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School Rules

U.S. authorities operated four types of schools for Indians: off-reservation boarding schools, such as the Carlisle Industrial School in Pennsylvania; on-reservation boarding schools; day schools; and mission schools.

Every federally-supported school operated under rules issued by the Indian School Service, a division of the Office of Indian Affairs. To foster the the development of “good habits” Indian school administrators were told to withhold rations from parents who did not send their children to school (Rule 19) and to arrest and imprison anyone who interfered with their work (Rule 21). They were also told that visits home by children “should be as brief and infrequent as possible” (Rule 54).

Click here to read Rules for the Indian School Service, 1898