193 Cal. 664, S. F. 10953, Piper v. Big Pine School District of Inyo County

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court (California)
Writing for the CourtSEAWELL, Judge
JudgeJUDGES: In Bank. Seawell, J. Lawlor, J., Waste, J., Lennon, J., Richards, J., Myers, C. J., and Shenk, J., concurred.
Citation193 Cal. 664,226 P. 926
Docket NumberS. F. 10953
PartiesALICE PIPER, etc., et al., Petitioners, v. BIG PINE SCHOOL DISTRICT OF INYO COUNTY et al., Respondents

Page 664

193 Cal. 664

226 P. 926

ALICE PIPER, etc., et al., Petitioners,

v.

BIG PINE SCHOOL DISTRICT OF INYO COUNTY et al., Respondents

S. F. No. 10953

Supreme Court of California

June 2, 1924

PROCEEDING in Mandamus to compel trustees of a school district and its teacher to admit an Indian child as a pupil.

Writ granted.

COUNSEL:

J. W. Henderson for Petitioners.

U. S. Webb, Attorney-General, Frank English, Deputy Attorney-General, and Jess Hession, District Attorney, for Respondents.

JUDGES: In Bank. Seawell, J. Lawlor, J., Waste, J., Lennon, J., Richards, J., Myers, C. J., and Shenk, J., concurred.

OPINION

SEAWELL, Judge

Page 665

[226 P. 927] This is an application for a writ of mandamus to compel the trustees of Big Pine School District of Inyo County, this state, and its teacher, to admit and receive into said school as a pupil thereof, Alice Piper, a female Indian child of the age of fifteen years, and a resident of said district, who has been excluded from attendance upon said school. Big Pine School District is a part of the common or public school system of this state, organized

Page 666

and maintained in obedience to the constitutional mandate and the general school laws of the state. The guardian ad litem, Pike Piper, and his wife, Annie Piper, persons of the Indian race and blood, are the parents of petitioner, Alice Piper. It is admitted by the answer that both parents and petitioner are citizens of the United States and of this state and that neither the petitioner nor either of her parents has ever lived in tribal relations with any tribe of Indians or has ever owed or acknowledged allegiance or fealty of any kind to any tribe or "nation" of Indians or has ever lived upon a government Indian reservation or has at any time been a ward or dependent of the nation. No separate school for Indian children has at any time been established by the governing body of said school district, but the United States government, under the direction and supervision of the Department of the Interior, has established and does now maintain a school for the education and training of members of the Indian race within the territorial boundaries of said school district, to which school petitioner is eligible as a pupil. No objection is made to the admission of petitioner to said public school other than that she is a person of Indian blood. Petitioner alleges, and respondents admit, that she is now and at all times mentioned in said petition has been a person of good habits and character, in good physical health, and that she is in need of and desirous of obtaining an education such as is obtainable in the public schools of this state and that her parents are desirous that she should obtain such an education. As a citizen of the state under the foregoing circumstances she claims the right to be admitted to and received into said school, and challenges the constitutionality of the provisions of section 1662, subdivisions second and third, of the Political Code (Stats. 1921, p. 1160), so far as it attempts to confer upon the governing body of the school district the power to exclude Indian children, because of blood differences alone, from attending a district public school maintained under the authority of the laws of the state, provided the United States government maintains an Indian school within said school district and the Indian children residing within said district are eligible for attendance upon such Indian school, as provided by said subdivisions second and third of section

Page 667

1662. Said section so far as it directly bears upon the question of the education of Indian children is as follows:

" 1662. First -- The courses of study for the day elementary schools of California shall embrace eight years of instruction; and such courses must allot eight years for instruction in subjects required to be taught in such schools and may allot not more than two years for kindergarten instruction.

" Second -- The day elementary schools of each school district of California shall be open for the admission of all children between six and twenty-one years of age residing within the boundaries of the district, including Indian children whose education may not otherwise have been provided for by the federal government, and may be open for the admission of adults if the governing body of the district deem such admission advisable; provided, that where kindergarten instruction is given in the schools of a district, such school shall admit children to the kindergarten classes at four years of age; and the reports for the kindergarten classes shall be kept and shall be made separate from other school reports; and provided, further, that wherever a school is established for the [226 P. 928] instruction of the deaf, such children may be admitted to such school at three years of age; provided, that the average daily attendance of deaf children who are six years of age or older shall be counted as part of the average daily attendance in the day elementary schools.

" Third -- The governing body of the school district shall have power to exclude children of filthy or vicious habits, or children suffering from contagious or infectious diseases, and also to establish separate schools for Indian children and for children of Chinese, Japanese or Mongolian parentage. When such separate schools are established, Indian children or children of Chinese, Japanese, or Mongolian parentage must not be admitted into any other school.

" It is further provided, that in school districts in California where the United States government has established an Indian school, or in an area not to exceed three miles from the said Indian school, the Indian children of the district, or districts, eligible for attendance upon such Indian school, may not be admitted to the district school."

Page 668

It is a claim of respondents that if the school maintained by the federal government corresponds in all respects in grade, course, and hours of study to state schools and otherwise affords equal educational facilities and advantages with the schools maintained by the state or, as intimated, if they be better adapted to the education of members of the Indian race, petitioners would not be prejudiced by being excluded from said state school and could have no reasonable ground of complaint. Respondents justify their action on the authority of said section 1662 of the Political Code, which they claim to be a valid exercise of legislative power and which in nowise exceeds constitutional limitations. If constitutional guaranties are to be regarded this contention cannot be sustained.

The policy of the law of this state since its organization with reference to the subject of the education of its citizens finds forcible expression in the language of our earlier and present constitution and in legislative enactments. By article IX, section 1, of the state constitution the advantages and necessities of a universally educated people as a guarantee and means for the preservation of the rights and liberties of the people is thus declared: "A general diffusion of knowledge and intelligence being essential to the preservation of the rights and liberties of the people, the legislature shall encourage by all suitable means the promotion of intellectual, scientific, moral and agricultural improvement." Section 5: "The legislature shall provide for a system of common schools, by which a free school shall be kept up and supported in each district at least six months in every year, after the first year in which a school has been established." By other sections the constitution...

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49 practice notes
  • Campaign for Quality Education v. State, 042016 CAAPP1, A134423
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • April 20, 2016
    ...to the possessor.’ ([Ward, supra, ] 48 Cal. at p. 50, italics added; quoted in Piper v. Big Pine School Dist. (1924) 193 Cal. 664, 670 [226 P. 926].)” (Slayton v. Pomona Unified School Dist. (1984) 161 Cal.App.3d 538, 548-549, fn. Second, there is no dispute th......
  • 246 Cal.App.4th 896, A134423, Campaign for Quality Education v. State
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • April 20, 2016
    ...to the possessor.’ ([Ward, supra, ] 48 Cal. at p. 50, italics added; quoted in Piper v. Big Pine School Dist. (1924) 193 Cal. 664, 670 [226 P. 926].)” (Slayton v. Pomona Unified School Dist. (1984) 161 Cal.App.3d 538, 548-549 [207 Cal.Rptr. 705], fn. Second,......
  • 35 Cal.3d 899, 31701, Hartzell v. Connell
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (California)
    • April 20, 1984
    ...However, financial hardship is no defense to a violation of the free school guarantee. In Piper v. Big Pine School Dist. (1924) 193 Cal. 664, for example, this court applied the free school guarantee to invalidate a school district's policy of excluding Native Page 913 children from the pub......
  • 113 S.W.2d 783 (Mo. 1938), 35286, State ex rel. Gaines v. Canada
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • February 25, 1938
    ...School of Law on the same terms as any qualified white resident of Missouri. Secs. 9639, 9657, R. S. 1929; Piper v. Big Pine School Dist., 193 Cal. 664; Smith v. Independent School Dist., 40 Iowa 518; Woolridge v. Board of Education, 98 Kan. 397, 157 P. 1184; State v. Duffy, 7 Nev. 342. (3)......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
49 cases
  • Campaign for Quality Education v. State, 042016 CAAPP1, A134423
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • April 20, 2016
    ...to the possessor.’ ([Ward, supra, ] 48 Cal. at p. 50, italics added; quoted in Piper v. Big Pine School Dist. (1924) 193 Cal. 664, 670 [226 P. 926].)” (Slayton v. Pomona Unified School Dist. (1984) 161 Cal.App.3d 538, 548-549, fn. Second, there is no dispute th......
  • 246 Cal.App.4th 896, A134423, Campaign for Quality Education v. State
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • April 20, 2016
    ...to the possessor.’ ([Ward, supra, ] 48 Cal. at p. 50, italics added; quoted in Piper v. Big Pine School Dist. (1924) 193 Cal. 664, 670 [226 P. 926].)” (Slayton v. Pomona Unified School Dist. (1984) 161 Cal.App.3d 538, 548-549 [207 Cal.Rptr. 705], fn. Second,......
  • 35 Cal.3d 899, 31701, Hartzell v. Connell
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (California)
    • April 20, 1984
    ...However, financial hardship is no defense to a violation of the free school guarantee. In Piper v. Big Pine School Dist. (1924) 193 Cal. 664, for example, this court applied the free school guarantee to invalidate a school district's policy of excluding Native Page 913 children from the pub......
  • 113 S.W.2d 783 (Mo. 1938), 35286, State ex rel. Gaines v. Canada
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • February 25, 1938
    ...School of Law on the same terms as any qualified white resident of Missouri. Secs. 9639, 9657, R. S. 1929; Piper v. Big Pine School Dist., 193 Cal. 664; Smith v. Independent School Dist., 40 Iowa 518; Woolridge v. Board of Education, 98 Kan. 397, 157 P. 1184; State v. Duffy, 7 Nev. 342. (3)......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
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