The Chariton Leader, Chariton, Iowa
Saturday, March 10, l877
'THAT SCHOOL DIFFICULTY'
Editor Leader: Having been a faithful reader of your valuable paper since its first issue, we always had the impression that you were actuated by the principle that justice should be done toward all. In your comments of last week on the arrest of MISS DULAN, we fail to see that principle displayed to any great extent.
Now, Mr. Editor, we don't propose to controvert your views on corporeal punishment. All we desire is to state the facts in this particular case and let the public render their own verdict. She made a rule forbidding the "harmless game of tag" simply because it was getting extremely harmful and annyoing. From a very reliable source we are informed that some of the boys, after being tagged, if they could not catch the boy that tagged them, they would throw a club or mud at him, and the teacher herself, after getting nearly home one evening, went back nearly a mile to help a little boy find his book which he had lost in the excitement of the game. These are some of the reasons why the above rule was adopted, and we can't see why they are not plausible and the rule reasonable. As soon as school was out the same day the rule was made, a few began the old game, BELLE MARSH included. The teacher consulted the director that evening, and he told her that they ought to be punished. The next morning she gave them a switching with a small hazel, (not pounding, as was stated in the Leader). They all went to their seats with a grin on their faces. BELLE was offered the pleasure of taking what the smaller scholars took or go home to her mother. BELLE remarked at recess that she needed a little correcting, as she did not get any at home; and the matter would have ended here had it not been for a pedantic individual who has done all in his power to break up the school, and it is not because BELLE MARSH received a few lashes that this trial was instituted, but simply to give vent to some other deep-rooted malice and prejudice, and by bringing out a few personal comments we could prove it, but we don't want to be personal if we can help it. You spoke of the evidence being in MISS MARSH's favor.
Here is how it stood next morning at the school house: MRS. MARSH asked all of the scholars who thought BELLE not guilty to rise, and five out of fifteen arose. That was better than 8 to 7. In conclusion, it is our firm conviction that if Demosthenese, Cicero, Henry Clay or Dan Baker had been laboring under the same provocation that MISS DULAN was, the guilty parties would not have gotten off as easy as they did.
-- Yours, in haste.
Copied by Nancee(McMurtrey)Seifert
February l8, 2004
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