Pugsley v. Sellmeyer, (No. 295.)

CourtSupreme Court of Arkansas
Writing for the CourtSmith
Citation250 S.W. 538
PartiesPUGSLEY v. SELLMEYER et al.
Docket Number(No. 295.)
Decision Date09 April 1923

Page 538

250 S.W. 538
PUGSLEY
v.
SELLMEYER et al.
(No. 295.)
Supreme Court of Arkansas.
April 9, 1923.
Rehearing Denied May 14, 1923.

Appeal from Circuit Court, Clay County; W. W. Bandy, Judge.

Petition for Mandamus by Pearl Pugsley against F. J. Sellmeyer and others. From an order denying the prayer of the petition, and dismissing the petition, the petitioner appeals. Affirmed.

C. O. Raley, of Corning, and J. N. Moore, of Danville, Ill., for appellant.

M. P. Huddleston, of Paragould, for appellees.

SMITH, J.


Appellant alleged and proved that she was a resident of school district No. 11 of Clay county, of school age, and that in September, 1921, she enrolled as a pupil in that school. On the opening day of school N. E. Hicks, the principal, read certain rules which had been adopted by the board of directors, and announced that observance thereof would be required by all pupils who attended the school. Among these rules was one numbered 3 which reads as follows:

"The wearing of transparent hosiery, low-necked dresses or any style of clothing tending toward immodesty in dress, or the use of face paint or cosmetics, is prohibited."

Appellant infringed this rule by the use of talcum powder, and the teacher required her to wash it off and told her not to return again with it on her face. A day or two later she returned and offered herself as a pupil; but admission was denied her on the ground that she was infringing the rule by the continued use of talcum powder. She refused to submit to or to obey the rule, and was denied admission to the school.

Thereafter Miss Pugsley filed a petition setting out the facts stated, and prayed that a writ of mandamus issue requiring the directors of the school and the principal thereof to admit her as a pupil, notwithstanding her refusal to obey the rule set out above.

The case was submitted on its merits, and the court heard testimony supporting the allegations of the petition for mandamus and made findings of fact and a declaration of law.

The court found the law to be that the rule was arbitrary and unreasonable, and one which the petitioner was not required to observe as a condition upon which she might attend the school; but the court found the fact to be:

"That the evidence fails to show that the expulsion of Miss Pugsley by defendant Hicks was done under the direction or authority of the school board or that his action in the matter was ever approved of or ratified by the board of directors."

Upon this finding the fact the court denied the prayer of the petition for mandamus and dismissed the petition; and this appeal is from that order.

Appellant admits that after the principal denied her admission except upon the condition that she remove the talcum powder, and discontinue its use, she did not appeal to any member of the board of directors; but the undisputed testimony shows that the board of directors adopted the rule and directed the principal to enforce it, and the secretary of the board, who was also a member thereof, testified as a witness, and his testimony makes it perfectly clear that any appeal to them would have been unavailing, for he stated unequivocally that the board regarded its breach as a challenge of their authority, and that under the circumstances its rescission or cancellation would have been subversive of all discipline in the school.

Under the circumstances the law did not impose upon the petitioner the duty of doing the unavailing thing of applying to the directors

Page 539

for admission; so that, while she was never expelled, she was, in fact, denied admission to the school, and this exclusion was tantamount to expulsion. Monette Road Imp. Dist. v. Dudley, 144 Ark. 169, 222 S. W. 59.

In the case of State ex rel. Black v. Board Directors School Dist. No. 16 (Ark.) 242 S. W. 545, petitioners sought by mandamus to compel the directors of the school district to allow them to attend...

To continue reading

Request your trial
29 practice notes
  • Rumler v. BOARD OF SCH. TR. FOR LEXINGTON CTY. DIST. NO. 1 SCHOOLS, Civ. A. No. 70-1080.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. United States District Court of South Carolina
    • May 17, 1971
    ...style, or deportment. Cf. Ferrell v. Dallas Independent School District, 392 F.2d 697 (5 Cir. 1968); Pugsley v. Sellmeyer, 158 Ark. 247, 250 S.W. 538 (1923). It does not concern aggressive, disruptive action or even group demonstrations. Our problem involves direct, primary First Amendment ......
  • Alcala, In re, No. A043385
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • July 23, 1990
    ...736-737, citing Ferrell v. Dallas Independent School District (5th Cir.1968) 392 F.2d 697 and Pugsley v. Sellmeyer (1923) 158 Ark. 247, 250 S.W. 538; see 7 Witkin, Summary of Cal.Law (9th ed. 1988) Constitutional Law, § 237, pp. Here, however, there is no suggestion in the record that the p......
  • Board of Trustees of Bastrop Independent School Dist. v. Toungate, No. 96-0690
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Texas
    • February 13, 1998
    ...School District, 392 F.2d 697 (5th Cir.1968), on which we relied in Barber, and the decision in Pugsley v. Sellmeyer, 158 Ark. 247, 250 S.W. 538 (1923). Ferrell held that the prohibition of " 'Beatle' type haircuts" for males did not violate the First or Fifth Amendments as applied to the s......
  • Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District, No. 21
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • February 24, 1969
    ...or deportment. Cf. Ferrell v. Dallas Independent School District, 392 F.2d 697 (C.A.5th Cir. 1968); Pugsley v. Sellmeyer, 158 Ark. 247, 250 S.W. 538, 30 A.L.R. 1212 (1923). It does not concern aggressive, disruptive action or even group demonstrations. Our problem involves direct, primary F......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
29 cases
  • Rumler v. BOARD OF SCH. TR. FOR LEXINGTON CTY. DIST. NO. 1 SCHOOLS, Civ. A. No. 70-1080.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. United States District Court of South Carolina
    • May 17, 1971
    ...style, or deportment. Cf. Ferrell v. Dallas Independent School District, 392 F.2d 697 (5 Cir. 1968); Pugsley v. Sellmeyer, 158 Ark. 247, 250 S.W. 538 (1923). It does not concern aggressive, disruptive action or even group demonstrations. Our problem involves direct, primary First Amendment ......
  • Alcala, In re, No. A043385
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • July 23, 1990
    ...736-737, citing Ferrell v. Dallas Independent School District (5th Cir.1968) 392 F.2d 697 and Pugsley v. Sellmeyer (1923) 158 Ark. 247, 250 S.W. 538; see 7 Witkin, Summary of Cal.Law (9th ed. 1988) Constitutional Law, § 237, pp. Here, however, there is no suggestion in the record that the p......
  • Board of Trustees of Bastrop Independent School Dist. v. Toungate, No. 96-0690
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Texas
    • February 13, 1998
    ...School District, 392 F.2d 697 (5th Cir.1968), on which we relied in Barber, and the decision in Pugsley v. Sellmeyer, 158 Ark. 247, 250 S.W. 538 (1923). Ferrell held that the prohibition of " 'Beatle' type haircuts" for males did not violate the First or Fifth Amendments as applied to the s......
  • Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District, No. 21
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • February 24, 1969
    ...or deportment. Cf. Ferrell v. Dallas Independent School District, 392 F.2d 697 (C.A.5th Cir. 1968); Pugsley v. Sellmeyer, 158 Ark. 247, 250 S.W. 538, 30 A.L.R. 1212 (1923). It does not concern aggressive, disruptive action or even group demonstrations. Our problem involves direct, primary F......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT