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LU\NTW!T VARDRE SCHOOL BOARD…

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LU\NTW!T VARDRE SCHOOL BOARD AHO ITS MASTER AT LOGGERHEADS. At the ordinary meeting of the Llantwit iVardra School Board, held en Monday even- in last, under the presidency of Mr T. Rich- ards, tA question which has been engaging the attention o: the Board for some time past in reference ho their head-master, Mr Lewis Wil- liams, alvuniinr himself from school to attend ilie Por.v,;i<id Board of Guardians and the Llantwit Vardre District Council, came on for discussion ajiin. At the February meeting of the Boi-v Mr Williams wrote asking the Board who !ia-I informed them that he had absented himself from school six times in one week. In replying ilie Board enquireil as to who had laid that statement before him. The following let- t»i- ivii read at the Board meeting on Monday, ;n reply — "Liantwit Fardre Board School, "Llantwit Vardre, "March 3rd, 1899. "Gpenilcr.-en.—In reply to your letter to me asking f,)t- the source of my information con- cerning th? statement made by one of the members e: tha Board that I was one week six tim."1!? absent from school, I regret to in- form you tliit I cannot give you the name fcr the reason that it is my private business, and so altogether outside my province of duty to you as A Board. "It is not my wish to arcruo this question ■with you :>-i a. Board, for every one of you must know Ll-ut to tell such a false and malicious tale aú a public Boarcnd afterwards to state ib-,t one did not believe it, yet never had the courage and honesty bo withdraw it and ex- Tress rjgret for having given it currency, is -in act of v-ickedness pure and simple. Suppose I gave yo,. the information, would that justify or enervate or palliate in the smallest dc- gree tit., wrenr done to me? Does not your letter ad-1 insult to injury? Apply the position to you reives. Suppose I cause a malicious tale to be spread around the neighbourhood and yo'! came to know that I did the mischief, and wher. you remonstrated with me for hav- ing attack you behind vuir back, what would say if I refused to make any amends :0.Ies5 you told me who gave you the information ? Not cn!v that. Whatever is done at the Board is public property, and each member is at libert" to tell his neighbour every tiling, hia only being his own discretion. Besides was it r >r- a very proper thing to do, consid- ering the malicious nature of the story, to give me an opportunity of-defending myself against the effects of a tale so groundless. If the purport of your letter is to b? the future policy of the oBard. then whatever is said at the Boar I about one of your teachers must be suffered without a word of complaint, and no one or; dare to give an opportunity to the teacher to defend himself without subjecting himself to the displeasure of the Board. I hope, gentlemen, in the name of common hon- esty, that you will disclaim sjich a policy, and I am confident you will, but that is just what ft" letter and the reports ir. the newspapers amount to at present. "I am. Gentlemen, Your Obedient Servant, L. WILLIAMS." The Chairman: I should like to know whether there is anything in the minutes in regard to the matter Mr Williams has referred to. The C'erk replied in the negative. Vice-chairman: It seems to me we cannot go behind the minutes. Now that we have heard tie letter I wish to ask the head-master where he had his information from. The xrxmbor referred to does not screen himself in any way. but he objects to the Board being drawn into the matter. I understand that the head-mister has his remedy with reference to th.3 information he, has received and can re- ceive. As a matter of fact, does not the code say that no portion whatever of the head- teachers time is to be taken up in anything but th3 conduct of the school during school houre. That is distinctly stated in the Code, and also does not the Code state that all ab- sentees from the school during school hours wen to be entered in -he log book? Now, Is it nob a act that our head-teacher has ab- sented himself time after time during the last yar, aId have not entered his absence in the log (Turning to the reporters) Now, gentlemen of the Press, I hope you have taken my words, and take them correctly. The Chairman: I don't see that we have anything to do with it at the present time. If Mr Williams has a grievance it is for him to take his remedy. Mr Rees: Have we taken any action in the matter? Clerk: The Board has taken no action what- ever. The Chairman: He has his remedy, but as to common honesty with regard to us, we ought to be honest towards each other. We ought not to carry things out of this meeting. If we have the courage to speak out more than others, it ought not to be carried out. Me ought to have the courage of our own convictions and speak cut here, .J1d not outside. I gave notice of motion a month to- night, and I will bring it forward now, that is to rescind the motion passed there two months ago on this very question. Now, since I have beer, on the Board this question has cropped up majiy times, and so far as I have been against seme of you here on the question, and afterwards on Mr Williams' side. You know Mr Philiips. that a resolution was proposed that Mr Williams should enter his absences in the log Look, and I moved that tha absences be not entered in that book but in a private book. I now move that we rescind that re- solution.. my reason for so doing being that I am fully convinced I have been doing my best and I am personally, and the Board, enforc- ing some conditions on Mr Williams which are not favourable to him, and in that wav I think it. would be bettor for us to leave Mr Williams alone to take the responsibility upen himself. Mr Lewis: Bees your resolution interfere with him 70nig to Poiu-ypridd ? Chairman: My resolution does not interfere with the r.ermissicn given to Mr Williams to go. It has only to do away with the entrance of absence from school in a private book. 1 should like to say something more. The first week we discussed this matter there was not one of our friends the reporters Here at the Board meeting. On the following Friday after, I move 1 that resolution, an article appeared in the "Criamorgan Free Press and two of us members of the Board had it. and I daresay most cr voa have read the article I refer to. Who sunplied that information to the Editor of tha "Free Press?" That's the question; i jA exac-h- the same as the other information which had gone out with regard to the other matter. Some of us have a reputation as well as Mr Williams, and the editor of the "Free Press." We have a reputation which we must uphold, and I want to know who supplied that information. I say he had not the courage of his conviction to write it, and what is more, it betrayed its writer, and I want to know who supplied the information to the Press. I am personally quite willing for my actions on the Board to be criticised by any one. I am at any rate fully convinced that I am doing my best according to my convictions, but to do that and then to be set up to ridicule is, I think, going a bit too far. I, however, shall not reply. If I did, I would do so in my own name. I did not intertere in the matter at all The Editor of the "Free Press" seemingly has plenty of time, but it would be better if he looked after his own school; he has plenty of work there. I am sure he has plenty to do to look after the Llwynvoia Schools. We all know the history of the Llwynypia affair; you know, and if it were not for the papers giving a. report about it. it would not have come out in his paper. I refer to these things because I think it was a mean thing to do. I don't know who wrote the article, and perhaps 1 never will come to know; I have. mv convic- tious on the question. At this point the Chairman moved his reso- lution. Mr Lewis asked whether that did away with the master being permitted to go away. The Chairman replied in the negative. The Vice-chairman sold that inasmuch as the meetings of the Distri* Council were held during school hours, the position of Mr Wil- liams as head-teacher and District Councillor was untenable on the face of the Code. He, therefore, contended that it was a breach of duty on the part ci the Board to countenance such things. He be;> 1 to second the motion. Mr 1. Williams said that the head-master had had the permission of that Board to attend. Vice-chairman: It seems that he has. week by week. Mr Lewis: I sb-culd like to know the mean-- in of the motion, because we have given him I this permission. The Chairman said that. that motion had nothing whatever to do with the original one. Mr Jenkins' remarks have nothing to do with this resolution. Mr Lewis: Do I understand from Mr Jenkins that ho has not had permission. Chairman: We can't discuss that properly now. If you wish to give notice of motion en that question we can deal with it afterward.. Clerk: What we are now dealing with is simply the question of the private book, and that the absences be entered on the lo- book. Chairman: The responsibility will afterwards fall on Mr Williams, and it will be for the Beard to take any action afterwards if the entries are not made. In allowing him to entei t. i-i absences in a private book, we shield him after this resolution is passed this will not be the case. The motion was then put to the meeting and carried. The Chairman said thÜ as the motion had been carried, the old resolution would stand, au i the responsibility of absences from school would now be on Mr Williams. The Chairman said there was another ques- tion which he would like to ask the Board,and that was whether the head-master had a right to close the school without consulting the managers.. The Clerk asked what Mr Richards meant by closing the school ? Mr Richards: To give a holiday. Clerk: Certainly not. The Chairman said that on the previous Thursday Mr Williams allowed a large number ..f older children to attend a ploughing match in the neighbourhood. They went back to school as usual, and at 20 minutes past two they were dismissed. That very aftemocn he and Mr Bryant had arranged to visit the school; no sooner were they inside the child- ren were dismissed. The Clerk observed tha.t it was the practice to allow school masters to dismiss children when there was a small attendance in order that the average attendance should not be affected. Mr Walters said that Mr Williams had asked him to allow him to give the children a holiday and permission was granted to dismiss the children. The Chairman thougut that the school mana- gers for the month should -ive such permission. The Clerk argued that, wherever possible the school managers should be consulted by the master, when ha wished to give a half-holiday. The Vice-chairman was not in favour of a motion that the master consult any two mem- bers of the Board when he wished to absent himself from school, and also when he desired to close the school. If he was compelled to ask the permission of the two school managers it: was possible that the rranagers would be the very members who would object to Mr Wil- liams leaving his school, and consequently for centain months in the year Mr Williams would not be able to go to Pontypridd. The Chairman said he should not suggest that only the school managers should be con- sulted with a view of preventing Mr Williams attending the Council and Guardian meetings. Furthermore, he found that Mr Williams gave orders for certain wori' ha objected to this. Orders should lie given by the managers of the Board. A resolution was passed that in future the schoolmaster be asked to obtain the permission of two members of the Board when he re- quired to close the school.

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!—————-A CAERPHILLY BREACH…

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