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GOVERNMENT IN THE SCHOOL DISTRICT.
1. Government in the Family.—The family or household is the smallest natural group of human beings. In the household each person has duties to perform for the sake of the household. He must also observe the rights of the other members of the household. Certain persons, by reason of their age and their relation to the family, are entitled to manage the affairs of the household. These rulers of the household have authority to require from the other members the performance of their duties. We all know that the more just and impartial the commands of the parent or other head of the household are, that the more helpful the various members are to one another, and that the more harmoniously they work together, the more perfect and the happier will the household be.
The first germ of government is found in the family; without government it ceases to be a family. And what is true of the family in this respect, we shall find to be true of all society.
2. Government in the School.- As the family is the smallest natural group provided with the forms of government, so are probably the people of the school district the smallest civil group provided with the forms of government. The school itself, with teacher and pupils, is more nearly like the family than are the people of the school district. But both the school and the school district show the difference between natural government and civil government. In natural government some one or two persons, such as the parents, have their position as managers of the household on account of their relation to the family. In the school the teacher is not the manager of the pupils on account of any tie of kindred. But the people of the school district cause some person to be elected teacher to serve as their agent in the education of the children. And then the teacher, like the parent, has general authority over the pupils. The pupils must obey all the just commands of the teacher.
3. Government in the School District. In the school district, too, there are relations of a similar kind. There are the school trustees, who are elected by the people of the district as their direct agents. They have general authority over the teacher, and authority in certain respects over the children. But most of their authority over the pupils they leave to the teacher to exercise. The people themselves could not teach the children and manage the schools. They, therefore, elect as their agents the school trustees, and the trustees appoint as their agent the teacher.
4. Necessity of Government.—We could go on and show that in every group of people there must be that relation between the people of the group and their agents which we call government. We shall find, as we proceed in this study, that the people are divided into groups, called school districts, townships, cities or towns, counties, and States. And we shall find that all the people of this country combined make up the people of the United States, the government of the whole country being the government of the United States. In each group there are agents to manage the general affairs of the people. This government is necessary if the people wish to live in peace, order, and happiness.
Questions on Government in the School District.
Now we wish you to find out all you can about the government of the school district in which you live. If you spend plenty of time on this subject and study it very carefully, you will not have much difficulty in understanding everything that comes afterwards. We shall ask you some questions, and we want you to bring the answers into school and talk them over with the teacher and with the other pupils, until you understand the subject thoroughly.
1. Draw a map of the school district in which you live. 2. Describe the natural features of this district.
Excellent directions for mapping and describing the school district may be found in the Advanced Geography of the State Series. 3. What is its area in square miles? 4. What are the officers of the school district called? 5. How many are there? 6. What are the names of those now in office, and where do
they live? 7. When are trustees elected? 8. For what term, or length of time, are they elected? 9. Who may be elected school trustees? 10. May women be elected school trustees? 11. What notice is given of the election? Describe this fully. 12. Who may vote for school trustees ? 13. How do they vote? 14. At what place or places? 15. How are the votes counted ? 16. How many votes does it require to elect a trustee?
(To the Teacher.-Conduct an election of school trustees by the pupils, observing all the forms required by law for preparing and posting no
tices. Conduct, in the same way, an election for raising á tax.) 17. The school trustees when meeting together are called a
“board.” What is meant by “board” when used in this
way? 18. What are the duties of the board of trustees ás to teachers?
As to children? As to making rules for the schools? As
to text-books? As to school money? Etc. 19. What are the officers of the board of school trustees?
20. What are the duties of the president? 21. What are the duties of the clerk ? 22. Are the school trustees paid for their services? 23. Is the teacher paid for his services? 24. Are there any other persons connected with your school who
are paid for their services? 25. How much money a year does it take to carry on your
school? 26. Where does this money come from? 27. How much from each source? 28. How is it decided how much your district shall have? 29. Who decides? 30. Where is this money kept after it is received by the district? 31. How is the portion of the school money which comes from
State taxes collected? 32. How is that which comes from county taxes collected? 33. How may the boundaries of your school district be changed ? 34. Are there county officers of education? 35. Are there State officers of education ?
GOVERNMENT IN THE TOWNSHIP.
5. The Township. The township is the next larger geographical division after the school district. And while in California it is of less prominence in the organization of the State than in some other States, nevertheless it has certain officers who are of the greatest importance in preserving peace and order among the people. The duties which these officers have to perform show the necessity of government in directions other than those which we have been studying. In the school district the chief object of government is to improve the welfare of the people by educating the children. In the township the chief object of government is to protect the people against wrong-doers and to settle disputes that may arise between individuals.
* In city schools it may be found advisable to omit this chapter.
Questions on Government in the Township.
1. In what civil township do you live? 2. Draw a map of it. 3. Describe its natural features. 4. What is its area in square miles? 5. What cities, towns, or villages are there in your township? 6. How many school districts? 7. What are the officers of the township called? 8. How many justices of the peace are there in your township? 9. What are the names of the justices of the peace now in office,
and where do they live? 10. When are the justices of the peace elected? 11. For what terms are they elected ? 12. Who may be elected justices of the peace? 13. What are the duties of justices of the peace? 14. When and where do they hold court? 15. Are justices of the peace paid for their services? If so, how? 16. How many constables are there in your township? 17. What are the names of the constables now in office, and where
do they live? 18. When are they elected? 19. For what terms are they elected? 20. Who may be elected constable? 21. What are the duties of constables? 22. Are they paid for their services? If so, how?
GOVERNMENT IN THE TOWN OR CITY.
6. General Character of City Government.When people are crowded together in large numbers in a town or city, a much more rigid system of government is necessary than in the case of the sparsely settled rural districts. For a rural population is likely to be peace