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Full text of "Political Science Of The State"

SUBJECT-MATTER  OF LAW AND ADMINISTRATION,    411
on pain of losing their share of the public school money.
The appointment of teachers ought to proceed from the
school committee of the district, with some control over their
doings by the superintendent. The dismissal of the teacher
for incompetence or misconduct should rest on the same
qualified decisions of the committees. The instruction should
be so far fixed that no deviations ought to be allowed with-
out the superintendent's permission. Discipline must be
committed to the teacher within the limits of a general law.
An irritating question,has arisen in recent times touching
the reading of the Bible in common schools. It amounts to
this, on the negative side, when unbelievers in the Bible ad-
vocate it, that religion ought to be as much kept out of the
school as the church ought to be kept separate from the state.
When Catholics take this side they complain that a Protestant
version is forced on the children belonging to their confession.
But they go farther, also, than this : they fear the perverting
influence of association with Protestant children upon their
boys and girls, and would be glad to have the sum paid for the
education of their number of children by the state devoted to
schools in which teachers and all arrangements should be
under Catholic control. And the reason for this lies not only
in the fear of evil communications, but also in the principle
which, in itself, is greatly to their honor, that religion being
of prime importance to man, they want an education for their
children which can be not secular only, but religious, in their
sense of the word. It is no answer to their claims to say that
in other cases where parents do not like the school system
they send their children to private schools, for the ready an-
swer is that the children of their body belong mostly to parents
in humble life, who must make use of free schools or of none
at all. But the last alternative is impossible where education
is compulsory. Nor, if Protestants should say that they form
a small minority and ought to abide by the opinion of the
great part, would that be a fair view of their case. It is with
them a matter of conscience, and the state respects the de-
mands of conscience until they become absurd. What