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Trial of a Teacher for Cruelty-1874


Posted By: cheryl moonen (email)
Date: 5/9/2018 at 18:35:45

Dubuque Daily Times, Wednesday, Dec 09, 1874, Dubuque, IA, Page: 2


Trial of a Teacher for Cruelty-Verdict
Not Guilty

Special Correspondence to the Dubuque Times

EDITOR TIMES: There was quite a sensation in our city on Saturday last over the trial of Mr. Kelsey, principal of the high school in this place. His arrest was secured by the complaint from Mrs. Parker of the Fisher House, for whipping her boy, a lad of 9 or 10 summers. Four learned attorney were employed (two on a side) and about 25 witnesses summoned. At 9 a.m. the trial commenced before Squire Ercannbrack and six sworn jurors, who looked wise and patient. It was the great occasion of the season, and, men, women and children thronged the courtroom. Mr. K. was charged with cruelty to the boy. He in turn claimed that the boy frequently violated the rules of the school, and specified as instances, swearing, lying and the use of tobacco in school. Scholars were brought upon the witness stand as to testify to the boy’s moral character, and the question was frequently asked them, “what constitutes a morally bad character,” and the answer invariably was, “lying, swearing, truancy and use of tobacco.” Teachers of the several departments testified also, some of them doubtless for the first time on the witness stand, and awed into reverence before the *Sanhedrim were not a little embarrassed; others of them spoke their piece well. The excitement ran high. Boys from 5 to 17 years of age crowded around the court, drinking in every word, for upon this decision hung their own fate. If their teacher was convicted they could in future violate the rules of the school with impunity. If he was acquitted their backs liable to pay the forfeit of disobedience. But even the most interesting occasion cannot last always, and at 7 p.m. the trial was concluded. The jury brought in a verdict of “not guilty” and school still “keeps.”

*The Sanhedrin (Greek: Συνέδριον,[1] synedrion, "sitting together," hence "assembly" or "council")


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