Friday, November 2, 2018

On This Date in Minnesota History: November 2

November 2, 1905 – Chas. E. Flitner, principal of the Grant School, St. Paul, was discharged from his position by the action of the board of education at a special meeting called this evening to consider a series of charges against him.

The charges were preferred by a Mrs. Johnson, mother of a 13-year-old boy whom Flitner had recently punished by whipping.

According to the facts that were brought out in the meeting this evening, the schoolmaster took advantage  of the recent  ruling of the St. Paul school board and administered what he regarded as a well-merited whipping upon young Johnson. He made the mistake, however, of neglecting to wait until the boy’s mother could be present as is required by law and the school board’s recent order, and further violated the board’s rules and regulations by calling the janitor to assist him in chastising the boy and then using a carpet beater of the cat-o-nine-tails order on a bared portion of the boy’s anatomy.

In the course of tonight’s meeting Flitner practically admitted the truth of the charges and the board authorized his dismissal, enumerated as the reasons for its action that in whipping the boy he had used what was more suited to be “an instrument of torture than of punishment”; that he had resorted to “an unbecoming and undignified” method of chastisement, that he had called the janitor in to help him administer the same and he had inflicted the punishment without waiting for the victim’s mother to be present.

Mrs. Johnson, far from being satisfied with the discharge of Flitner, will institute civil proceedings to recover damages for the injuries which she claims were inflicted on her son.

The Minneapolis Tribune; “Whipped Boy Severely.  St. Paul Teacher Discharged for Giving Corporal Punishment. Charles E. Flitner, Principal of the Grant School, Used Carpet Beater on Pupil Without Asking Permission of Parent—Must Answer to a Civil Charge.”; Nov. 3, 1905; p. 2.

If you are interested in finding out more about your family history in Minnesota, I specialize in researching  genealogical and historical records in Minn. and western Wis., including: census records,  birth records,  death certificates, obits, grave site photos, ship passenger lists, marriage records and declarations of intent/naturalization records.  I will visit locations to research local history and county records, as well as take photos. Quick turnaround on MNHS records. Both short searches and family history reports available.


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