the ablest in the Union. It appeared from the evidence in the case that about an hour and a half after the scholar reached home in the evening, he used insulting language to the teacher in the presence and hearing of other members of the school. The teacher punished the offender the next day in school. Able counsel were engaged on both sides, and as the first decision was not satisfactory, the case was appealed and argued with great ability before the Supreme Court. The judges all agreed upon the following opinion: There seems to be no reasonable doubt that the supervision and control of the master over the scholar extends from the time he leaves home to go to school till he returns home from school. Most parents would expect and desire that teachers should take care that their children, in going to and returning from school, should not loiter, or seek evil company, or frequent vicious places of resort. Even after the pupil has reached home, and has been there some time, if he should commit an act of misbehavior which would have a direct and immediate tendency to injure the school and to subvert the master's authority, he may be punished for it in school the next day. The misbehavior must not have merely a remote and indirect tendency to injure the school. All improper conduct or language may perhaps have, by influence and example, a remote tendency of that kind. But the tendency of the acts so done out of the teacher's supervision, for which he may punish, must be direct and immediate in their bearing upon the welfare of the school, or the authority of the master and the respect due him. Cases may readily be supposed which lie very near the line, and it will often be difficult to distinguish between the acts which have such an immediate and those which have such a remote tendency. Hence each case must be determined by its peculiar circumstances. Acts done to deface or injure the school-room, to destroy the books of scholars, or the books or apparatus for instruction, or the instruments of punishment of the master; language used to other scholars to stir up disorder and insubordination, or heap odium or disgrace upon the master; writings and pictures placed so as to suggest evil and corrupt language, images, and thoughts to the youth who must frequent the school; all such or similar acts tend directly to impair the usefulness of the school, the welfare of the scholars, and the authority of the master. By common consent, and by the universal custom in our New-England schools, the master has always been deemed to have the right to punish such offenses, (even though, as in the present case, they are committed out of school hours.) Such power is essential to the preservation of order, decency, decorum, and good government in schools. (Lander v. Seaver, 32 Vermont R. 120.) We cite the foregoing authority with the utmost confidence, and believe it to be entirely correct. But even though the teacher's right to punish for misbehavior on the way to and from · school is fully established in point of law, yet, on account of the opposition which it meets with in some localities, we think that it should be exercised only when it appears to be absolutely necessary for the welfare of the school; nor then, except upon the most mature reflection and with the utmost discretion. A teacher may refuse entirely to exercise this right; and he will probably fare better, even in the courts, than if he had adopted the other course and laid himself liable by exercising the right unnecessarily or indiscreetly. The intelligent and conscientious teacher, however, who sees the necessity and acts from good motives and with discretion, need not be deterred from doing his duty, even to the extent of exercising all his rights—this particular one not excepted —and he need not fear the consequences. For as he will have done but his duty, the courts of justice will protect him from harm—the most able by fully justifying his acts, and the less enlightened by fining him “one cent, and without costs."

SEC. 8. Pupils shall be considered under the government of their teachers while going to and returning

from, as well as when in, the school-room. (By-Laws of Md. Comrs. 1865, p. 20.) The jurisdiction and authority of the teacher over the pupil is neither limited by the school-house walls nor to the time the school is actually in session. As a general rule, in all matters legitimately connected with the schools and the manners and morals of the scholars, the teacher's jurisdiction commences when pupils leave the parental roof and control to go to school, and continues until their return from school. The teacher, however, is not responsible for the misconduct of pupils on the way to and from school, though he has the right to punish for such misconduct when brought to his knowledge. (Pa. School Laws and Dec. 1866, p. 74.)

It was the intention of the Legislature to make the public schools a system of moral training as well as seminaries of learning; and it is as necessary in the anreserved intercourse of pupils of the same school, as well without as within its precincts, to preserve the pure-minded, ingenuous, and unsuspecting children of both sexes from the contaminating influence of those of depraved sentiments and vicious propensities and habits, as from those infected with contagious diseases. Consequently, when a teacher expelled a scholar for her immoral practices while at home evenings, his action was sustained by the committee, and afterward by the court, although no fault whatever had been found with the girl's conduct in school. (Sherman v. The Inhabitants of Charlestown, 8 Cush. R. 164.)

« 上一頁繼續 »