OCR Interpretation

The day book. (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, July 07, 1916, LAST EDITION, Image 5

Image and text provided by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045487/1916-07-07/ed-1/seq-5/

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Religious prejudice, the spectre
used to whip votes into line agahist
the school teachers of Chicago, was
dragged into the light yesterday by
members of the city council com
mittee on schools.
The religious issue was brought
out when Aid. Robert M. Buck was
questioning Mrs. Wm. E. Gallagher,
school trustee. Mrs. Gallagher ad
mitted that there was a strong under
current of religious prejudice among
members of the school board and
that there was a division on the
board in regard to religious beliefs.
Aid. Oscar De Priest, colored ad
ministration leader, jumped to his
feet and introduced a motion that all
questions pertaining to the religious
angle be barred. Buck insisted that
the investigation be thrown wide
In explaining his desire for an open
and above-board probe of the entire
question of religious influence, Buck
"One of the sticks of dynamite
under our political structure 'is reli
gious prejudice. And the most dan
gerous thing about it is that it is al
lowed to grow into a flame under the
surface. It is permeating the whole
body politic in this city to the detri
ment of good government I propose
to snatch the thing out into the light
of day. I want to have a look at it.
Don't let it fester. Throw the sun
light on i. I want to find out why
we are always up against the prob
lem of Catholics fighting Protestants
and Protestants fighting Catholics,
to the prevention of efficient self
government. "This damnable prejudice doesn't
belong in our schools, but it is there.
Now let's see if we can't kick it out
of the school system forever. Some-
one is spreading the idea about the
city 'that these Loeb rules were
passed for the purpose of firing
Catholic teachers out of the school
system. Let's find out why this idea
was deliberately spread about
"I believe this investigation will
show that the majority of the teach
ers dropped were Protestant and not
Catholics. But some one, for some
hidden reason, is making political
capital out of this religious prejudice.
"What's behind all this? Let's go
to the bottom of this rotten mixture
of politics and religion that's been
going on in this town for a year or
, De Priest, Powers, Miller and Mar
tin made another effort to block an
investigation. Buck asked Mrs. Gal
lagher and Chas. C. Ffrench, anoth
er trustee, if they had any objection
to stating their religious beliefs.
They stated they were Roman Cath
olics. In another heated speech Buck
said: "I don't believe these teachers
were fired merely because they were
Catholics. There were more Protestants-
than Catholics dropped.
But if the impression is being spread
about that these teachers were dis
criminated against because they were
Catholics it is the duty of this body
to let the people know it's a lie. I'm
a Protestant. My little girl goes td
a school in a Protestant community
fin Austin, where there is a Protestant
principal and only one Catholic
"This Catholic teacher has a repu
tation for being an excellent teacher.
And my little girl mind you, she is
only 8 years old came home and
told her mother the principal was
going to get this teacher fired be-'
cause she was a Catholic. And this
teacher was in the list of those drop
ped. Now, I don't believe this teach
er was fired because she is a Cath
olic. But can't you realize the dan
ger when lies and prejudice are ham
mered into young children.
"This thing has got to be absolute
ly eliminated. And you can't elimia-

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