UPON the subject of enforced teaching of English in private schools, the St. Paul Dispatch says:—
It is right that citizens of foreign nationalities should, among themselves, seek to maintain the traditions and memories of their native lands; but it is not right, and should not be tolerated, that they shall educate their children at the public expense, or otherwise, as if those children were destined to spend their lives in the countries from which their respective parents came.
We have never yet heard, nor do we believe that the Dispatch has, of any class of people who desired to educate their children in the traditions and memories of foreign lands at the public expense. We have not yet seen it denied that the public has the right to teach English solely in the public schools. The Dispatch therefore in this, raises a false issue.
That which is denied is that the public has a right to say what shall be taught in the private schools; and this is not a denial of the right of the State to say that English shall be taught in the public schools. It is not opposition to the teaching of English; but this opposition is to the assumption that if the State can say that English shall be taught in the public schools, that concedes the right of the State to say, that whatever it pleases shall be taught in the private schools; and that consequently there is no such thing as a private school; that the State arbitrarily turns the private school into a public school at private expense. And further than this, it is in defense of private rights as a whole. If the State can take charge of the private school and run it at private expense, then it can take charge of any other private affair, and there is no longer any such thing as private rights; everything becomes public; the State absorbs all, and becomes the parent of all; but that is not constitutional, nor American, nor Christian.
All this is conveyed in the above statement of the Dispatch, wherein it asserts  that the right of the citizens of foreign nationalities to “educate their children at the public expense or otherwise, as if those children were destined to spend their lives in the country from which their parents came, should not be tolerated.” This puts the State at once in the place of the parent, and proposes to dictate what he may or may not teach in all things, and in all places. As we stated in THE SENTINEL of June 5, this principle would prohibit ex-Minister Palmer from teaching and speaking Spanish to his adopted Spanish boy, as though the boy was destined to spend his life in the country from which he came.
The theory is all wrong, and the laws are wrong that are based upon the theory, and the arguments are wrong that are used in defense of it. The whole thing is wrong. And yet, for all that, we verily believe that the theory is going to continue until it will finally prevail, and we dread the day when it shall come.
A. T. J.