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RETURN To an Order of the House for all correspondence between the Department of Education and any other… British Columbia. Legislative Assembly 1898

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 61 Vict.      Correspondence Campbell's Creek School. 881
RETURN
To an Order of the House for all correspondence between the Department of Education and any other party or parties, in connection with the re-opening of Campbell's Creek School.
JAMES BAKER,
Minister of Education.
Education Office,
24th February, 1898.
Kamloops, June 18th, 1897.
S. D. Pope, Esq.,
Superintendent of Education, Victoria, B.C.
Dear Sir,—Although the matter of this school has been well ventilated in the Legislature of the Province and in the local press, I have only now been able to see the affair in its
true light; for this reason I am desirous of having some method of publicly explaining the
actual position of the matter.
In the first place, as you are no doubt aware, the school at Campbell's Creek was opened
for the accommodation of several children, who, by reason of the distance to the Ducks School-
house, would otherwise be deprived of any chance to procure the rudimentary education which
is by law the right of any child resident in the Province. The school-house was built and
furnished by me at my own expense, and what is more, I have also at my own expense kept
these orphan children who would otherwise be denied any opportunity of learning those simple
things which are so necessary in the present struggle with the world.
This school has now been closed by the Department of which you are the head, and why 1
Because you are in receipt of letters which contain charges against the scholars, against the
place, and against myself. These charges certainly warrant an investigation; to say the least,
I should be allowed an opportunity to defend myself and my children against the unfounded
indictment preferred by an hysterical, woman and another party, the latter of whom has no
interest at stake whatever. By the way, under date of April 15th, you were in receipt of a
letter over the signature of one J. Wilson, who, for your information, appends a memo, to the
effect that he is the Superintendent of the Canadian Pacific telegraph lines in B. C. For my
own information, I would like to know wherein Mr. Wilson's position as Superintendent of
the C. P. R. telegraph lines in B. C. confers authority upon him to interfere in any way with
the rights of the children resident in any particular portion of the Province. Moreover, for
your own information, I may be permitted to say that I am a heavy ratepayer of the Province, and as such am entitled to some consideration, Mr. J. Wilson, Superintendent of the
Canadian Pacific telegraph lines in B. C, to the contrary notwithstanding.
Even if this Mr. Wilson was a ratepayer, an old resident, I would have reason to resent
his interference, but as a new-comer, absolutely unaccquainted with the facts, as well as with
the requirements of the case, I have greater reason for my resentment.
As to the specific charges preferred by Miss Swan, and reiterated by Mr. Wilson, the first
was, that one of the largest boys after drinking half a glass of water, deliberately threw the
balance in the face of the teacher—note that Mr. Wilson says half a pitcher. I say positively,
and I am prepared to prove every statement made by me herein, that this charge is absolutely
untrue, and one thing will go far towards establishing the truth of my statement, i. e., there
has never been a drinking vessel of any kind in the school-house since it was built. The other
specific charge, that of smearing the teacher's hand with blood, is in effect just as untrue as
the first one. Mr. Wilson also says that the trustee, Mr. Campbell, has forbidden her to punish the smaller children;   this is untrue.    I never at any time prevented her from punishing 882 Correspondence Campbell's Creek School. 1898
any scholar in the school, but on one occasion I did speak to her in reference to the brutality,
I can use no other expression, of some of her corrections. One afternoon my youngest child,
a delicate girl of ten years came home crying, and on my inquiring the cause, I was told that
the teacher had struck her on the arm with the edge of a heavy book, the arm was injured to
such an extent that to this day she has not entirely recovered the use of it. A few moments
afterwards one of the smaller boys came crying to the house with blood streaming from a gash
in his head, which had been caused by Miss Swan breaking a slate upon his head as a punishment for some trivial offence. Again the same afternoon another came in with his knuckle
and hand skinned and bruised by the teacher's so-called punishment (sic). That day I did
speak to her, and strongly condemned her methods of punishment. I do not in any sense of
the word object to corporal punishment, but I do in every sense of the word object to brutality on the part of those in authority over children. Miss Swan says she could not punish the
larger children, as they were larger and stronger than she. She could have expelled them or
suspended them, or she might at least have intimated to me that they required punishment,
and I would have spared no pains to make it fit the offence, if it laid in my power to do so.
Mr. Wilson says the treatment Miss Swan received from the scholars was very hard to stand
from a lot of half-breeds. There is not a half-breed in the school, but even if there were, their
rights are as much to be respected as another person's, and such slurs are unbecoming to the
pen of even the Superintendent of the Canadian Pacific telegraph lines in B. C.
So much for the charges against the scholars, the school and the trustee. I, too, have
charges to prefer against the teacher. In the first place she was absolutely incompetent. To
support this charge I will only mention one occurrence; it will be sufficient to substantiate my
complaint. One of the boys came to me with a complaint that the teacher refused to show him
how to work out a certain class of problem in arithmetic. I spoke to Miss Swan of this and
she replied that the boy could do this himself quite easily. I then asked her to show the
solution as she was in duty bound to do. The problem was one involving the calculation of
interest (an every day commercial transaction) and Miss Swan, after two hours work, confessed
to me that she could not do it. Her method of life was not such that would be conducive to
her mental alertness or her physical well-being. At eight o'clock she would leave her house,
without lighting fire or breaking her fast, and go directly to the school-house, where she would
remain until dark; then she would leave for her house and, on reaching it, she would lock herself in, and without even fire or light, except on rare occasions, would stay till morning. She
complains of being lonely ; she gave herself no opportunity to be anything else. As to her
physical and mental condition, neither body nor mind could be normal when she abused herself in the way of eating as she did. In a month and a half she used a pound of butter, three
pounds of soda biscuits, less than a pound and a half of bacon and about three pounds of flour.
When she came to the house she got half a cord of wood, and when she went away there was
still three-quarters of the original pile there, that, too, during six weeks of the most severe
weather we had during the winter. As to the supplies, I know what she got as she got them
on my account, and I know what she used from the amount left after she quit the school.
Mens sana in corpore sano in a teacher, of all people, is essential. Could anyone, living as I
positively state Miss Swan lived, be the possessor of such? I think not, and I think you will
bear me out in my opinion. My own impression is that owing to her method of existence (I
cannot say life) Miss Swan had become a victim of hysteria in an aggravated form, and that
this peculiar mental condition was responsible for the unfounded charges brought against all
with whom her duties brought her in contact. I am willing to believe so, I wish to think so,
but I do not think I should be the sufferer by reason of it.
I have been put to a great deal of trouble and a great deal of expense in this matter. I
do not wish to see the school remain closed when, if a competent teacher be procured, the roll
could always be kept above the legal requirements. I am willing to undertake that it will, but
before anything else, above anything else I ask that an investigation be instituted inquiring
into the matters of which I speak. It is due to me as a ratepayer who has been maligned in
the House and through the press ; due to the scholars who have to bear the undeserved stigma
of brutality, disobedience and discourtesy; due to the parents of these children and due to the
Department itself, in order to fix the blame where it belongs.
Trusting that my communication will receive the consideration to which it is entitled.
I am, etc.,
(Signed)        Lewis Campbell. 61 Vict. Correspondence Campbell's Creek School. 883
Education Office,
Victoria, 6th July, 1897.
Dear Sir,—In reply to your communication of the 18th ult., allow me to state that an
Inspector will be visiting schools in your neighbourhood after the close of the summer vacation
and that he will be instructed to hold an investigation, as requested by you, in regard to the
treatment of your late teacher, Miss Swan, by the pupils of the school.
Yours truly,
(Signed)        S. D. Pope,
Superintendent of Education.
L.  Campbell,  Esq.,
Campbell's  Greek, Kamloops.
Education Office,
Victoria, 14th September, 1897.
Dear Sir,—The Honourable G. B. Martin, Chief Commissioner, has handed in your let
ter of the 31st August addressed to him, and which he did not receive until his return to this
City.
As to the re-opening of Campbell's Creek School there are no objections, provided the
requirements of the Regulations in regard to assisted schools will be carried out.
Allow me to point out that there must be an enrolment each month of not less than ten
pupils, and the average daily attendance must not be less than eight. If these requirements
can be complied with, any application you make in the matter will, with pleasure, be referred
to the consideration of the Honourable the Minister of Education.
I enclose blank form for list of children who will attend the school regularly in case it is
re-opened.
Yours truly,
(Signed)        S. D. Pope,
L.   Campbell,  Esq.,
School Trustee,  Campbell's Creek,
Kamloops.
Superintendent of Education.
Campbell's Creek,
September 21st, 1897.
Dear Sir,—Yours of the 14th September is to hand. I enclose a list of scholars who
will be able to attend the Campbell's Creek School. There are eight that reside who will be
able to attend school every day and, with the others, there will be no trouble to keep the number on the Register.
I would like you to use your influence with the Honourable Minister of Education to get
our school re-opened as soon as possible.
Yours truly,
(Signed)        Lewis Campbell.
S. D.  Pope, Esq.,
Superintendent of Education,
Victoria. 884
Correspondence Campbell's Creek School.
1898
Children of School Age, between six and sixteen years, resident within the limits
of the proposed School  District at Campbell's Creek.
Surnames of Children.
Christian name or names.
Age last
birthday.
Distance from
nearest School.
Name of parent or
guardian.
Shaver 	
Alvie Lewis....   	
Martha Jane   	
Lena	
Reid	
Nettie	
Evandar	
Willie	
David	
reside at the school.
Nettie	
13
12
10
14
10
8
7
7
12
10
8
11
9
8
8
6
Here, C. C.
Mrs. Shaver.
"
'
L. Campbell.
W. McLeod.
Lew Leonard.
R. Pratt.
McLeod	
Leonard   	
The above eight
Knapp	
It
2Jm
2i    /
2J    ,
3     ,
3     ,
3     ,
6     ,
6     ,
les
B
McGregor	
Bud	
Chester	
L. C. McGregor.
McLeod	
Mary	
Minnie	
John McLeod.
The first eight will be able to attend the school every day.
There is no danger but what we can keep up the required number of scholars.
Yours truly,
(Signed)        Lewis Campbell.
Education Office,
Victoria, 23rd September, 1897.
Dear Sir,—Having referred to the Honourable the Minister of Education, the  application made in yours of the 21st inst., with the names of  sixteen children  furnished  by you as
probable pupils of the school, I am directed to state that authority is granted to the Board of
Trustees to appoint a teacher, and to re-open the school.
I have tbis day notified the Secretary of the Board.
Under section 50 of the " Public School Act," the appointment of teacher must be made
by a majority of the Board of Trustees at a meeting held for that purpose. It is the duty of
the Secretary to immediately notify this Department of the appointment made.
Yours truly,
(Signed)        S. D. Pope,
Superintendent of Education.
L. Campbell, Esq., School Trustee,
Ducks School District, Kamloops.
Education Office,
Victoria, 23rd September, 1897.
Dear Sir,—Mr. L. Campbell, School Trustee, having made application for the re-opening
of Campbell's Creek School, and furnished this Department with a list of sixteen children of
school age, permission has been granted by the Honourable the Minister of Education to your
Board to appoint a teacher and re-open the School.
As soon as the appointment of teacher is made, you will please notify this Department.
Yours truly,
(Signed)        S. D. Pope,
Superintendent of Education.
J. M. Kinnear, Esq., Secretary Board of Trustees,
Ducks Station. 61 Vict. Correspondence Campbell's Creek School. 885
Education Office,
Victoria, 25th September, 1897.
Dear Sir,—Inspector Burns has made a report of the evidence taken on September 1st
at Campbell's Creek in regard to the ill-treatment of the late teacher, Miss Swan. He has
also reported the evidence given by Miss Swan to him after his return to this office.
From the evidence taken at Campbell's Creek it is not apparent that the ill-treatment
complained of by Miss Swan was accorded to her while, on the other hand, Miss Swan's evidence is in corroboration of her former statements.
As permission has been granted for the re-opening of Campbell's Creek School, I trust
that for the future there will be no want of harmony between the teacher and pupils. It is
needless to say that it is a waste of public funds to support a school in which proper order and
discipline are not maintained. If the teacher is not performing his work satisfactorily to the
Trustees they have authority, under section 50 of the " Public School Act," to dismiss him at
any time by giving him thirty days' written notice of dismissal, and stating the cause. This
notice must be signed by the Secretary of the Board, or by the other two Trustees.
On the other hand, if the teacher is performing his work satisfactorily, it is the duty of
parents to encourage him in every way in their power, and to strongly advise their children to
strict obedience and diligent study.
Yours truly,
(Signed)        S. D. Pope,
Superintendent of Education.
L.  Campbell, Esq.,
Campbell's Creek, Kamloops.
Monte Creek P. O.,
Ducks, October 10th, 1897.
Dear Sir,—I beg to inform you that Miss E. L. George has been appointed by the Board
of Trustees of Ducks School, as teacher of Campbell's Creek Public School. Miss George has
been notified that the Board desires the School to be opened on Monday, 18th of October.
Yours truly,
(Signed)        John M. Kinnear,
Secretary Board of Trustees, Ducks.
S. D. Pope, Esq.,
Victoria, B. C.
Monte Creek, P.O.,
October 23rd, 1897.
Dear Sir,—I beg to notify you of the opening of Campbell's Creek School on the 18th
instant.
Miss George wishes me to ask for four Monthly Reports to be sent to her as soon as
possible.
Yours truly,
(Signed)        John M. Kinnear,
Sec. Board of Trustees, Ducks.
VICTORIA, b. C :
Printed by Richard Wolfenden, Printer to the Queen's Most Excellent Majesty.
1898. 

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