Friday, September 30, 2005

The Good Old Days Really Weren't So Good After All

Check out this charming article that was written in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the incorporation of Mt. Shasta, California, and focuses on some interesting tidbits about their community's schools: (emphasis added)
There were two classrooms on each floor, designed to hold 54 students each.

The whole construction, estimated at $7,000 actually came to $8,000. [Heh. There were cost over-runs, even in 1900.]

As early as 1922 there had been a petition for a kindergarten signed by 19 families, but it was denied because of lack of space.

In 1928 there was a policy that married teachers should not be hired, but by 1935, four of the eight teachers were married. In 1938 the policy was enforced by the Board of Trustees, and the three married teachers were abruptly notified that their services would not be required for 1938-39.

In 1942, married teachers could be hired if their husbands were or could be called into the armed services.

Today, there are strict guidelines for student discipline. But in 1923, even though corporal punishment was allowed, the Trustees had to deal with a thorny issue when the principal was arrested on a charge of assault and battery for punishing a student named Carrie. The charges were dropped by the parent after the Trustees heard of the actions of the student. John D. was expelled for "continued willful disobedience, open and persistent defiance of the authority of the teacher and for smoking cigarettes." In 1927, Elsie K. was allowed to come back to school, but she would have to prove first that she was going to act like a lady.

Gino remembered a favorite teacher who would take a willing student into the closet. She would make alarming spanking noises and the student made howls of pain and came out rubbing his rear end. Most students did not know that this was a charade to deter others from misbehaving.

In 1933 the Trustees reduced the teachers' annual salaries from $1,350 to $1,300. The janitor's salary was also reduced to $1,440, but it was still higher than that of the teachers.

Some of this is charming, and some of it hurts because it's still so true today...
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