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True Education
[Commissioner Sells, Office of Indian Affairs,
in a circular to Superintendents and School Workers]


         I would urge the thought that the Indian School must build character; that there must be no neglect of the pupil's moral nature; that the highest success of everyone is conditioned upon a discrimination between right and wrong, and that there is nothing more essential to true education than the "ought" and the "ought not" in mental growth. Although comprehensive outlines on manners and right conduct were not given in the tentative course of study, definite time is set apart for such instruction and should be faithfully used.

         Every school library has, or should have, reference books for teachers on moral training, and every conscientious teacher will be true to the moral element in personal example and in classroom methods. Moreover, all superintendents should see that the broadly tolerant spirit of the General Regulations for Religious Worship is fully sustained. There should be no curtailment of the impartial privileges therein extended to all Christian denominations whose missionary efforts have become so helpful to our work. The influence of the Sunday school, the facilities to pupils for church attendance, and the moral features of the general assembly must not be overlooked. In our preparation of the Indians for citizenship, we should hold firmly to the prime truth that good men and good women are the safety of society; that in no form of government is civic righteousness so essential as in a democracy where the rulers are the people whose individual rectitude must determine the collective morality of the state and the standards of public ethics.

 

Quoted in "Signs of the Times"
Christian Science Sentinel, November 8, 1919
 

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