Fascinating True Stories From the Flip Side of History

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Fired for Taking off Jacket

July 8, 1916 was a great day for New Jersey teacher and principal Walter C. Davis. Earlier in the year, he had been fired by the Overpeck Township Board of Education after they found him guilty of four charges filed against him.

The charges were as follows: First: physical disability. Second: Inefficiency in teaching. Third: Incapacity. and Lastly: Conduct unbecoming a teacher.

He must have done some incredibly awful things to have those charges filed against him and to ultimately lose his job. So here’s what he really did.

The first charge – physical disability – was because he only had one eye. His inefficiency in teaching? That was because he supposedly mispronounced a few words, including algebra. And that charge about Conduct unbecoming of a teacher? That was because he removed his coat in class on a warm September day.

Yet, I did mention that this was a happy day for him. That is because the state Commissioner of Education ruled that it was permissible for him to teach with only his shirt sleeves and no jacket on. His job was ordered to be reinstated.

Boy have times changed…

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