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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 176 pages of information about Elements of Civil Government.

Formation.—­The limits of the school district are usually fixed by the chief school officer of the county, by the town, by the school board, or by the people living in the neighborhood.  In most of the States districts vary greatly in size and shape; but in some of the States they have a regular form, each being about two miles square.

Functions.—­The functions, or work, of the school are solely educational.  The State supports a system of public schools in order that the masses of the people may be educated.  The country needs good citizens:  to be good citizens the people must be intelligent, and to be intelligent they must attend School.

MEMBERS.

The members of the school district are the people living in it.  All are interested, one way or another, in the success of the school.  In most States the legal voters elect the school board, or trustees, and in some States levy the district school taxes.  Those who are neither voters nor within the school age are interested in the intelligence and good name of the community, and are therefore interested in the public school.

Children.—­The children within the-school age are the members of the school, and they are the most important members of the school district.  It is for their good that the school exists.  The State has provided schools in order that its children may be educated, and thus become useful men and women and good citizens.

Rights.—­Children, as members of the school, have important rights and duties.  It is the right, one of the highest rights, of every child to attend the full session of the public school.  Whoever prevents him from exercising this right commits an offense against the child and against the State.  The State taxes its citizens to maintain a system of schools for the benefit of every child, and so every child has a right to all the State has provided for him.

Duties.—­As it is the right, it is also the duty of all children to attend the full session of the public school, or of some other equally good.  They should be regular and punctual in their attendance; they should yield prompt and cheerful obedience to the school government, and try to avail themselves of all advantages that the school can give.  As it is the duty of the State to offer a plain English education to every child, so it is the duty of all children to make the most of all means the State has provided for their education.

Parents, their rights and duties.—­All parents have the right to send their children to the public school, and it is also their duty to patronize the public school, or some other equally as good.  Fathers and mothers who deprive their children of the opportunities of acquiring an education do them lasting injury.  Parents should use every effort to give their children at least the best education that can be obtained in the public schools.

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