Schools of the Past: Bainbridge District #3 – Bennettsville and District #4 – Dyer or Shaffer

It is regrettable for historians in their never ending research, that such an important role that the one-room schools had is only partially documented. Over the course of the years with the formation of the district schools and eventually becoming abandoned that the buildings themselves fell to “rack and ruin” and that the assorted school records are only partially available. With many cases, either new owners did not deem the records important and destroyed them or with the centralization of the districts, the new central schools also destroyed these vital records. These school records are a wealth of information relevant to parents, visitors, scholars, teachers, who took the time so that their children were educated.

The school enrollment records usually recorded the teacher, the term of the school (usually three-four months winter and basically the same for the summer school. The age of the teacher is given, not always and usually very young, the parents’ names, childrens’ names and ages. Additionally research will include the holidays, teacher’s conferences, who certified the teacher etc. Also in the assorted reports at the end of the year, who was or was not advanced to the next level, final grades at the end of the year, which would give the scholar that was the brightest and in which subject the scholar excelled.

However, what has to be derived from “folklore” is the assorted pranks that teachers were subjected to and perhaps at a future time, if all were put together a “teacher’s prank book” will be published. Such is the case with the two districts, the topic of this article, however that history has yet to be found!

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