Action Brought by Norwood Committee Against Frank B. Boyden.

School desk circa 1910

Can the Norwood School committee compel Frank E. Boyden, the 12-year-old son of Frank B. Boyden of Pleasant st, to attend school, and if it can, should it oblige Mr. and Mrs. Boyden to send the boy to the public schools, was left to judge Emery Grover in the district court of northern Norfolk this morning to decide. After a hearing that consumed the entire town, he finally decided that as is stated in the provision of the law, the boy be receiving instruction elsewhere than the public schools, and there were so many doubts in the point at issue, he ruled for the boy’s parents.

It is of considerable interest to residents of Norwood, and particularly the school committee, which brought the case to the attention of the court.

The point at issue was whether the Boyden boy is in a proper physical condition to be compelled to attend the public schools. Three members of the committee were at the hearing- Chairman Edward W. Jewett, Cornelius Callahan, and Miss Emily Curtis Fisher.

The committee was not united. Miss Fisher, the member presiding, took the stand and testified in favor of the defendant and against the other members of the board who then ordered Supt of Schools Fitz to bring the case into court.

The town was represented by the superintendent of schools, an attorney at law, who is now teaching instead of practicing the law, and for the defense appeared William Hobbs, a former superintendent of the local schools, who is now practicing law.

Related:  Norwood's Undefeated Eleven In Review-This Day In Norwood History-November 27, 1942

For the prosecution, the witness included policeman Michael Creed, who is the truant officer; Miss Estella Mahoney of the Guild grammar school, being Boyden’s teacher, and Supt of Schools Fitz. For the defense, the witnesses were Mr. Boyden; Miss Boyden, his daughter; Dr. Winslow, and Miss Fisher of the Norwood school committee.

The contention of the defense was that the boy was of such a nervous temperament that it is better to be sent to some other than a public school, where there are fewer children. In the argument, Mr. Hobbs made a complete statement of the duties and powers of the school authorities in regard to the attendance of school children.

Supt Fritz confined his argument to a statement that the school committee has been undecided as to what it should do and had instructed him to bring the case into court so that a decision might be made whereby it could be governed in the future.

Mon, Jan 17, 1910 – 13 · The Boston Globe (Boston, Massachusetts)