thinglets: chicago school code of conduct - 1921

1921 children

Manners of Conduct in School and Out

my favorite excerpts...

Girls, the word lady should suggest, ideally, a girl (or a woman) who keeps herself physically fit, her thinking on a high plane, and her manners gentle and winsome.

Boys, the word gentleman means, ideally, a fine, athletic, manly fellow who is an all round good sport in the best sense, and who has manners that do not prevent other people from seeing how fine he is.

If you are well brought up, girls, you will not loiter on the street to talk to one another; much less to boys. Street visiting is taboo.

Boys, a gentleman does not detain on street corners a girl or woman friend. If he meets one with whom he wishes to speak more than a moment, he asks permission to walk a little way with her. During the moment that he does detain her, a gentleman talks with his hat in his hand.

Girls, if a seat is offered you, accept it at once with "Thank you." Don't explain that you don't mind standing.

The chewing of gum in a street-car, in church, or in any other place outside of your own private room stamps you at once as "common."

Boys, it is not necessary to help the girls mount the stairs in school unless they are blind or crippled.

Girls, it is better not to twine your arms about one another in the corridors and on the stairs; also, not to kiss one another tenderly if you separate for a few moments. Love your friends dearly; but be sensible, not sentimental.

When you enter your classroom, as well as when you leave it, glance towards your teacher and, if she is looking, bow pleasantly.

If the function is a dance, boys, avoid too many consecutive dances with the same girl. Confining your attentions noticeably to the same girl makes her conspicuous and mars the general pleasure.

Avoid looking at a boy with your soul in your eyes. A girl holds the key to the social situation. She should keep such a situation at school on a cordial but wholly matter-of-fact basis,—absolutely free from sentimentality.

Boys, you can easily tell what girls would have you sit very close to them, and hold their hands, and put your arms around them. But, be manly. Always protect a girl; protect her from yourself, even from herself. If she does not wish to be so protected, avoid her as you would the plague.

Use a fork when eating vegetables and salad,—and ice-cream, if an ice-cream fork is provided.