The following are actual rules from a Methodist school in 1794.
1. The Scholars shall attend at Eight O’clock in the summer and Half Past eight in the winter; and the Teacher Shall regulate the time of attendance in spring and autumn, according to the length of the day.
2. They shall be allowed an hour for recreation in winter and two hours in summer.
3. They shall be dismissed at six o’clock in summer and at four in winter, and in spring and autumn in proportion.
4. The school shall always be opened and closed with prayer.
5. The teacher shall appoint a weekly monitor out of a senior class, who shall call the list upon all occasions, and see that the scholars be present at all times of public worship in the school; and give information of all misdemeanors in the teacher’s absence. And also that all scholars of seven years old and upwards shall attend a public service on the Sabbath, wherever his or her parents, guardians or master may direct.
6. No gaming of any kind, or instruments of play shall be tolerated.
7. The tutor shall be judge of all excuses for non-attendance, and shall deal with the delinquents accordingly.
8. A strict order of silence shall be observed in school hours.
9. In every case of sinning against God, the trial shall be very serious, the facts proved, and the sinner properly dealt with, according to the judgment of the teacher. If it should be near the time of a visitation (of the trustees) let it be laid over till the meeting of the Board of Trustees.
10. In a case of rebellion against the rules of the school or the authority of the teacher, such a scholar with the concurrence of the tutor, with the trustee, shall be dismissed.
11. No scholar shall be permitted on any account whatever to wear ruffles or powder his hair.
12. The scholars shall be examined in the "instructions for children" once a week except the children of such parents as disapprove the same.
13. There shall be a garden procured (if practicable) that those scholars who choose it may recreate themselves therein.
14. That no teacher shall be eligible for a trustee.
15. It is earnestly recommended that no person or persons will send their children to the school without observing the strictest punctuality, in making payment half yearly; and if any subscriber neglects payment one year, it shall be determined by a majority of the trustees, whether he shall be permitted to send the ensuing year.
16. Every subscriber is required to give three months notice, if he does not continue to send the ensuing year.
17. No subscriber shall have restitution for the scholar’s loss of time, by sending more than the number, or longer than the time subscribed.
Imagine the reaction of our children to these rules today!
Source A History of Rockingham County, Virginia John W. Wayland, Ph.D.
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