Editorial from the Elizabeth City Tar Heel, September, 1905. School attendance was not compulsory. It also was not free. Some children went for a couple of months of the year; others not at all.
Send Your Children to School…And Having Done This Assist Them With Their Lessons…Don’t Leave the Teacher to Do It All
Parents, this is for you. We do not know whether you are accustomed to reading the editorials of this newspaper or not. If you have not made it a practice to read our editorials we want you to read this one.
The month of September is a school month, the month that children in this city blessed with nine months school terms, get their books together and go to school. Are your children among the number who will enter one of the several good schools in Elizabeth City this fall? If they are not, whose fault is it?
This newspaper wants to impress upon those few of its readers who may not too seriously consider the matter of education the necessity of keeping their children in school and at their studies just as many months in the year as they can.
The time is when the world demands educated workers in every branch of industry. Without education a man is handicapped worse than he who has no legs or no arms. You who in an advanced age, hair white, shoulders stooped, working at hard labor for a dollar a day may appreciate this fact. Send your children to school.
When you have had them enrolled in some good school, see to it that they study. Don’t trust to their teachers to see that they learn their lessons. Lessons must be learned out of school hours. A teacher has no control over the pupil out of school. See that your children prepare the lessons nights. Help them, take an interest in them and try each night to impress upon them how much the little things they learn each day will count in after years when they must get out from under the parental roof and work for their own bread each day. Send your children to school.
By all means send your children to some school. Don’t count the cost. Remember that you are responsible for these little ones’ existence and responsible for their future welfare. If the cost of schooling looks large, look to other expenses and see if some of them might not be reasonably cut. Send your children to school.