Dziennik Chicagoski -- February 05, 1891The Vicious Circle or the School Question Again (Editorial)
Again we find two, or rather two and a half answers in Zgoda (a Polish weekly) on the school question, but how are we going to combat them? Our arguments have not been answered by contradictory disputation, our proofs have not been disproved, there are only never ending evasions, going around in circles, eluding the subject itself, and a tendency to start a controversy on some other subject, because they have no means of defending this one.
It seems that these controvertists have only one argument and this argument is: The parochial schools are worthless because they are supervised by the priests. Public schools are good because they are 2not supervised by the priests. It is not necessary to prove that there is something wrong with that supervision, because in the heads of the opponents of the parochial schools such an axiom as two times two are four is wrong.
We did not state that the parochial schools in America are better than the public schools just because they are supervised by the priests, but we did state that the parochial schools are better because they teach the English language as efficiently as the public schools. This is proved by the fact that the boys from the parochial schools are accepted by colleges and other institutions of higher learning, and besides, they teach religion, morality, and patriotism, the principles which every person needs in order to become a decent citizen later on. We have 3made a statement that these better schools are supervised by the priests because no one else is eager to supervise them, for no one else is establishing them.
If any one desires to contradict our statement let him prove first that parochial schools, in reality are deficient in educating children, and if it will be necessary later on to transfer children from the parochial to the public schools on account of that deficiency. It will then be easy to prove that we should try to introduce the Polish Language as one of the subjects into the public schools.
Zgoda continues: "You have no sympathy or support of the public, because among the united Catholic Poles (Polish Roman Catholic Union) you have only five or six thousand sympathizers out of every million." Has any 4other organization more sympathizers? That sympathy proves that our organization is the largest. If we take in consideration all adult male Poles, and we refer to those who really care to belong to any organization, the percentage belonging to this organization (the Polish Roman Catholic Union) is indeed very satisfactory.
You ask: "Why are not Polish private high schools established?" They are being established and for girls also. The author of the article in Zgoda undoubtedly refers to Chicago. Is he not aware that there is a Polish high school for the girls in Chicago, located on Division Street, or does he ignore it purposely? But in order to have high schools, it is necessary to start with lower ones and have you established any school, even a lower one?
"Piety ought to be inculcated at home" you say. Then why not education 5also? It is much harder to teach piety than reading or writing. Besides, the parents have neither qualification nor time for that, and for this reason they ought to send their children to qualified teachers." Religion should be taught by compulsion, not by the priests, or in schools, but by the parents at home." And if the parents will not exercise this compulsion, should the country allow the children of such parents to grow up as outlaws? Compulsory morality is indispensable for the country, therefore, the country should care for its early development in children, even where children are neglected by the parents or protectors, if they are orphans.
And again, the old worn out accusation: "We know from history that this course and guidance of the priests have kept nations in darkness for centuries." In order to make such accusation, it is necessary to have some historical proofs, facts, and dates. This is a favorite melody of those "Catholics who respect the priests as clergymen, but they were accustomed to seeing the church 6and the clergy under control of the parishioners." But where are the proofs? Yet Jan Dantyszek, Peter Skarga, Nicholas Copernicus, Adam Naruszewicz, Ignace Krasicki, and so many others were priests and bishops. Dates, facts, and names, not mere hearsays constitute proofs. No true Catholic will think that the clergy should be controlled by the parishioners in respect to faith and morals, only when management of property is concerned.
The author of the article in Zgoda also charges that the articles in Dziennik Chicagoski are "made to order." Then he refers to the Polish parade in commemoration of the Polish Constitution of May 3, and the attacks made by Thomas Krolik and others. The object of this argumentation is obvious. They are trying to evade the real issue by engaging in other subjects because they have no proofs in the question at issue.
To what will such controversy lead us? To continuous and unnecessary attacks and dissension. If you gentlemen wish to disprove the statements made by 7Dziennik Chicagoski, you must prove that Polish parents ought to send their children to the public schools because those schools teach better English than the parochial schools. Then you will convince every one that we should try to introduce the Polish language into the public schools. Gentlemen, adhere to the subject.
I A 2 a, I A 1 b, III C, IV
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