The Alta says: "A communication was received by the Board of Education from Mrs. Stout, requesting permission to have a Christmas tree in her school." This sort of thing should not be encouraged. We pay our teachers to teach, and for no other purpose; and it stands to reason that if they get to cultivating shrubbery, the interests of education are bound to suffer. Oh! this won't do. It would institute a pernicious precedent. Once you let these teachers get stuck after shrubbery, so to speak, and they will soon go to trying even more unseasonable and extraordinary experiments than attempting to raise Christmas trees in November. Let them raise trees in school, and they would shortly be wanting to have turnip patches and cabbage orchards under the benches -- and then what would become of the pupils? -- what then would become of the holy cause of education? Come, let up.
[published in Early Tales & Sketches, Volume 2, 1864-1865,
University of California Press, 1981, p. 502.]
Return to Chronicle index