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sary rules and regulations pertaining to the schools of their re-
spective districts. It follows, from these provisions of the act,
that in districts where there are two or more school-houses, the
directors have full power to prescribe and determine to which
house each pupil of the district shall be permitted to go. It is a
matter clearly within the ofiicial jurisdiction and control of the
directors, and for their action in the premises they cannot be
called to account, except for manifest or wanton abuse of the
powers conferred upon them by law.

52. When a Schedule is left Incomplete. — "When a teacher
dies before completing his schedule, or when, for any other una-
voidable reason, a schedule is not and can not be completed, or
certified by the teacher, the directors may return it to the town-
ship treasurer, after correcting such errors as they may be cogni-
zant of, with an affidavit or certificate, setting forth the reasons
why it is not completed and certified by the teacher, and any
other material facts in regard to its unfinished condition. Said
affidavit or statement of the directors should be filed by the trea-
surer with said schedule, and will be a sufficient warrant for the
trustees to accept the schedule and make apportionment thereon.

53. Orders in Favor of Directors. — A school director cannot
be interested in any contract made by the board of which he is a
member. ( § 42.) Payment of orders drawn by two directors in


favor of the tliird, in violation of that requirement of the law,
may be refused ; unless it is shown, to the satisfaction of the
treasurer, that it was impossible or impracticable to obtain any
other person to do the work or furnish the articles for which the
order is drawn. The object of the prohibitory clause is to pro-
tect the funds of the district from being misapplied or squandered,
as they might be if directors could at will contract with, and draw
orders in favor of, themselves. But if, in a particular case, any
necessary material or labor cannot be obtained except from a di-
rector ; or if the same is offered by a director at a less price than
that demanded by others, in order to benefit the district, and in
good faith — in such cases it would be no violation of the spirit
and purpose of the law for the other directors to draw an order in
favor of said director, and said order should be paid by the trea-
surer. These are exceptional cases, for which no definite rules
can be laid down. The treasurer must judge of and determine
each of such cases separately, and upon its particular merits.

54. Private Schools in Public School-Houses. — ^By section 39,
the control and supervision of school-houses is vested expressly
and exclusively in the board of directors. They may allow the
use of the house, after the free schools are closed, for a private,
select, subscription, or writing school, or for other purposes, if
they see fit, or they may refuse to permit the house to be used
for any such purpose, at their option. And if they grant the use
of the house they may impose upon the occupa"nt such terms and
conditions as they see proper, provided that they must in all cases
require the occupant to pay for his own fuel, etc., and to leave
the property in as good condition, in all respects, as he found it.
If they choose to let the house for a private or select school, they
have no right whatever to require the teacher of such school to
obtain a certificate from the county superintendent. They have
no responsibility in regard to him or his school. Their jurisdic-
tion in that respect is limited to the case of free public schools.

65. Insurance of School- Houses. — School directors should see
that their school buildings are protected, by adequate policies of
insurance, against loss or damage by fire, etc., and 'that the poli-
cies are regularly and promptly renewed at expiration. Their
right and duty to do this are unquestionable. It is a precaution
which should never be omitted. The premium should be con-
sidered as a necessary incidental expense, and regularly pro-


vided for as such, under section 43. ISTo vote of the district is

56. Section 45 — last line. — The word '•''county^'' before the
word '•''GolleGtor^'' in the last line of section 45, is an error. It
was stricken out from other parts of the section when it was
amended, but inadvertently retained in the last line. The clause
should read : " Shall demand and receive the tax money collect-
ed by tlie collector as aforesaid" — meaning either town or county
collector, as the case may be.

57. Tax for Six Months' School. — By sections 43 and 48,
school dii'ectors have power, and it is imposed upon them as a
duty, to estimate the amount required, ovef and ahove the state
and tow7iship fund, to keep in successful operation the schools of
their district for six months in each year, and to levy and have
collected, a tax sufficient to raise such amount. If the state and
township fund is sufficient of itself to maintain a six months'
school, the directors cannot raise an additional amount without a
vote ; but whatever sum the public fund lacks of being enough
for a six months' school, the directors must levy and collect, with-
out a vote. There is no limit to the rate of taxation that may
be imposed for this purpose. i\Merritt v. Farris, 22 111. 303.
Munson v. Minor, Ibid, 594.) If the estimate of the directors,
made in good faith and according to their best judgment, prove
more than sufficient for a six months' school, it is held that the
surplus may be used, either with or without a vote, to extend the
term of schools.

58. Forcible Ejection of cb Pujyil. — If the board of school di-
rectors, in the lawful exercise of powers clearly conferred by law,
expel a pupil, for good and sufficient cause, and the scholar so
expelled refuses to leave the school-room or premises, and persists
in defying the just and legal authority of the board, such pupil
may, if necessary, be lawfully ejected by force. In like circum-
stances, the teacher also, as the agent and acting under the advice
and instructions of the board, may employ force to remove an
expelled or refractory pupil from his premises, and he may call to
his assistance such aid, from any other person or persons, as may
be necessary to accomplish the object. {Stevens v. Fassett, 27
Maine, 266.) The school-house is in the charge and under the
control of the authorized teacher, so far as is necesary for the dis-
charge of his Guties as teacher. The law clothes every person


with the power to use force sufficient to remove one who is an in-
truder upon his possessions, and the school-house is for certain pur-
poses the teacher's close^ his kingdom^ or his castle. The teacher
has responsible duties to perform, and he is entitled in law and in
reason to employ the means necessary therefor. It is his business
to exact obedience in the school-room, and it is his legal right.

59. May Use Souse in Another District. — It is no doubt the
intention of the law that every organized school district shall
have its own school-house, and the duty of providing the same
as soon as possible is clearly imposed upon each board of direct-
ors. But the temporary use of a school-house situated beyond

.the limits of a particular district is not unlawful, or incompatible
with the spirit and intent of the act, which is to atford the means
of common school instruction to all children of lawful age. Di-
rectors are compelled, by section 48, to provide school accomoda-
tions for all the school-going children of their district, for at least
six months in every year. In order to do this, they may be
obliged, for the time being, to avail themselves of a building
beyond the borders of their own district ; or the convenience of
the children may be temporarily consulted by so doing. The
necessity may arise by the destruction of their own house, or in-
abihty to erect a new one in season, or the need of more room,
and in many other ways. In such cases, the school belongs to
the district, to all intents and purposes, under any fair construc-
tion of the law ; as much so as if kept in a building within the
bounds of the district. It is under the charge and control of the
board, is subject to all the rules and regulations established by
the board, and is common to the entire district. Its schedules
should therefore be honored, and its expenses paid, the same as'
if the house were not across the district line. And for the same
reasons, the funds of a district may lawfully be used, if necessary,
for the repairs and improvement of a house in another district,
so long as the use of the same is necessarily required for the ac-
commodation of the school children of the other district. These
principles are expressly declared by the supreme court in the
case of Grove v. School Inspectors of Peoria^ 20 lll.^ 532.

60. Powers Conferred by Section 4:o. — Directors, under section
43, possess very large powers, and are charged with very impor-
tant duties. Of the latter, some are mandatory, and others dis-
cretionary or permissive. Among the duties which they are per-


emptorilj required to perform by section 43, taken in connection
with section 48, are the levying of a sufficient tax to support a
six months' school — procuring school houses enough for the proper
accommodation of all the school children of the district — provid-
ing fuel and other necessary articles for the comfort and conve-
nience of teachers and pupils, etc. It is also their duty to keep
their school houses and grounds in good repair, and to render
them pleasant and attractive. To this end they should cause the
house to be painted, and trees, shrubbery and flowers to be plant-
ed, etc. -Not a year should be allowed to pass without planting
trees, where there are none already. Ample shade is necessary
for health, comfort and sightliness, and can always be had at a
trifling cost. The soft maple, box elder, elm, etc., will yield a
plentiful shade in three years, and no school house lot should
ever be longer than that without the luxury. Among the most
repulsive and needless sights in the state, is that of a school bouse
sweltering in the sun, choked with dust, bleak, naked and deso-
late; without a tree, or shrub, or flower, or any other object to
please the eye and relieve the monotonous deformity of the place.
There is no apology or excuse for this in any case whatever.
The planting and boxing of trees should always be attended to
at the earliest possible moment, and nature will do the rest.
Fences, gates, wells, out-houses, etc., should be kept in good con-
dition, and both teachers and pupils held to strict account in re-
spect to them. It is impossible to depict the pernicious effect of
disregarding the claims of delicacy and purity in the location, con-
struction and arrangement of the private retreats provided for the
pupils of the two sexes. The case of providing none at all, is too
gross for comment. Directors also have full authority to pur-
chase furniture, apparatus, books and whatever else may be need-
ful to furnish and equip their school houses. Among the articles
which they may procure under this head are, neat and durable
desks and chairs — common and outline maps — globes — arithmet-
ical and geometrical figures and apparatus — anatomical, primary
and other charts — reference books for the teacher's desk^ — clocks,
black-boards, crayons, brooms, dust brushes, pails, wash bowls,
shovels, tongs, ash buckets, scrapers, mats, clothing hooks, etc., etc.
The power of the directors to procure all these things, and any
others that may be required for the complete equipment and fur-
nishing of their schools, school houses and grounds, is clear and


unquestionable. And to pay for them they may levy any rate of
tax that may be necessary ; no vote is required. It is also the
duty of the directors to employ some one to sweep, make fires,
prepare the fuel, etc., unless a different agreement is made with
the teacher, or the pupils voluntarily attend to those things. Un-
less otherwise specified in the contract no teacher of a public
school can be required to sweep, make fires, etc. It is no part of
his duty, uuless he agrees and contracts to do it when he is em-
ployed. By a reasonable construction of the library clause of the
43d section of the act, directors may also procure and keep on
hand, as the property of the district, a set of the text-books adopt-
-ed and used in their respective districts, for the use of their suc-
cessive teachers.

61. Mandamus. — When directors are instructed by a vote of
the people, legally taken, to levy a tax or borrow money to build
a school house, or to do any other act or thing which the inhabi-
tants of a district may lawfully require to be done by them, and
said directors neglect or refuse to obey such instructions — and
when directors fail or refuse to discharge the duties clearly im-
posed upon them, as directors, by law, and the people of the dis-
trict have no other recourse or remedy — in all such cases, a writ
of mandamus will lie to the board of directors, commanding and
compelling them to discharge their duty. {Beverly v. Sahin^ 20
111., 357. Cotton v. Reed, lUd, 607.)


1. Schedules. — No teacher of a public school is entitled to
any part of the public school fund unless he keeps a schedule of
scholars, over six and under twenty-one years of age, attending his
school. Schedules must be kept in the exact form prescribed by
law. When pupils attend from different townships or districts,
separate schedules must be made for each township and district.
Teachers must deliver their schedules to the directors as soon as
completed, and, for their security, they are entitled to receive re-
ceipts for the same from the director, or directors, to whom said
schedule or schedules are delivered. Teachers are not recjuired to
deliver their schedules to the township treasurer — that duty is im-


posed upon the directors. The method of proceeding in the case
of separate schedules is clearly pointed out in the act. Teachers
cannot be too careful to comply strictly with all the requirements
of the law in respect to the manner of keeping, and the prompt
delivery of, their schedules. (§§ 35, 53 and 54:.)

2. Permits of transfer. — Section 35 of the amended act, re-
quires written permits of transfer of scholars from one district to
another to be filed with the township treasurer. As the rule re-
quu'ing such permits is mandatory, teachers should be very care-
ful to satisfy themselves that pupils from other districts have been
regularly transferred before admitting them. This is the more
essential now, since such permits are made the only evidence
upon which township treasurers are authorized to pay separate

3. Cldldren Under Six Years of Age. — The act as amended
fixes the minimum limit of eligibility to the public schools at six
years. ]^o pupil under that age should be admitted into the
public schools. It is the province a;Qd duty of teachers to see
that this requirement is complied with, and, if necessary, to re-
port to the directors for their information, and action, cases of
persistent violation or infi'ingement of this requirement of the
law. (§48.)

4r. Suits Against Directors. — Teachers will bear in mind that
theu- contracts with boards of directors are, by law, credit con-
tracts — that their schedules are due and payable semi-annually,
viz : in April and October. If, therefore, it becomes necessary
for them to bring suit against the directors for their wages, and
judgment is obtained, the directors cannot be compelled to pay
until after the April and October apportionments, Nor can
directors, in such cases, be sued as individuals, but only as a cor-
poration. The private property of directors cannot be taken in
satisfaction of any judgment obtained against them in their offi-
cial character as directors. ( §§ 48 and 49.)

5. Revocation of Certificates. — Teachers whose certificates
have been revoked by the county superintendent, cannot receive
public money on schedules of schools taught by them subsequent
to the date of said revocation, or while they remain without a
legal certificate.

6. Dismissal. — Teachers are liable to dismissal by the direct-
ors. Any teacher feeling aggrieved by the action of the directors


in such case, may sue them on his contract, and thus compel them
to show cause for the dismissal, and to sustain the alleged grounds
of their action by adequate proof.

7. Suspension or Expulsion of Pupils. — Directors are author-
ized to suspend or expel pupils for disobedient, refractory, or
incorrigibly bad conduct. This authority they may delegate to
the teacher, to be exercised under such circumstances and for
such offenses, as they may prescribe. The directors may also
empower the teacher to injElict the penalty of immediate, though
temporary, suspension, in cases of sudden and violent acts of in-
subordination or rebellion. But the teacher must consider that
the legal authority to inflict these extreme penalties emanates
from the directors, and does not vest primarily in him, and that
it is therefore his duty to conform his action to the instruc-
tions received from the directors, or to the discretion conferred
by them. In all cases of temporary suspension, the facts must
be reported to the directors as soon as practicable, for their
information and action. In extreme cases of sudden and violent
insubordination, or vicious and refractory conduct, where the
temporary removal of a pupil from the school-room is necessary
— or when a pupil who has been expelled by the directoi'S, persist-
ently refuses to leave the school — or when a scliolar maliciously
places himself in the chair of the instructor, or in the seat of anoth-
er scholar, and refuses to leave it on the request of the master —
in such cases, and others of like character, the teacher may compel
obedience hy force^ and call to his aid such assistance as may be
necessary to effect that object. {Stevens v. Fassett^ 27 Maine,
266. See, also, Decisions relating to Directors.)

8. Rules and Regulations. — The right to make rules and
regulations for the management and government of schools is
vested by law in the board of directors. The design in giving
them this power is mainly to throw around the teacher the pro-
tection of law in administering the government and necessary
discipline of the school. It is not supposed that rules and regu-
lations will, as a general thing, be actually drawn up by the
directors personally, and submitted to the teacher for his govern-
ment ; the contrary course is the natural one, and the one which
in most cases is practically pursued. An experienced teacher is
necessarily better qualified to do this than a board of directors,
who may have no practical acquaintance with the requirements



necessary for the successful conduct of a school. The proper
course, therefore, is for the teacher to draw up such regulations
as he may deem expedient, and submit the same to the directors
for their official sanction. The rules thus adopted and endorsed
by the directors are in fact their rules, and may therefore be car-
ried out and enforced under the express provisions and sanction
of law.

9. Should Make 'Written Cont/racts. — Teachers should be
careful in all cases to make written contracts with boards of
directors before commencing their schools. Considerations of or-
dinary business prudence should prompt them to do this. JSTeg-
lect of this precaution has led to much mutual misunderstanding
and annoyance, and often resulted in the loss of a part, or even
the whole, of the wages due. It is in all respects better for both
parties that such contracts should be made, of which each party
should retain a copy. All the points about which differences
would be likely to arise, such as the amount of salary, length of
time, number of teaching days to the month, etc., should be
plainly set forth in such agreements. Let it be understood that
a rtioral obligation to pay a teacher cannot be enforced by law.
{Bull V. Harris, 31 III., 489.) The language of the contract
must express the exact intention of the parties ; for while the rule
of the law is to give eti'ect to the intention, yet if the language is
unequivocal it will govern, although it fail to express the real in-
tention of the parties. {Benjamin v. IfcOonnell, 4 Gilm., 536.
Smith V. Brown, 5 Gilm., 309.)

10. JVot School Officers. — Teachers are not school officers, and
are not therefore entitled to the immunities mentioned in section
T2. Township trustees and school directors are exempted from
certain burdens imposed upon other citizens, as a recognition of
and partial recompense for the important services rendered by
them without pecuniary compensation ; but these considerations '
do not apply to the teacher, who contracts for and receives the
best remuneration he can for his services and labor.

11. Certificates. — By section 52, no teacher can be employed
to teach any school under the control of any board of directors
of any school district, who does not, before his employment, or
commencing his school, exhibit to said board, or to a committee
of said board, a certificate of qualification from the county super-
intendent of the proper county; nor is a teacher entitled to any


portion of any public school fund, who does not, before his em-
ployment exhibit his certificate as aforesaid. No provision of the
school law is more imperative than this, nor has any other pro-
vision of the act been more literally and rigidly construed by the
circuit and supreme courts of the state. It has been repeatedly
decided by the judicial tribunals that neither the stipulations of
a contract^ nor the keeping of schedules in scrupulous conformity
with the act, nor the most exact compliance with every other
provision of the law, can compensate or atone for the failure on
the part of the teacher not merely to liave^ but to jpresent to the
board of directors, or a committee thereof, hefore employment,
a. legal certificate of qualification. Default here is absolutely
fatal to the legal claims of the teacher to payment from the pub-
lic school fund. The teacher may, in such case, be paid by
private subscription or otherwise, but not from the public funds.
The point to be particularly noticed is, that the teacher is per-
emptorily required to present his certificate, whether asked or
required by the directors to do so or not ; this is a condition pre-
cedent to the validity of any claim upon the school fund. The
directors are not bound to examine and certify, or in any way to
recognize the schedule of a teacher who fails to comply with this
imperative requisition. Teachers should also renew promptly
their certificates upon their expiration, even when such expiration
occurs during a school term. I^o teacher can be required to pro-
cure more than one certificate in order to teach the same school.
In case a district lies partly in two counties the teacher must ob-
tain a certificate from the superintendent of the county in which
the school house is situated. He cannot be required to have cer-
tificates from both superintendents. ( Casey v. Baldridge, 15 III.,
65. Smith V. Curry, IQ 111,1^1.)

12, Amenable to Directors. — By section 48 teachers are made
answerable to the directors only, for their conduct while in the
employ of the board. They must faithfully carry out the wishes
and instructions of the directors in all matters pertaining to the
management and discipline of the school, text books used,
branches taught, and whatever relates to the general policy of
the school ; and for so doing they cannot be called to an account
by the inhabitants of the district, but are amenable only to the


13. Protected hy Contracts. — The contracts of teachers with
directors are not invalidated, where a school is temporarily sus-
pended by orders of the directors, or compulsorily by the burn-
ing of the school house or other casualty, for which suspension
the teacher is in no way responsible. Thus, if a teacher con-

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Online Librarystatutes Illinois. LawsSchool laws of Illinois → online text (page 21 of 26)