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1766 School Ordinance by Isaak Iselin

For the punishment of students, the school ordinance warns against fits of rage, abusive words, and against powerful blows; finally, it also advises against beatings for slowness of mind (!!!) or bad memory.
If verbal reproach and warnings do not help against evil manners, then beatings, “but with the switch more than with the stick” (see note below) are to be used: “complete omission of beatings could easily reinforce youthful vice and mischief.”

Note: Once a year the whole school went on an outing to the forest. There, students were made to themselves cut the “sticks” and “switches” with which they were later beaten!

The headmaster, according to this school ordinance, does not teach any lessons. However, as the “head of the ‘Gymnasium’”, to whom all the “teachers or assistant teachers” owe obedience, he was supposed to be a shining example to his subordinates by leading a pious and godly life and regularly attending church. During schooltime he must not leave the ‘Gymnasium’. On his numerous unannounced visits to the classes he has to wear black clothes, whereas in church and at the ‘examinibus’ (monthly tests of the students by the headmaster) he has to appear in “a ruff (a type of collar) and official attire”.

An anecdote from our school’s history:
J.C. Ramspeck, headmaster at that time, was a doctor of medicine and botany. By lot (!!!), he won the unsuitable chair in mathematics at Basel University, but exchanged it for a chair in “eloquence” with Johann Bernoulli II.
As a headmaster he was less than conscientious, devoting more energy to his doctor’s surgery, although sidelines were forbidden. Occasionally he travelled without permission, and the authorities had to forcibly return him to his position. Likewise, the authorities had to fetch him from his mother’s house after he had had an illness (“Reissen”?) and spent too much time convalescing.
Teachers and authorities he annoyed with long-winded documents and countless slips of paper.

By the way: annual reports were introduced at that time already. However, after only 7 years they had to return to the old biannual version, for over half the students had to repeat the year.