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TBT: School discipline has certainly changed, thank goodness – Read what happened to this girl in 1874

School discipline was certainly different in 1874 as can be seen by this story 

From the Birmingham Iron Age June 18, 1874

On last Saturday, 13th, a young school teacher named James Russell living in the Bagley settlement, “Five Mile,” was tried for an assault and battery on one of his pupils, Miss Rowena Shugart, aged seventeen.Discipline-chalkboard

From the evidence it appears that Mr. Russell, during school hours, ordered Rowena to move from one bench to another, and upon her refusal to do so, he gave her a severe whipping with a ‘birch,” “o’er stepping the bounds of modesty” so far as to draw blood in one or two places.

Case discharged

Mr. R. was discharged by the Justice, although the “skinning” he received from the plaintiff’s attorney (Col. Jolly), was excruciating and “fierce to behold,” and will, no doubt serve as a reprimand and kind remembrancer to Mr. Russell, should he continue to teach and “flog” until he arrived at the age of Methuselah.

Precedent established

The trial excited unusual interest, the whole neighborhood being present, and the decision, if a correct one, establishes the precedent that a teacher whilst castigating a pupil, may go so far as to draw blood – a very different one from that given by the learned young judge in Shylock.


See all books by Donna R Causey

Bestselling novel RIBBON OF LOVE: 2nd edition – A Novel of Colonial America (Tapestry of Love Book 1) is the story of a first family in colonial America who eventually migrated to Alabama.

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About Donna R Causey

Donna R. Causey, resident of Alabama, was a teacher in the public school system for twenty years. When she retired, Donna found time to focus on her lifetime passion for historical writing. She developed the websites www.alabamapioneers and All her books can be purchased at and Barnes & Noble. She has authored numerous genealogy books. RIBBON OF LOVE: A Novel Of Colonial America (TAPESTRY OF LOVE) is her first novel in the Tapestry of Love about her family where she uses actual characters, facts, dates and places to create a story about life as it might have happened in colonial Virginia. Faith and Courage: Tapestry of Love (Volume 2) is the second book and the third FreeHearts: A Novel of Colonial America (Book 3 in the Tapestry of Love Series) Discordance: The Cottinghams (Volume 1) is the continuation of the story. . For a complete list of books, visit Donna R Causey


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