Hackberry School

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Lively Rumpus at Hackberry School
Trouble Started Over The Whipping Of A Pupil
Divider Line The principals in the Hackberry school mixup and a great many witnesses from South Pike were here yesterday to tell the grand jury what they knew of the affair, a warrant having been issued charging the Burbridges with assault with a deadly weapon. A warrant was first issued before Justice of the Peace Dyer of Nebo, and the case set for last Saturday. But was dismissed and brought before the grand jury here yesterday as stated above. Virgil and Clifford Burbridge had also on the day of the trouble plead guilty to assault before Squire George Kendrick of this city and paid a fine. The principals in the case are Jesse Burbridge and his two sons, Dr. Clifford Burbridge of Pleasant Hill, and Virgil Burbridge, a directly of the Hackyberry school, and his daughter. Miss Hallie Burbridge, teacher at Hackberry, on one side and Leslie Autrey and Frank Nesse the other directors of Hackberry on the other.

The whole affair as reported seems to have originated between the pupils and the teacher. Some time ago, it is claimed, Miss Burbridge whipped one of the pupils with a hedge stick from which the thorns had not all been removed, which fact is denied by the teacher we understand. A warrant was sworn out before a Nebo justice and Miss Burbridge was inclined to fight the case but friends advised, we are told, that the best thing to do was plead guilty and the matter would drop. So the teacher's father plead guilty for her and paid a fine. This seems to have only added fuel to the flame and things got so hot that H. E. Barton, one of the directors resigned and Frank Neese was elected to fill the vacancy. According to the reports when the teacher attempted to whip another pupil later he struck her knocking her against a desk causing her to fall. This seems to have caused more trouble and a meeting of the directors was called Saturday, November 4 for the purpose, it is said, to take steps to dismiss the teacher.

According to the story the meeting was never held for Autrey and Neese two of the directors claim, it is said, that while they were seated in desks in the school house writing, that Leslie Autrey was assaulted by Virgil Burbridge, another director, and that when Frank Neese, the new director attempted to leave the room he was assaulted by Dr. Clifford Burbridge, a brother of Virgil and the teacher. Both Autery and Neese were reported to have been lately beaten up. Neese claims, it is reported, to have been assaulted with an iron bolt or rod.

The Burbridges we understand, deny this and say that the cuts and scratches received by Neese and Autrey were caused by one being knocked against a desk and the other into a coal scuttle. According to the reports the Burbridges say it was the insinuations that were cast against their sister that caused the last trouble. We understand a meeting of the Hackberry directors was held last Saturday and that Miss Burbridge was dismissed as teacher. Neese and Autrey say that they followed the Burbridges out of the school house and were ordered to get back into the house or they would be licked again. School disturbances are always greatly to be deplored as a school can be demoralized by them and the innocent children deprived of much needed schooling during the winter months, the only time of the year that the older boys can be in school, and it is to be hoped that affairs will be speedily arranged and the pupils of Hackberry again be in school. Hackberry is the school just north of Nebo on the main road.

Contributed by Virginia Gorton Bonne - [Barry Adage, Wed, 15 Nov 1922]