White American Elementary schools in the 1930s
Schools in the 1930s are nothing like the schools we have today. The desks were in long rows of five. They are connected to the desk in front of them and behind. They are also attached to the floor so the students couldn't shift over to do work with another student. An average class in the 1930s only had about 15 to 18 students. When it was playtime, the girls played hopscotch and jump rope while the boys played with marbles. Females and males were expected to dress and behave differently. Children were not allowed to wear jeans. Girls wore dresses while boys wore shirts and pants. The classes in the early twentieth century were only decorated by the alphabet, artwork, writing samples and fall leaves. The schools and teachers could not afford educational posters or other decorations to put around the room. The subjects that were taught in school were math, English, art, spelling, civics and geography, and sometimes sewing. To pass these classes a student must receive more than 75 percent. This was difficult because there were different teachers each year and the classroom was often led by a teacher not much older than the students.
bLACKS AND wHITES
White schools did not allow black children in the school because they were afraid that the blacks will be more smarter than the whites. The state government was controlled by the whites. That is why the blacks couldn't do much to get into a white school, except try over and over again. Since the whites received more financial support than the blacks, whites had more books, well paid teachers and better buildings than the blacks. In 1937 and 1938, about 8 white schools in the Halifax County were made out of brick, stone, or concrete but only 2 for the black schools. During the Great Depression, many schools couldn't pay their teachers and the students didn't have anyone to teach them. A lot of teenagers also had to quit school because their family needed them to work on the family farm. Later on in life, when these young people left their homes in search of jobs, they could not find any because they did not have a proper education.