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:THE LIBERAL SITUATION IN…

A "MAN OF EDUCATION" ON COMPULSORY…

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A "MAN OF EDUCATION" ON COM- PULSORY ATTENDANCE AT SCHOOL. MR O. O. ROBERTS AND THE CARNAR- VON SCHOOL BOARD. Among a number of persons who were sum- moned before the Carnarvon School Board, on Monday, for not sending their children regularly to school, was Mr 0. O. Roberts, Twthill Vaults, au ex-town councillor and a guardian of the poor. Mr Roberts, who persisted in being heard at the hour at which he had been directed to attend, although ordinary business had not been got through, wanted to know what he had been sum- moned before the Board for p The Clerk Because, according to the report of the attendance officer, your children attended the National Schools only 13 out of the 38 times they were open last month. Mr Roberts: But I have taken my children away from there because they were clouted," and came home with black marks cm their backs. I hey are now under private tuition, aad are being taught by a certificated master. Is it right, I ask you, Mr Chairman, that they should be com- pelled to attend school from nine to one, then from two to five, aud then from seven to nine at night? Is that right P They do that before the examination, but when the examination is over the children have to take their chance The Clerk (persuasively): But the chair- man—-— Mr Roberts Now, you be quiet. John. As for this man here, this John Jones, the attendance oliicer, he is only a bag of sawdust, with a boiled turnip for his head. Why should he come after my children when there are 20 or 30 others close to, and he says nothing to them. You may sum- mon me before the magistrates, and if you do I will put that man John Jones in the witness-box, and I will have summonses against Morris and other teachers for thrashing my lad. The School Board is nothing better than a farce and a mockery—nothing at all! The Clerk: But the National Schools are not under the management of this Board. Mr Newton. who is one of the managers, is the proper person to whom to make complaint. Mr Roberts (excitedly): But I can tell you this -that my boy, Owen Owen Roberts, passed in one standard in the name of John Jones, whilst John Jones passed in a lower standard. What do you think of that ? And look here, Mr Chair- man, do you know that there is a girl at the British School who has been so ill-used that her head has had to be shaved, and they can't get her to go near there again ? The Clerk That would be a most unusual occurrence, and the chairman must have known of it had it ever occurred. The Chairman I never heard of such a thing. Mr Roberts: Look here, Mr Chairman, don't let old men talk like young boys. I can prove all I am saying. The Chairman (warmly) Well, Mr Roberts, all I can say is that.I never heard of it. It is a most unusual and unfair thing that you should come here and talk in this way. It is, I repeat, most unfair that these charges should be made in the absence of the teachers. Mr Roberts Then why are they not here— where arc they P The Chairman Had they known these remarks were going to be made, no doubt they would have been present. Mr Roberts ( exitedly): Very well; you sum- mons me before the magistrates and we will see who is in the right. You know very well, Mr Chairman, that I am a man of education myself, and do you think it likely I should not look after the education of my own children? As for this old man (the attendance officer), he is only a sack of sawdust with a boiled turnip for his head. After a few remarks in Welsh, uncomplimen- tary to the Board and its officials, Mr Roberts suddenly took his departure, and the business interrupted by his appearance was then proceeded with. — —:— !urgrr

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